After starting her job as a dishwasher at a country club restaurant, Callie (Rachel Boston), – an aspiring chef and recreational ice sculptor (I guess that’s a thing) – reconnects with David, a person she met one time for about ten seconds when they were both small children. Somehow, these two remember each other effortlessly from what must have been at least twenty years ago. David, played by an actor who is also named David (Alpay), is a wealthy member of the country club that now employs Callie. How serendipitous! Based on what he remembers about Callie from that one time when they were seven years old, David enters Callie into the club’s annual Christmas ice sculpting competition without her knowing. Callie is now forced to go head-to-head with her new boss, Chef Gloria (Brenda Strong). This is made to be a much bigger deal than it probably would be in real life. Predictably, Callie and David get huge boners for each other as she prepares David to be her partner in the competition. Mixed in there is an evil sous chef looking to sabotage Callie, a dead mother’s last wish, and a whole load of horseshit about social class differences that doesn’t make any goddamn sense.
- This was the “world premiere” of Ice Sculpture Christmas and it was at 2:00 P.M. on a Sunday afternoon. If your movie premieres at 2:00 P.M. on a Sunday afternoon, you might not have a very good movie.
- This is the second Hallmark original I have watched and also the second Hallmark original I have watched that starts with a scene of our main character as a child, which basically explains the rest of the movie. If you can explain your entire movie in a thirty second prologue, you might not have a very good movie.
- This was not a very good movie.
- In the opening scene we also meet David’s dad, who David refers to as “The King of Wall Street.” Before I could say it to myself, Callie says to David “does that make you the prince of Wall Street?” My brain came up with the same joke as a Hallmark movie writer’s brain. I will now cite this moment any time I am asked what my greatest weakness is during a job interview.
- The first we see modern day Callie she is creating a fairly underwhelming ice sculpture in her front lawn. She is then late to work. Maybe don’t do something that takes four hours the morning before your first day at work.
- For her job as a dishwasher she shows up to work with perfectly curled hair, a face covered in makeup, a short dress with tights, and a beautiful cream-colored peacoat. I imagine when she gets a head chef job she will show up in a ballroom gown made of ivory and platinum.
- Despite showing up to work late on her first day, and despite being employed as a dishwasher, Callie is selected by her boss to give an ice sculpting demonstration that day. This has not been my experience when showing up late to work. For me it’s usually more like “Jesse. You are a teacher. Stop being late to work all the time or you are fucking fired, dude.”
- David passes by the demonstration Callie is giving and interrupts her to crack a joke about bringing the sculpture inside because they are low on ice. Everyone laughs and is totally fine with this cheesedick making everything all about him.
- A big moment in this movie is when Callie and David enter a different ice sculpting competition in order to practice for the big one at the end of the movie. It is here that I made two very important revelations.1) These two schmucks are trash at ice sculpting. Their sculpture (before it breaks, twice) is far and away the worst one at the competition. There is a guy making a three dimensional Christmas cottage with to scale furniture inside and they make a super-lame gingerbread man. And then that gingerbread man breaks in two different places. 2) The guy making the super cool cottage is black. As far as I can gather, this is the first time in almost two full movies that I have seen an obviously non-white character. This is equally really surprising and not at all surprising.
- The sneak-attack saddest part of this movie, much sadder than all of the boring shit around Callie’s dead mom, is the fact that David can not close with Callie. They are both available and clearly interested in one another and spending many hours every day together, but it takes him several weeks to finally kiss her. If this tall, handsome, rich dude can’t seal the deal, what the shit is a chubby, broke, nerd like me going to do? I suspect this is the most I will ever relate to a Hallmark Christmas movie character.
- When they do finally kiss, and every time after that, David makes an audible “MUAH” sound. Like a fucking monster. I am certain this is the least I will ever relate to a Hallmark Christmas movie character.
- About an hour and a half into this movie, I realized that it has very little to do with Christmas. It is Christmas adjacent, certainly, but none of the movie has anything to do with Christmas or even takes place on Christmas. This might bother me less if the word Christmas wasn’t one third of the title.
- The villain of this movie, a jealous and evil sous chef, is way over-the-top and overall pretty lame, but at one point she sarcastically mentions to Callie that she is special and then says “Don’t forget, the specials change daily.” The two friends I suckered into watching this movie with me and I all, in unison, yelled “OH SHIT!” when she said that. Even in regards to made-for-TV Christmas movies, game recognize game.
- Callie and David’s sculpture in the final competition is, surprise surprise, a big piece of shit. And then, as everything is wrapping up and turning out perfectly for our beloved heroes, they say some garbage about how they don’t care if they win the competition because they have already won in life or whatever and then the movie ends AND THEY DON’T SHOW WHO WINS THE COMPETITION. I sunk two hours into a movie expecting to be able to 1) criticize the stupidity of their clearly inferior ice sculpture winning the competition OR 2) revel in the fact that they lost after spending months preparing and basically not getting any better. Hallmark robbed me of either of those feelings and it is an experience that I will likely never recover from. Even typing this right now is making me physically upset.
Favorite Quotes, Taken Out of Context:
- “Dishwasher is the most important job in the whole kitchen.”
- “Ever since we met I haven’t been able to look at ice the same way.”
- “You didn’t think he’d actually fall for a dishwasher, did you?”
- “The prize is 10,000 dollars.” “Is that a lot?”
- “Christmas decorations are pretty, and besides, they’re good for the heart.”
- “On one condition. Call me Frank.”
- “You got some serious chops. No pun intended.” (There was no pun)
I don’t know that I could have ever predicted that, as a 26 year old, I would be publicly complaining about how offensive Hallmark made-for-TV movies are; but here we are. One of the subplots of Ice Sculpture Christmas is that David and Callie can’t be together because they come from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Hallmark presents some very confused (see: wrong) opinions on social class inequities, which I would like to address. David, as previously mentioned, is the undisputed prince of Wall Street. Callie, on the other hand, seems to think she is ultra-poor, at one point even unfavorably comparing herself to Cinderella when insisting that she and David can’t be together. Contrary to what some may think, working at country club (Callie) is different than being what is essentially a slave (Cinderella). Also, no poor people in the history of poor people have ever had ice sculpting as a hobby. Not to be outdone by Callie’s lack of understanding of how the world works, David thinks that, although his family is very wealthy and he attended Princeton, that he hasn’t had any special privileges in life. He points out that nobody got those good grades for him, while smartly avoiding the fact that his family was able to afford tuition at an Ivy League school in addition to all of the other benefits one receives from being a straight white male in a super-rich family. Look, I get that, in the grand scheme of things, the uninformed opinions of movies like this have little to no consequence, but talking about this type of stuff makes me sound smart and important and socially aware, which is all I really care about.
Personal Sanity Outlook:
Yesterday, Fallout 4, a thing I have been looking forward to for over a year, came out. Today, instead of doing a thing that I like, I spent four hours writing 1,500 words about a thing that I hate. No one forced me to do this. I can’t explain any of this.