Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday

Cheerful Christmas premiered on Sunday, December 15 on the Hallmark Channel.

Two gals, Lauren and Colleen, chat about a client wanting snow on Christmas. How can they deliver that to them? So are they decorators or… No. Wait they’re Christmas coaches? This is a full time job?!!! No no no. This is not a real job. It is not a sustainable way to make a living and no one is paying for a Christmas coach. Ironically, I do remember ANOTHER movie from a few years ago where a family hired a Christmas coach. But still. This is one of those things that only exists in Hallmark land.

Colleen gets a call. THE ANDERSONS want to hire them. You know, the Andersons, who are 53rd in line for the British throne and live in the US? They apparently need a Christmas Coach. Colleen shows a really ridiculous picture of our lead and their future client.

Back at home, Lauren video chats with her dad  He is not sure if he is coming home for Christmas because He’s too busy with charity. And she certainly can’t go to him..what with all her Christmas coaching. It used to be her mom’s charity but she died so now he’s running it.

The girls drive to the Anderson’s house. Lauren is like hey I read that article you sent me. You’re right! They are rich royals who now do business things! This is great. They are greeted at the door by a house keeper. The elder Andersons are not there but they left a list of stuff for them to do.

Oh no. Not a list! That’s not how they work. They want to come alongside their clients and spend Christmas with them. Here is an actual example of what people pay for-the girls suggested they MAKE shortbread instead of buying it. THAT’S HOW THEY COACH PEOPLE TO BE BETTER(?) AT CHRISTMAS. I don’t know that I can bear this movie. Truly.

There are a few rules in addition to the list. No decorating in the bedrooms or James’ (the son) office.

The girls split up to check out the house. Lauren walks into the dining room and envisions it all decorated. Is she magic? James sneaks up on her. He asks to see the list his parents came up with. He’s like, this is a great list. But Lauren wants to make more suggestions. He’s like nah, just stick to the list.

Back home, the girls decorate cookies with Colleen’s mom. Lauren grumbles and says how handsome James is. Colleen’s mom suggests they try again to get James more willing to be coached into having Christmas sprit. Honestly, do I have to keep doing this?

At the Andersons, James is drinking coffee and chatting with the house keeper in the morning. But James has no time for breakfast. He’s living in this massive empty house while he’s building his own house. If he just has his office built he’ll be fine. HE LOVES to work. Joyce, the housekeeper says she doesn’t see why the office is off limits to decorating. Then he gets a call. Joyce gives him a plate of pancakes anyway.

The girls show up to decorate. They have BINS upon BINS. Where did that decor come from? They are making a lot of noise and it is bothering James. Lauren is like, oh you’re working? But it’s such a lovely day. You should only work on days that have bad weather.

She tries to get him to help. He rolls his eyes hard. I do too. Did Lauen take some drugs before coming over? Colleen calls and says they got two more clients. WHAT! How?! How is Christmas coaching a thing. I know it’s not. It’s not!

Lauren agrees to do the Anderson’s alone. Joyce comes outside and is like oh you’ve done so much work. But… she only wrapped garland around two posts outside.

Lauren asks Joyce about how they used to celebrate. They used to go ALL OUT. See? Here’s a pic of James building a snowman? If that isn’t going all out, I don’t know what is. Joyce with the photographic memory also knows they got a tree. Any other tradition was left behind in England.

Later, Lauren is still working on that garland around the post.

Maryam, a no nonsense British(?) business person arrives. Then Lauren calls herself a career professional and shares a weirdly sexist comment that Colleen’s mom said.

Maryam and James have a no nonsense business meeting 

Maryam is clearly into James and wait, is she or isn’t she British? Or is she supposed to be British? She says, shall we have a few too many ciders? Oh yikes. Maryam, have some respect for yourself. Also, she’s definitely British (accent or not) because she says “shall.”

James and Maryam step outside and stands on a doormat and jingle bells plays. James is like oh this is really annoying. I don’t like this. And I’m a business person so I REALLY Don’t like this. Lauren becomes unhinged suggesting other options. James is like, can you chill? Also, I guess I likes Deck the Halls.

That night the girls string popcorn and cranberry and chat. Lauren says James lost his Christmas spirit. Ugh.

The next day, Lauren puts some Christmas decor in his office. That is supposed to be off limits!

She sees him on the stairs and asks his opinion about decor. Berries or bows? COME ON JAMES! How could you NOT have an opinion on this issue. Instead of saying, “I truly don’t care, pick whichever decorations are cheaper” He says berries and then says no. They always had bows. Wow. She is getting him to Reminisce and feel those nostalgic Christmas feels. Can’t put a price on that. But they can certainly work within your “Christmas Coach” budget.

James notices Christmas decor in his office and asks Joyce about it. He briefly turns into “The Beast” from Beauty and the Beast and rips his office apart. Joyce, who might be one of those long thin fancy teapots if she were to be turned into a house hold item, says he should thank her for disregarding the instructions and his privacy by placing a plant and a musical Santa in his office.

Lauren sees an old family picture downstairs. Then she tells James that “Point setty’s” are plants not flowers. Is Lauren drunk? She tells James she’s going to build a snowman during her break. Oh she’s trying to coach him into memory making. Instead, they stand there in silence.

Later, he sees her out the window.  He talks to his dad about Maryam and he says they’re just friends.  

Then, James goes outside and has a hat box. It is a tradition that the snowman wear his grandpas hat. Lauren is like no you have to place the hat upon his head. James says the snowman needs a scarf and a shovel instead of a broom. Why doesn’t he just make another one. It’s SO FUN after all. Guess what, as an adult? No it is not. It is backbreaking work that at once makes you miserably cold, wet and sweaty. So no, let’s not make a second one. Besides, he’s far too busy to make a second one.

James finally agrees if there is not snowball fight. Oh dear, is he in jeans? No, those are the wrong clothes for snowman building. Why, that’s the very shovel he used to shovel the walk as a boy. You’re telling me that shovel is 20+ years old? James names the snowman after his grandpa, William. I’m sure his grandpa would be SO TOUCHED. Oh the girl is Kate. Well that is so clever.

Joyce brings hot chocolate out. Why don’t they take a break? She made a fire. Lauren likes to eat hot chocolate outside. Again, is she drunk?

James asks how she has such a ridiculous job. Lauren talks about her mom’s charity that her dad runs. It’s called Holiday Hearts. Hey wait a minute. Also, do they only do things around the holidays?

James has that important business call now. Toodles!

The next day Lauren says she has an idea for the party venue and also gift shopping.

We see a quick shot of people playing polo.

Lauren is gift shoppingand wants to video chat with James. How on earth can she just like shop for people she doesn’t know? James agrees to meet her. Maryam hought he didn’t need to do anything if he hired her. Same, girl. Also she is not even trying to be British.

Lauren holds up a tiny figure skate decoration. James is like oh I should get that for my mom. She’ll love this cheap looking tiny Christmas decoration. I Actually I have something similar except it’s the set, it’s bigger and it lights up. So it’s way better. Also, not a Christmas gift.

What about Joyce? Kitchen supplies? No. How rude. Why don’t you just give her a vacuum? Dude I’d love kitchen supplies or a nice vacuum so what is she talking about? I ALSO WOULDN’T MIND A PELOTON. Just putting it out there so no one feels like I should be offended if I were to receive such an item.

They decide to get her…family? And so, like how does that work exactly? Adopt a child for her? Arrange a marriage?

Outside, Lauren starts three sentences in a row with the phrase “You know”.

Well, that was fun but James can’t deliver these gifts. He has Polo practice. But it’s a charity thing so don’t think I’m weird okay? All of us British people get together and play Polo in the winter here in the colonies for CHARITY. But why don’t I have my work assistant do some personal work for me and wrap all these? Lauren is like no no no. What on earth would you be paying me for if I didn’t wrap your Christmas presents for you? And of course, wrapping is Lauren’s specialty. I think we all know that it’s not mine.

Inside their office, Colleen says she hasn’t seen Lauren so excited about a client. Is she? It is hard to tell whether it is just the alcohol and/or drugs talking. These girls are truly so terrible. And Lauren needs a different hair style. I saw a picture of this actress online and she had this super flattering, long hair style and she’s like this limp curl situation going on and it is just not great.

At the office, James wants to decorate the boardroom with Christmas stuff. His assistant Kelly is like okay let me get some stuff together. And James is like, oh no not necessary. And then he takes the only two festive items off of poor Kelly’s desk to decorate the boardroom. She weeps silently at her desk.

Lauren comes by the office. She sees James handing all his employees candy canes as they leave the meeting. There is getting in the Christmas spirit and then there is becoming unhinged. James is dangerously near to that breaking point.

Lauren is here to get a Christmas tree with James. She has an appointment. Remember, Kelly? And then Kelly points to a blank appointment book page to show how it’s written down. So, I’d like to see a movie about Kelly and I hope she finds love.

They head to the tree lot and the snow is THIGH HIGH. What in the world. James shares that they stopped having a tree at home since they had a big party instead. Yeah, that makes sense!! James always said his favorite tradition was how his uncle would put envelopes of cash just for him in the Christmas tree.

Lauren used to sing carols at the nursing home with her dad. This reminds me how my mom and aunt used to make my siblings and cousins and I put on little concerts at our local nursing home. I tell you what, those residents got what they paid for. Nothing like hearing Hot Cross Buns 6 times on the recorder to really liven your spirits.

Then James picks out a dumb tree. It’s got way too much silliness on top. They’re going to have to cut like a foot of that nonsense off the top. Also, is he wearing jeans again? Lauren tries to toss him the saw and trips and he catches her. Oh what a magic moment.

The next morning, the fridge is out at the Anderson manor so Joyce has to bake before all the perishables go to waste. I don’t see any perishables on the counter but I do see a BUNCH of Tupperware containers.

Joyce sends them to the attic for Christmas tree ornaments.

Up in the attic, James shares that his family all seemed to just grow out of doing a lot of Christmas things. Does Lauren have a cold or something? Okay, in this attic there is a pile of at least four tree stands. Why on earth.

Downstairs, they begin decorating the fakest looking fake tree I have ever seen in a Hallmark movie and never have I noticed more that that is NOT the tree they picked.

Not even trying to be British Maryam walks in and she wants to celebrate closing the Lifton (?) deal. Ew she says bubbly. James is like oh well I’m kind of in the middle of this tree decorating business. Maryam is like, isn’t that what you pay Lauren for? Yes, isn’t it??? Doesn’t she have a coworker? Oh, well here’s the thing Maryam. Colleen is gravy sampling… so she can’t help.

Maryam is SO AGGRESSIVE. She says okay well I am going to accompany you to your Christmas party James so we can DRINK ALCOHOL TOGETHER. James is like okay but you can drink on your own time also.

Lauren hands him the star to put on top before any lights are on and only a handful of ornaments have been placed. You sure know your way around a tree Lauren!.

James shares that he’s a little sad that Dean Lifton lost his business. He worked so hard and then he put it up for sale and James bought it. But still, I guess.

The finishing touch on the super fake tree is a big ol bow. Looks great guys. It is now dark. How long have they been decorating? They go to the kitchen to see Christmas cookies just set out. Joyce didn’t cover them or anything. Lauren is like wait, we need to toast. I think there’s some eggnog in the fridge. Pass. She goes to the fridge and James bites into his super crunchy cookie. Lauren shares that she and Colleen and her toast every day. Do they have a little bit o f a problem maybe?

James can’t swallow that dry crunchy cookie in time and Lauren catches him. Lauren calls him uptight and he is shocked at this description of himself. Joyce comes in and she’s like you can’t eat these. I only made like ten cookies and they’re for something else. They scamper out and Lauren discovers that James sneaked two cookies.

I am so bummed at how crunchy these cookies sound. Lauren says that tomorrow is gift giving day for some reason. Joyce catches them again sittin on the stairs. Probably because the crunch sound was so loud it could be heard next door.

James gets up and says he’s so busy with phone calls and acquisitions. That’s great.

The next day, the Christmas coaches pound more hot chocolate at their HQ. Lauren is thinking of making the party smaller at the Anderson’s house.

Then Lauren goes to James’ office to give Kelly her gift. Lauren is surprised that James is there on a work day. Kelly loves the donation made in her name to the Human fund.

James decides he wants to deliver all the gifts to everyone. We don’t see ANY of that.
Later, he says he loved delivering all the gifts. Lauren says they’re going to carry out on his family traditions! Starting with ice skating! Look, Joyce dug these out for us. Then here is like the 50th thing Hallmark says is like riding a bike. I just don’t think it is.

Lauren makes a thermos of big chocolate.

Oh sad, are they both using figure skates?

Lauren goes ooking for Joyce and sees a room she’s never noticed before. She freaks. Joyce approaches. Is this like a ballroom? Lauren wonders. Joyce tells Lauren she’s so glad James is going ice skating. He has so little joy in life, what with being mega wealthy and being part of the royal family. Though they were seemingly exiled to the US.

Lauren visualizes the decorations in the room. HahahahhahHha its just a bunch of balloons. GOOD JOB LAUREN. She imagines dancing with James. James approaches and is weirded out by her standing there with her eyes closed. The she fixes his scarf.

They go to a really cool….like irrigation canal that is frozen over for skating. Where is this? James asks if she’s this hand on with all her clients. Yes, honestly what else is she doing?

Then he takes her hand while they skate. She tells him about other things she does with her clients and well, THEY ARE ALL DUMB THINGS YOU WOULDNT PAY PEOPLE FOR.

James asks, What is her Christmas wish? A Peloton. Oh, no that’s me again. No, she wants her dad to spend more time with her. Why doesn’t she go there? I don’t get it. Then she suggests an idea for his business. But he explains that’s not what they do. They acquire businesses.

Then they quote the Santa clause. Believing is seeing. I do think it is the best Christmas movie but I am annoyed that we have that opinion in common. They decide they’re going to watch all three Santa clauses that day. FUN. But no, for real that actually does sound fun.

They go back to the house and James says he likes the mat and all the Christmas stuff. They stare at each other. Then, Lauren says she’s going to get the popcorn. Lauren spends 3 hours making the popcorn and dying it red and green. Unsurprisingly, James disappears. Oh, hee’s in the ballroom reminiscing. Then they dance to no music. Wait, what about the Santa Clause movies and that gross popcorn? Oh now they have a moment and he invites her to the charity polo thing. Then they do the SLOWEST lead in to a kiss and his phone rings. He has to take it because it’s Maryam. She leaves. No movies after all I guess!

I do love how Lauren’s house is decorated. It’s very cute. She video chats with Colleen. How many people in real life video chat that much?
She says the day was fine. She is sad about James because he seems pretty set with ol not British Maryam.
What does that sign say on her wall? Happy nest?

It’s Polo time! Not British Maryam has super intense eyebrows. James talks to Maryam about his new approach for the Lifton company. She’s not stoked on it. The way she described it I’m not either.
In the crowd, Lauren wears an unflattering hat. She cheers like its a football game but apparently it’s more like golf cheering? Wait now they’re all cheering.

Now they are at the house but it’s not the Christmas party. It’s a different fundraising party. What? Did Lauren plan this one too?
Oooooh Lauren waves and Maryam sees this and steals James away.
Then a guy hands her an empty cup. To be fair, she is wildly UNDER dressed.
Colleen gives her a pep talk. She says, who’s the one making the difference here? Wait, is the answer supposed to be Lauren?How is it her? She has one of the silliest jobs in the whole world. Lauren decides tot go back to James’ to…tell him how she feels I think?

Back at James house, Maryam seems like she’s leaving. She is so snarky and condescending. And then she introduces Lauren to the parents who hired her. They love what she’s done at the house. Lauren suggests having the party at the ballroom. She’s like, well actually you don’t have a choice because I sent out evites to all the guests and got everything set for here. All without asking you guys first!! Thank goodness for Lauren, they’re in. Boy Maryam is just like WORKING SO HARD. She’s like well that will be easier for me since James and I are going to the party together.

Lauren is sad and leaves. Wait, I thought it was night time. What day is it? What time is it? Lauren cries in her car. Maryam seems to take joy in this and walks rigidly to her own car.

James comes down stairs and talks to his parents about the party and Lifton deal. His dad is on board with the new approach there too. What breezy parents he has.

The sign outside the girls’ office is stupid. Inside, they are decorating a tree. Lauren is bummed about James and Maryam. Colleen suggests they toast to all the work she ‘s done but she’s too sad.

Back at home she drinks hit chocolate our of a Santa mug
Calls her dad but he doesn’t answer. Too busy with that nondescript charity!

At James house she’s all glammed up and thank goodness they didn’t go with the ballon theme from her dreams. James is like, are you coming to the party? She’s like duh I’m all dressed up you idiot.

It’s party time! Oh, good there are balloons. Maryam finds James andShe’s like let’s get drunk. The ONLY WAY to celebrate this acquisition is with alcohol. He’s like, pass. Also do you have a problem?

Then, Lauren makes a speech. She asks everyone to put the envelopes they brought in the tree. But she says, James these are not envelopes of money for you. They’re for charity. James and his parents love it. They’re so touched. Maryam is back again like I need a drink! Let’s dance! James is like, we need to get you some help.
Lauren is like well, I’m all done so I’m going to leave. Joyce, you can clean all this up right?

On the dance floor, Maryam lays it all out for James. She wants to be more than friends. Oh does she? I hadn’t noticed. He’s like nah we’re great friends. Are they? She kind of seems like the WORST.
Then she meets Peter, James obnoxious cousin. And they seem perfect together because she knows about sports. She even used the phrase “two point conversion” so… she’s real into it.

James catches Lauren about to leave and he tells her he’s donating to her mom’s charity. Oh that’s so nice! Okay bye. She leaves and he’s like okay thanks for everything! I had a great Christmas! HAGS!

The next day (?) The girls hang stockings and plan a Santa clause marathon. Again, it sounds fun but I don’t want to hang out with them.
James gives Joyce a present. He gives her.. what? Oh a flight home to see her sister that leaves in six hours! Cool! A Red Eye Christmas Eve flight. James you are just TOO kind. Joyce tells him that she thinks Lauren thought he was with Maryam. Oh dear, really? Oh James, you truly are an idiot.

At Colleen’s parents, The girls do charades with Colleens family. The doorbell rings. It’s her dad! He was able to get some help so he could come for Christmas! Then James arrives. He played a role in orchestrating this. Lauren is like, how did you find my dad?!! He’s like, well it’s 2019 so it’s SUPER easy? Then he says that shee’s made his Christmas special. She kisses him. It’s snowing so they go out and stand in it. Whew. Glad that’s over with. Let’s see how we scored.

  • Workaholic too busy for Christmas
  • Christmas Gala
  • Christmas baking
  • Winter athletics
  • Christmas puns
  • an alleged sassy and wise best friend (though I found Colleen to be neither sassy nor wise)

Total score: 6/20

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