I wish I loved myself more. I wish I had looked in the mirror and told myself, “You don’t need to review this movie. You don’t need to watch it twice. You don’t need to do this.”
Jenna and Kyle are lawyers working at the same firm, and if their poses in the poster didn’t tip you off already, they are total opposites. She’s an environmentally-friendly liberal and he’s a conservative corporate drone, and yet they’re equally insufferable and unlikable.
We find them one-upping one another’s ethics at an office Christmas party, the perfect place for vitriol and snark. Jenna suddenly announces she’s accepted a job at an environmental law firm in San Francisco. We find out why they’ll stay in one another’s lives: her brother Jim and his sister Trisha are inexplicably at this party, sucking tongues on the dance floor.
It’s Chicago, 10 years later. Jim and Trisha are now married with a way-too-old kid named Karen (unlikely), with a baby boy on the way. Jenna and Kyle are both at the Chicago airport (I’m guessing) to catch their flight to New York for their nephew’s birth. Kyle is warning Trisha, over the phone, not to let Jenna around her niece, or else she’ll turn her into a “radical feminist who never wears a bra and doesn’t shave her armpits.”
These two assholes run into one another right as their flight’s cancelled because of a major ice storm. This alleged ice storm is only an issue when the director wants it to be, so mostly it’s just flurries and gusty winds. They reluctantly agree to rent a car together and drive the rest of the way (12 hours) to make it there for Christmas Eve. Even though a hundred other people probably scrambled to rent a car at the same time, they manage just fine because asshole luck is impenetrable.
Oh, and some New York radio station is hosting a big annual content where the first baby born on Christmas gets $25,000.
They fight during the car ride (he likes country, she likes rap!) because the roads are crystal fucking clear, by the way. Kyle finds out that his nephew will be named Christopher after his father. He’s super pissed because Christopher Sr. was:
a) a deadbeat
b) an alcoholic
c) a gambler
d) ALL OF THE ABOVE!!!
Kyle can’t forgive Christopher Sr. for being a shitty dad, and so they are naturally estranged. Jenna climbs atop the highest horse she can find to patronize Kyle about reconciling with his dad. They fight about Christmas (he hates it, she loves it!). He tells her that as a boy, all he wanted was a toy train set. What he got instead was 10 lottery tickets. Alex, my fellow reviewer, loves lottery tickets as plotlines, so there ya go, pal. Alex would probably say that young Kyle was ungrateful because he could’ve won millions! Also, Christopher Sr.’s coming into town for the Christmas birth.
It’s Christmas Eve. Jenna and Kyle arrive in New York just as Jim and Trisha are leaving for the hospital because her water broke. They take the rental car, with no insurance, and leave their daughter Karen with these assholes. As Kyle tries to watch a Clippers game, the cable goes out. After calling the company to figure out the deal, he discovers the cable’s being cut off because of missed payments. Other fun facts: Jim and Trisha are literally behind on every payment, like electricity (because they have Christmas lights decorating every square inch of the big house) and their mortgage.
Jenna and Kyle start to realize how deep the couple’s money problems go. She reveals that Jim lost his job as a “money manager” on Wall Street during the financial crisis months ago. She says, with a tone of empathy and commiseration, “And with a baby coming too,” and Kyle snaps at her for STATING THE OBVIOUS. He’s angry that they were stupid enough to bring a baby into such dire straits, even though the pregnancy happened before Jim lost his job. They find out that Jim has been PRETENDING TO WORK when really he’s still job hunting. Wait a minute, you’re telling me that Kyle found all these overdue bills within several minutes, but Jim has been successfully hiding them from his wife for MONTHS?
Jim calls to update them on the labour, like an hour later. Apparently, it’s at a standstill because she’s not fully dilated yet. When Jenna passes on this information, Kyle is all I COULD’VE DONE WITHOUT THE SPECIFICS, like you’re going to make the fucking WORST husband and father, dude. They decide to pay all the outstanding bills as their Christmas present to the family. All well and good until they find out the house is being foreclosed on in a WEEK. Please remember all of this for later, kids, because we’re going to talk about this again. Kyle tries to get through to the bank, but they’re closed for Christmas. Their new mission is to find the bank owner (I think?), Henry Kotter, to change his mind. They track him down on the Internet, and decide to pay him a visit in person.
Hospital: Trisha is starting to push, but not really, because a) she can’t give birth to the massive stuffed pillow under her shirt that’s supposed to be a baby and b) the actress’s idea of labour is just huffing and puffing. Also, she tells Jim that she’s so happy he found another job. He’s like HA HA YEP THAT NEW JOB OF MINE WHAT A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE WE’RE TOTALLY NOT POOR ABOUT TO LOSE EVERYTHING IN A WEEK KEEP PUSHING HONEY!!!
I hate everyone in this movie.
En route to Kotter’s, Karen has to literally plead for Aunt Jenna and Uncle Kyle stop fighting. How embarrassing and awful are you two right now. So, Kotter, the old man banker, is hosting a Christmas party, which this band of jerks crash with their pitiful attempt to change his mind. They sneak in as The Smith family – more specifically, “Malik and Ashante Smith.” Ugh, this movie. The party bouncer is sick of these dicks after a minute, so he just lets them in.
During their confrontation with Old Man Kotter, they discover that Jim and Trisha’s house went into default (due to all the missed payments) and that their house is one in a bundle of properties being sold to a venture capitalist group, and it’s all being rezoned for office towers. Kyle tries to negotiate a deal to save the house, but Kotter turns him down. Jenna gets all uppity and cries, “They have been in that house for FIVE YEARS, that can’t be for nothing!” I legitimately laughed at this line, because her indignation makes it sound like five years is actually impressive.
They get escorted out by the building’s concierge. Jenna calls her friend in IT to research the venture capitalist group so she can work with them to strike a deal. Jenna and Kyle fight about Karen’s broke-ass parents in front of Karen again, who’s getting worried because she’s not an IDIOT. Oh, the ice storm is suddenly bad again, so they all run to a nearby church for warmth.
Hospital: Complications! The baby has to be rotated. Google tells me that most often or not, the doctors are aware that a baby’s in breech position before the actual birth, but sure.
Also, Jim hasn’t told anyone what hospital they’re at, so Jenna and Kyle are left wondering where to go. Karen precociously chimes in that she knows the hospital, and I’m very confident that Karen would have no idea. On their way out of the church, the door is jammed so Kyle pushes it hard. Hard enough to bang into an old lady, slamming her headfirst into the ground. Her poodle runs off into the storm.
They drop her off at the hospital for her concussion. Karen was convinced that this is the hospital where her parents are, but she’s WRONG. The nurses suggest another hospital a few blocks away. Thanks for nothing, Karen. Anyway, the old concussed lady introduces herself as Ethel Goodenthorn, widow to the fortune of the Goodenthorn insurance firm. She’s a billionaire, of course. She’s worried about her lost dog, Lamby. Her son, a firefighter, is working so he can’t go looking for him. Karen wants to find Lamby, so naturally, they go to the last place they saw him: the church. But all they do is stand in a circle and just call his name over and over. Let’s just be thankful that the one to go missing wasn’t Karen.
After their brilliant search turns up poodle-less, they decide to check out Ethel’s apartment building to see if Lamby wandered home by instinct. Hey, she lives in the same building as that stodgy old coot, Kotter! The concierge, Sal, recognizes them when they try to sneak past, but when they explain the Ethel/Lamby sitch, he’s willing to help. Sal checks her apartment to make sure Lamby didn’t slip into the building with Kotter’s partygoers, but no luck.
Hospital: Jim prays in the candlelit chapel for his baby, his wife…and for God to find him a job in trading. You suck so much, Jim.
Back at the apartment building, Sal is dropping some truth bombs on Jenna and Kyle (and Karen, who overhears every adult-only conversation possible): Ethel’s son, the firefighter, actually died in 9/11. She had originally lived in the penthouse, but once she lost her husband and son, she moved down to a smaller suite. Kotter now lives in the penthouse, so the gang checks security cameras to see if Lamby wandered up to his old apartment instead. Indeed, they see Lamby slip into the building, get on the elevator with people, and magically get off at the penthouse suite (where Kotter’s party is). Sal lets them go up to find Ethel’s dog.
Kotter’s about to throw them out again, but they explain why they’re there. He tells them that one of his staff members, upon finding Lamby, took the dog to a pound – he doesn’t know which one – and that’s that. He could’ve just asked that staff member, but that’s too much goodwill for a banker on Christmas Eve! Now in the lobby, wondering what to do next, Kyle wants to head to the (correct) hospital for the birth, but Karen loses her shit about needing to find Lamby instead. Here’s where Jenna could’ve stepped in and said, hey let’s compromise. You and Uncle Kyle go to the hospital, and I’ll try to find Lamby myself. But Jenna’s got the mental age of a child herself, so she decides to take Karen’s side and basically stomp her feet so Kyle gives in. He’s super pissed, so her and Karen leave in a huff. You’re teaching this kid some GREAT life lessons, Jenna.
Kyle asks Sal for a spare coat, which just happens to be an old-timey toy soldier jacket, I don’t know why. Sal, despite not knowing this dick for longer than 10 minutes, tells Kyle that Jenna makes him a better man, and that his late wife made him the same way. Why is he saying these words? Is Sal also concussed?
Kyle leaves and sees a woman getting mugged on the street. He’s like I GOT THIS! to her, and chases the mugger down an alleyway. The mugger drops the purse, leaving Kyle to pick it up – just in time for a cop car to put a giant spotlight on him. He gets ARRESTED!!! All they had to do was ask the woman, “Is he the one that mugged you, yes or no?” and he’d go free, but that’s not the world this movie lives in.
He calls Jenna from the clink, and she bails him out. They have a “moment” in the station lobby. By that, I mean they literally just act like normal humans that don’t hate one another. Hilariously, the booking cop is like YOU CAN’T DO THIS HERE, GET OUT and he’s my favourite. They plead with him because of the ice storm, so he lets them into the POLICE HORSE STABLE FOR WARMTH (!!!). It’s super cozy, lit with Christmas decorations, and has hot coffee brewing and Christmas music playing. It is adorable and these two will never deserve it! Also, it’s completely unsupervised. Great job, NYPD.
Jenna tries to get through to Jim to see how labour’s going. She shames him over voicemail for not ANSWERING HER PHONECALL when his wife is giving birth. Fuck you, Jenna. These two ruin the atmosphere by fighting about Christmas miracles (she thinks they’re real, he doesn’t!). He tells her that long ago, he prayed and prayed for a miracle that never came, BUT HE DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Jenna actually mocks him like, “Ohhhh, is it because it didn’t come truueeeee?” Yes, actually. The miracle he wanted? For his deadbeat, alcoholic, gambling father to be by his mother’s side as she was dying. For once, Jenna feels like a total shitheel and apologizes for everything. Kyle returns the favour, but this is all happening far too late in the movie to count. He goes in for a kiss, but a horse whinnies (I laughed) and interrupts their gross moment. Jenna tells him a story about how her grandpa used to take her skating at the Rockefeller Center at Christmas.
His response? “You look different in a barn.”
YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN A BARN.
I’m done here. But they aren’t, because they start talking about why they never dated as coworkers back in the day. I mean, if I had worked with these two, I would’ve fucking quit my job to escape their bullshit so maybe there’s a VERY VALID reason why you never hooked up.
Meanwhile, Karen calls the radio station to complain about her shitty Christmas Eve, and EVERYONE IN NEW YORK is tuning in for some reason, including some woman and her husband that give each other knowing looks.
Hospital: Emergency C-section! Trisha looks dewy like she took a light jog around the block.
The assholes get rescued from the horse stable by the radio listener guy, who owns a snowplow. LOOK AT THE TREACHEROUS CONDITIONS OF THE ICE STORM:
Meanwhile, Sal has been pound-hopping all night and finally found Lamby. They all meet up at Jim and Trisha’s hospital. Ohhh shit, Christopher Sr. is there. He asks Kyle when he flies back (Boxing Day), and then totally inappropriately says, “Maybe one day you’ll give me grandkids.” Kyle flips his shit and leaves. Jenna tries to give Christopher Sr. advice, but all she manages to do is make it about herself and then tells him Christmas miracles happen. Instead of telling her to get the fuck out of his face, he seems satisfied with this. Christmas miracles means you don’t have to make amends after being a shitty parent!
Okay, so Sal gives Lamby to Jenna and Karen so that they can be the ones giving him back to Ethel. You did all the legwork, Sal! At least take the credit! Anyway, that guy in IT that Jenna contacted texts her back. The venture capitalist group is being represented by KYLE’S LAW FIRM. The four of them (I don’t know where Sal went) take this outside. Jenna just fucking loses it on him, and he denies knowing anything about it. They’re yelling at each other in front of Karen and Christopher Sr., who’s trying to shuffle Karen away from the super inappropriate fight. Kyle storms off. Karen asks why he’s leaving, and Jenna screams (at Kyle’s retreating back) “BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HE DOES!!!” Get your fucking shit together, Jenna.
The baby is born. He’s healthy and approximately 3 months old already!
Sal tells Kyle, who’s still lurking around, a story about his favourite Christmas: when he spent it in that very hospital with his dying wife. Ugh, this guy and his depressing stories! He says all that matters is love. Sal, they like…wicked don’t love one another. They’re actually super spiteful and mean to one another.
Everyone troops in to see the baby Christopher, including LAMBY! Lamby is literally breathing on the baby!!! Are monkeys running this hospital?! Baby Christopher is cooing and giggling, because he’s already a year old. For some reason, a bunch of firefighters, nurses (who aren’t protecting Baby Christopher from dog pound breath and germs), and cops are all bringing him gifts. Is this supposed to be like a manger metaphor? Because it’s not. IT IS 100% NOT.
By the way, Trisha’s hair is PERFECTLY CURLED after birth and surgery, because this movie rejects all forms of reality.
They didn’t win the Christmas baby contest! I am ecstatic about this. Anyway, it’s now Christmas Day and even though women usually stay in the hospital TWO TO FOUR days after a C-section, Jim and Trisha are home and hosting a big dinner. Baby Christopher is literally LAUGHING. Kyle talks to him privately about not letting his name define him and how he can break the family curse, and Baby Christopher’s like, damn dude your daddy issues need sorting STAT.
Christopher Sr. scolds Kyle about leaving early, how much they’re alike, how he’s missing a big chance with Jenna, etc. As a final fuck-you, Kyle says, “Enjoy your turkey,” and tries to leave, but not before his daddy gives him a big gift. He peaces out.
Jenna and Karen reunite Ethel with Lamby at her apartment. They invite her over for Christmas dinner, without the permission of the NEW PARENTS. Meanwhile, Kyle opens his gift in the airport. It’s the toy train set he wanted as a boy, OF COURSE. These people never open their gifts right away, they always wait until they get to the airport!
Filled with the spirit of goodness, he calls his boss (on Christmas Day…) to get them to drop the venture capitalist group as their client, because he finds their dealings “unethical.” He’s a terrible lawyer. When he doesn’t get a yes, he quits his job..even though he just got angry about his brother-in-law being jobless and making poor decisions. Kyle is above his own judgment!
Christmas Dinner with All The Assholes, Including Lamby. Where’s Sal? He’s a widower, he found Lamby all by himself, and he’s not even invited? This family is SOME BULLSHIT. Apropos of absolutely nothing, Ethel tells Jim that she hears (via Karen, who’s privy to all her parents’ shit at this point) that he’s good with money. Well, Ethel, if you consider that he lost his job, lied about finding a new job, and hid an imminent foreclosure and declining credit score from his family…sure, he’s your man! I fully understand now why Jim lost his damn job on Wall Street. Ethel explains that she has a sizeable family trust that needs managing, and he just nods amiably like she’s telling him about Lamby’s bowel movements. She offers him a job with a “six-figure salary and full benefits.” ETHEL IS STILL CONCUSSED. This business decision should be ruled null and void!
All of a sudden, they hear singing outside. It’s Kyle! And he’s singing Jingle Bells terribly! While holding skates! They all pile outside to watch him humiliate himself. Apparently, he’s had a change of heart and got skates at a store (on Christmas Day…) so he and Jenna can go skating together at Rockefeller! And he quit his job! He tells Jenna that he does the right thing because of her (really though), that he’s always known it, but was too proud to do anything about it. And when she moved to San Francisco 10 years ago, it crushed him even though he knew she hated him!
She tells him, “I never hated you. I mean, you irritated me, but you always made me laugh.” DID HE?! YOU HAVEN’T LAUGHED ONCE IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE, JENNA.
“Jenna, you’re my miracle.”
They make out in front of everyone. Karen, ever the perfect TV movie child, says, “It’s about time!” and everyone laughs.
Christopher Sr. and Kyle make amends. Kyle says awful things like, “It’s not just a train set. I finally have a father. I love you, Dad.” They embrace.
Jim and Trisha: He admits that he lied about everything, asks if she’s mad, and she just laughs it off, the ever so loving and kind and patient wife that’s also SITTING WITH HER KNEES UP TO HER CHEST COMFORTABLY LIKE SHE DIDN’T JUST GET AN EMERGENCY C-SECTION A FEW HOURS AGO. She says that she’s not mad at all, because he’ll always take care of his family (!!!). Your house was being foreclosed on in a week, Trisha, with no way to negotiate out of your shitty situation. A WEEK. You’re a damn fool.
Oh wow, look at that. Kotter has just personally emailed them to let them know that they’ve been granted a four-week extension on their mortgage payments. Time to pay back Jenna and Kyle, huh? Wouldn’t the venture capitalist group still get their way? They’d buy out Jim and Trisha to seal the deal, no? UGH!
Everybody celebrates their asshole luck. Upstairs, Kyle and Jenna make out over Baby Christopher’s crib.
FUCK EVERYBODY INVOLVED WITH THIS. This movie was filled with such awful, selfish, unpleasant people doing awful, selfish, unpleasant things under the guise of love that I’m actually offended by its mere existence. Do not ever watch this movie.
Top IMDb Comment:
A little too realistic of a Liberal female which does not make for an enjoyable watch.