Christmas Wedding Planner (2017)

I am a glutton for bad movies, and for better or worse my friends are well aware of this. So much so, in fact, that a dear friend needed me to check out this movie. Yes, needed. It seemed like your typical “Christmas romantic TV movie,” but then I looked at the ratings. Wow! This is apparently one of the worst Christmas movies ever made? I ask because that’s a bold claim. But does it live up to that…? I mean, it’s no Red Christmas–where an aborted fetus all grown up named Cletus tries to kill his family–but this is very bad in a different, less overt way.

Quirky is planning the wedding of her cousin, The Bride. The wedding happens near Christmas. There, you got the title out of the way. Handsome is The Bride’s ex who disappeared years before, but took the time to crash her pre-wedding party. Turns out he’s a private investigator looking into The Groom and was hired by… someone. After some back and forth, Quirky agrees to work with Handsome to minimize his chances of ruining the wedding. Other characters who exist include Stern Aunt, Mr. Joey Fatone as the ambiguously gay best friend, and a chef who is such a perfectionist that he hates almost everything he makes (big mood). Anyway, Quirky and Handsome don’t find any dirt on The Groom, so the wedding is still on. Our protagonists apparently start to fall in love, but Stern Aunt reveals that Dead Uncle paid Handsome to disappear years before, and Handsome apparently recently showed up–before Dead Uncle died–to ask for more money. Handsome tries to explain, but Quirky is mad and rushes off to the wedding… which is ruined when Handsome shows up with Pregnant Housekeeper! And she’s pregnant with The Groom’s baby! I guess I forgot to mention this VERY IMPORTANT CHARACTER earlier because she was on screen for 10 seconds in the middle of the movie and didn’t get a name until this scene. The wedding’s called off but The Bride is weirdly okay with it, more interested in seeing if Quirky is okay post “breakup” with Handsome. Weird priorities, but whatever. Handsome explains that Dead Uncle actually had paid him to investigate The Groom. Then despite knowing each other for, like, a week, Handsome proposes to Quirky (Stern Aunt had to toss him her own ring because he apparently didn’t think this far ahead and fuck giving your ring to your actual daughter or anything) and the two take advantage of the already set up wedding. I guess we’re supposed to forget that half the people are there for the disgraced The Groom. What a romantic and not at all tacky ending!

Wait, what do you mean their names weren’t “Quirky” or “Handsome?” I call bullshit.

What was good about this? Hm… I liked the priest giving The Groom the stink eye after the cheating was revealed. The quality of the movie suggested the people behind the camera weren’t picked up off the street, and that said camera wasn’t bought at a pawn shop. And despite everyone saying the acting was awful, I thought it was only “pretty bad.” But that’s all the praise I have. One big problem was the movie refusing to tell its story organically; everyone has to have their motivations spelled out as bluntly and early as possible. Quirky tells us that a bridesmaid is jealous before she has a chance to open her mouth, or the chef tells us he can’t lie before we see him flustered and stumbling. But then it flips on some characters and we know absolutely nothing about them. Who was Joey Fatone’s character, really? Yeah, he was Handsome’s business partner, but can anyone give me any description of his personality beyond “ambiguously gay?” And having the big dramatic moment dependent on Pregnant Housekeeper–a character who has no personality and was on screen for a total of LITERALLY LESS THAN A MINUTE, I TIMED IT–was a bold decision.

Christmas Wedding Planner is yet another one of these quickly churned out flicks where the male lead radiates big “secretly gay but pretending to be straight so I can be the male love interest for the next decade” energy. Now, I wouldn’t normally bring this up, but I spent an hour last week cyberstalking a different actor because he gave off the same energy (and that was just from the trailer). Is Handsome’s actor actually gay? I can’t say for certain. Both he and last week’s actor have meticulous curated Instagram accounts with pictures of them buff as all hell or highlighting the movie they’re most recently starring in, but practically no personal details. One is (allegedly) married and the other (allegedly) has a girlfriend, but any details about the women–like their names–are complete mysteries. And this is not me shaming! Everyone lives their own life and if you’ve tapped into a solid money making movie vein, keep at it! I’m just saying I’ll be furiously texting the friend who recommended this film, “FUCKING CALLED IT!!” should he come out at any point.

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