It took a few days to get here but the first holiday movie is here! As mentioned in the marathon announcement, we’re looking at a few Hallmark movies. Why did I start with Merry Kissmas? Frankly, its because there’s Brant Daugherty and I’m still missing Pretty Little Liars and thinking of rewatching the series. Like many romantic comedies, a lot of these types of stories are quite predictable however the winning point is in their believable and feel good factor. While that might sound like I don’t really care about these movies, I actually do like the entire feel-good happy endings especially during the holidays. So let’s see how this one is.
Merry Kissmas (2015)
Director: Michael Feifer
Cast: Karissa Lee Staples, Brant Daugherty, David O’Donnell, Brittany Underwood, Ion Overman, Roxanne Hart, Doris Roberts, Ben Levin, Keith Dobbins
A woman engaged to marry a self-centered film and stage director/choreographer falls for a caterer whom she kisses, as does he for her. – IMDB
Merry Kissmas is an entertaining title of these feel-good films. The story is quite simple. Kayla (Karissa Lee Staples) comes back to her hometown for her engagement party while her fiance Carlton (David O’Donnell) coincidentally is there to work on The Nutcracker ballet choreography and rehearsal for Christmas. Being the manager for Carlton also, she sees that her relationship is falling apart mostly because Carlton’s fame has pulled his attention away from her, leaving her with doubts about their future. At the same time, coming home warrants her a lot of unwanted attention from old neighbors. It is in one of these escapes that she meets Dustin (Brant Daugherty), a caterer who she kisses in the elevator spontaneously and have an instant connection with and soon realizes that he’s actually the caterer for her engagement party. To be fair, other than being set during Christmas and Kayla being a Nutcracker figurine collector (unique hobby might I say) and the Christmas decorations (mistletoe in the elevator) and of course, Santa (which I have some thoughts on), this movie is really just a romantic comedy. That isn’t a criticism, just an observation. While it had some clunky dialogue here and there (as I’ve come to expect from these films), it was pretty fun to watch and an all around good time.
Starting from the basics, Merry Kissmas does have some funny moments. For one, we do have Doris Roberts here as the elderly neighbor that keeps wanting to kiss Dustin under the mistletoe. Its a little weird but also pretty funny also. There’s also Roxanne Hart who plays Mrs. Joyner who ends up with some funny moments running down the road. Carlton and Kayla make for some laughable moments in the beginning although the film does a great job and showing how Carlton is really not for her in extreme ways and sticks in our face that he is a jerk. Some of the best parts do go to the banter between Dustin and his cousin Kim which leads to a hilarious scene with Dustin in the elevator.
Talking about Carlton and Kayla, we need to take a look at the romance here. It is quite obvious that Carlton and Kayla are not for each other right from the beginning. And David O’ Donnell and Karissa Lee Staples has a lot to do with them throwing in decent performances and making some parts properly cringeworthy as well. However, romcom is all about the featured couple and their chemistry and whether it feels like it is natural. Karissa Lee Staples and Brant Daugherty makes Kayla and Dustin believably perfect for each other. Sure, they have the usual hesitation trope and being sidetracked but they are one of the better and natural romances I’ve seen in these types of movies. Right from the start with their first spontaneous kiss, it feels really great to watch them together.
If I were to get a little weirded out about something here, it might be that Santa is everywhere. He is always around when Kayla is in town. I’m not sure if thats an emphasis at how small the town is or there is weird fairy godmother sort of thing to offer support and guidance but matches up with the Christmas theme. Second thing which I am starting to be okay with is the whole hanging a mistletoe on the elevator. At this point I have 3 of these TV movies to review (reviews coming soon) and there is an odd infatuation with mistletoe. Maybe its because I’ve always around people who don’t use mistletoe as decoration thats why it seems odd to me but to be fair, the first kiss for the lovebirds here are under a mistletoe but the mistletoe had nothing to do with it, the elevator did (apparently). Still, the justification is that its Christmas time. Why not, right? I’m really not that picky about Christmas TV movies.
The more I talk about this, its going to sound weird. Overall, Merry Kissmas is one of the better TV movies I’ve seen to date. Its fun, packs a nice dose of laughs and heartwarming plus Brant Daugherty and Karissa Lee Staples have great chemistry making it romantic and heartwarming. It delivers on being very feel-good and (if you are into this genre) a great choice to check out.