Holiday Date premiered on the Hallmark Channel on December 14, 2019.
The movie begins with a no-nonsense British woman walking through a department store. She is on the phone with an important client. She walks straight up to our lead, Brooke to tell her she needs to make a dress work for this very important client. It is a great dress and the client loves. She tells the client that she wants to be a real designer. And then they realize they grew up really close to each other. What a coinky dink.
After the appointment, Brooke asks the very important British woman if she had a chance to look at her sketches. The British woman is seemingly wearing evening wear to work. The British lady says no she is too busy to look at her sketches. Also, what would a department store manager even do if she liked the sketches? It’s not like Macy’s has their own like, designer line of clothes?
Back at home, Brooke is furiously sketching and then spills her coffee all over her designs. Her mom calls. Her parents can’t WAIT to meet Ethan, her boyfriend. She is making fruitcake. Why?
Later, she goes to her friend’s house and drops off a candle and wine glasses. The friend is like, oh! The candle I wanted! Is that a thing? She is wearing one of her own designs that day. Well that is neat. She tells her friend that she thinks Ethan, or Mr. Christmas, might be “the one”.
At work, Brooke’s boss looks at her sketches. They’re fine but they are not CUTTING EDGE. That’s the only way she’s going to make it in the design world. The boss starts to walk away but then Brooke gives a little speech about the history of fashion. Her boss is like, who cares?
That night at dinner, Ethan says he can’t get away for the holidays. Also it is too soon to meet her parents. He would just much rather be a busy business boy than be in a serious relationship. He also thinks she cares more about bringing a guy home for the holidays than actually being in a relationship.
Then she heads to the friendsmas party. She chats with a stranger outside. His name is Joel and he is also headed to the party.
Inside, Brooke’s friend tells her to just forget about Joel and have fun. Brooke is wearing a great necklace so at least she has that going for her.
We here Joel talk to his manager and the party host about the part he’s up for. He’s very excited about it. Then he and Brooke talk about how her life is going nowhere. She’s disappointed with her career and she just got dumped. What a bummer. Then the party hosts approach and are like well Joel, you should go home with Brooke for Christmas. It would be a great way for you to learn about small towns for this part you’re up for. And oh! You should pretend to be her boyfriend too. Everyone would win that way!
Then Brooke’s mom calls. And she answers, even though she is at a party. Her mom is going ON AND ON about how excited they are to meet Ethan.
Meanwhile, Joel’s agent is psyching him up to do it too.
And I’m wondering how Brooke has been dating this guy for SIX MONTHS and has NEVER sent a picture of them together to her mom or sister. If my sister in law mentions a guy ONCE, I demand to see his photo. Little does she know that this is to prevent her from trying to bring a fake boyfriend home for the holidays.
So anyway, they both get talked into doing this.
The next day, they are driving to her hometown and she is seemingly telling Joel about Ethan. It’s a two hour drive so I’m sure they’ll cover it all. But really, all he needs to know would be stuff she’s already told her parents about. He doesn’t have to like literally be the exact same. And so far, it seems like the only thing she’s told her parents is that he’s really in to Christmas.
They decide to stop and get a cup of coffee. Outside, Joel is like, this town is straight out of a Frank Capra movie! He is just eating it all up. Then he asks about her parents, specifically, what their names are. How did they not cover this in the two hour drive? I mean, what else would they talk about? He shares that his parents are also actors so they are traveling over the holidays doing… I’m not sure, a Ren fair?
Then they run into CHERYL. It’s CHERYL you guys. You know, Brooke’s friend who is literally only in one other scene in this movie? Joel does a terrible job pretending to be Ethan and Brooke panics.
Next, they pull up to her parents’ house and she panics and decides to try to leave. But then she gives up and pulls back in. Joel kisses the mom on both cheeks and bear hugs the dad.
Inside, it’s brunch time. The family asks Joel standard get to know you questions and Joel panics about every single one. What did they talk about on that drive? Brooke’s sister is Lucy from Sense, Sensibility and Snowmen! The sister and her husband, Glen are remodeling their house. “Ethan” is an architect so they ask if he wouldnt mind coming by sometime to give his opinion. Joel is TRULY a terrible actor.
Glen tries to get out of family festivities by saying he has to go to work. Walter, the dad, is like, no you can’t go to work. I need help putting my Christmas lights up. Glen volunteers Joel to help. Joel is like yay! That sounds fun. And then he decides he’s going to start acting like Jimmy Stewart.
They start putting up the lights and Joel is very bad at it. I don’t know why being an architect would make you good at putting up lights though. Or why it would be weird that a single guy who lives in NYC would know how to put lights up. So for some reason, they end up leaving them droopy since Joel didn’t clip the lights in correctly. Walter is suspicious.
Inside, the girls are washing all the dishes by hand. WHY. The sister and mom both tell Brooke they like Ethan, so that is a win!
Brooke decides to take Joel into town. They stop at the hardware store run by her uncle. Joel loses his mind in the store. Like he’s never seen a hammer being offered for sale. If you told me that Joel was actually an alien pretending to be human, instead of one human pretending to be a different human, I would believe you. Then he quizzes Hank about small town hardware store ownership. Brooke decides to leave him there to do more Christmas shopping.
Joel wanders into an alley Christmas tree lot.What a weird place for a Christmas tree lot. He asks to buy the BIGGEST ONE THEY HAVE.
He comes back to the house and Brooke greets him at the door. Wait, why did she leave him downtown and come back by herself? How did he get that tree home? He is just BEAMING from ear to ear. Again I ask, alien or human? The family is like, oh we usually pick trees together. They bring the tree inside and it doesn’t fit in the living room.
Brooke s like, why are you such an idiot? Joel says, oh I’m Jewish so I don’t know anything about Christmas. Then they overhear the mom say the ham is ready. Joel is like, oh cool! I’ve never had ham. So is he just throwing his kosher views to the wind or did he just happen to not have ham growing up?
Then Joel helps Tessa, Brooke’s niece, with her audition for some community theatre Christmas play.
At the audition, Joel goes full stage mom, reciting the lines as Tessa cites them on stage. When she comes out and says she got the part, he says, Mavel Tov! The play director, Roger, comes out and says he needs help with the costumes. Why does a small community theatre need hand made costumes? Joel continues to do a TERRIBLE JOB pretending to be Ethan. Roger is also struggling to do his job.
Back at home, Brooke’s mom is like, I just wanna BAKE. Girl, I feel that. Joel is like, you know what you should bake? A gingerbread house. We all LAUGH AND LAUGH.
Brooke and Joel leave to do some sketching. Joel is apparently supposed to sketch the gingerbread house pieces. Why doesn’t he just look up a template online and trace that and take credit for it? Or, why doesn’t the mom suggest something way less complicated and time consuming? Instead, he does little better than a 6 year old child. Brooke and Joel talk about his childhood. Brooke’s mom comes in and asks Joel to taste the icing. Isn’t it supposed to not taste really good because it’s supposed to be glue?
Then, they make the gingerbread house and it goes exactly how my gingerbread house making experiences go. Walter walks in and is just NOT buying Joel at ALL.
After dinner, Brooke is like, look, you are REALLY bad at acting. Also, are you an alien?
Glenn and the sister arrive and they are very disapointed in the gingerbread house also.
Joel sneaks away to start decorating the tree all by himself. He just sets all the ornaments on the branches. They all walk in and are just aghast. IS JOEL AN ALIEN FOR REAL.
Later, he eats all the popcorn they were going to use for the tree while he watches himself in a commercial. Joel is like, look, I’m REALLY bad at this. Let’s just tell them I’m Jewish, okay?
Later, they gather around the piano to sing carols. Walter is like, yes this is a tradition for just me and my girls. So he makes Glen and Joel stand away from the piano. This is so great. Brooke’s mom puts Joel totally on the spot and is like, take it away Joel! Which is a mean thing to do to your guest whether they know the song or not! Sheesh. Joel doesn’t know a WORD and then finally admits he is Jewish.
Then he says he is having SO MUCH FUN. What a precious little alien. Then Tessa suggests they celebrate both holidays! Great idea Tess. Walter decides to let Joel plug in the Christmas lights and he promptly blows out all the fuses in the entire house because that’s how electric wiring in homes work!
The next morning, the sister and Glenn bring over bagels and lox. Is that racist or nice? Regardless, they are all in on celebrating Hanukkah! They ask if he could come over and give them his opinion about their remodel. He obviously does not want to go agrees to go for some reason. Joel obviously knows nothing. He can’t read the blueprints and he suggests a bay window INSIDE the house and also on a load bearing wall. ALIEN. Joel is doing a terrible job and Walter knows something is up.
Later, Joel hears from his agent that he’s in the final round of 5 actors up for the part. Brooke shows him more sketches of costumes. He says she is really talented. She should do costumes! They both share about where their love for their talents came from. Though I do think Joel should find another career. Joel goes to get some hot chocolate and asks Brooke if she wants any. She says no. Is she a monster?
In the living room, Walter is watching football. I think Joel starts to give him a shoulder rub? Am I remembering that right? OMG if he did that would be SO WEIRD. He starts to clean his glasses and Joel offers to help. He keeps them from Walter while his commercial plays and then gives them back. Great work little alien.
Later, Joel works with Tessa on her part. Brooke is heading into town to get stuff for costumes. Joel is like, maybe I’ll meet you there. Do they have infinity vehicles or what? Joel does more acting exercises with Tessa and Walter walks in. He is unimpressed.
Brooke goes into a bridal shop. Glen and her sister see her. She sees a dress she likes. Glenn and the sister creep through the window.
They see Joel come out of a jewelry shop. OMG. They are SO engaged, thinks the sister and Glenn.
Brooke’s mom freaks. She tells Water she thinks they’re engaged. Walter is suspicious. Brooke’s dad wonders why she hasn’t said anything.
Later, Joel leads Brooke to their fire pit which isn’t the surprise. No he bought a bunch of blow up lawn ornaments? Joel says he loves this town.
They come inside. The family is all waiting and saying they already know.
She starts to apologize about the deception but the family is like yeah we know you’re engaged. The girls whisk Brooke away to talk about wedding plans.
Walter shakes Joel’s hand. Glen is just stoked on the bachelor party.
Brooke and Joel sit in the living room wondering how they recover from this. They don’t want to ruin Christmas OR Hanukkah. Joel wants to double down. Her mom walks in and shows them all the Hanukkah crafts she made.
Later, Brooke and Joel go to a coffee shop. Brooke orders a ginger tea which really bums me out. Joel doesnt want her family to be mad at him. Brooke says they really love him. Cheryl comes in and wants to take a picture of them? Why? That is so weird. She immediately posts the picture on instagram without Brooke’s permission (but in front of her so…I guess?) SO MANY HASHTAGS, including Ethan’s full name. But how does she know Ethan’s full name and why would she use that as a hashtag? I don’t understand. And Cheryl doesn’t understand Instagram.
Back home, Brooke has Joel try on a coat. They look like they’re about to kiss but the mom interrupts. The Ethan calls and says, hey so what’s up? I got tagged in a photo. No, Ethan, you didn’t and unless you are constantly searching for a hashtag of your own name, you would never know about this picture. For some reason, Brooke doesnt leave the room while she takes the call. So all her responses are like very generic. Ethan is like why are you being so weird right now.
Later the family sings Christmas carols and get Joel a Hanukkah gift. Oh, they got him a Menorah. Tomorrow is the first night of Hanukkah! Brooke says she’s having a good time.
The next morning (?) Joel comes in with donuts. Brooke takes a bite and Joel wipes something off her face. The donuts are a traditional first day of Hanukkah treat. Or is it first night of Hanukkah eve? WHAT TIME OF DAY IS IT. They are all eating powder sugar donuts without plates or napkins. Walter asks where he grew up. He could tell the truth about all of this. They literally do not know where the real Ethan grew up so it wouldn’t matter. The mom asks them to teach him another song.
Uh Oh. Ethan shows up. He says he was knocking and no one answered so he JUST LET HIMSELF IN. What on Earth? So Brooke just DOUBLES DOWN and says this is a DIFFERENT Ethan from Design School. They leave together to have lunch. Wait, what time is it?
Ethan and Brooke chat at a coffee shop. He is understandably weirded out by what she is doing. She wanted to have her very own HOLIDAY DATE. Her family really likes him… and so does she. Ethan is like, are you sure you’re just friends? Brooke is like, no you were right to break up with me. You have a terrible haircut so I know we’re not meant to be. Joel sees them hug and possibly misinterprets. Oh, he DEFINITELY MISINTERPRETS.
Back at home, Joel is wondering if his agent has heard anything. He also asks how it’s going with Brooke. He hangs up abruptly. Glen invites him to build a snowman. Joel is too bummed out to participate. Glen and his wife just have a fire going in the middle of the day outside. Making s’mores in the middle of the day like animals.
Brooke is sitting inside. Apparently she DID NOT give Joel the download. Her sister comes in to have a chat. It is a nice heart to heart. Brooke says there’s something she needs to tell her. But then Tessa interrupts and Brooke chickens out.
She goes outside to get Joel. She can tell something’s wrong. Brooke tells him what really happened. And then she shares what she really thinks about Joel. She wishes he could be himself. And then she throws a snowball at him. And they have a cute tackling snowball fight. Oh, she says it’s fun being you and me. That’s cute. Then She gives him a light white wash.
Joel sings a Hanukkah song. I’m not Jewish but I think he’s doing it wrong. Or badly. Tessa is like PRESENTS. Joel is like, no that’s not what we do. It’s like 8 nights of stocking stuffers, girl.
The next night they sing the only Hanukkah song I know. And then they play with dreidels. Brooke’s mom is all in, which I think is really sweet. She has done all this research and seems to now know as much as Joel. How lovely and welcoming is this family to Joel? I hate the premise on which this movie is founded but it sure is shaping up to be a really nice movie.
Later Brooke shows off the dress she made. And then Brooke says her mom can’t call Joel’s parents because they are on a cruise.
Walter and Joel chat. Why isn’t he with his parents? He says his parents are on safari. But also, like clearly he chose to do Christmas with her family. That is why he’s not spending the holidays with his family. Why isn’t that enough of a reason?
Brooke gets a call from Roger. He is cancelling practice and then she looks even more concerned. So, they head to the theatre. Roger lost his voice! He has to cancel the whole thing. Why can’t Joel do this? Her sister is like, you’re an architect. YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY ACT.
They get the theatre all working. Brooke says now she isn’t sure NY Runways are for her. She wants to make timeless stuff. Joel is like, maybe you should just be a costume designer. Costumes are so timeless! It’s time to go! Time to light that menorah. Oh they say their traditions go well together. That is nice.
Oh they get home, and her mom points out that they’re standing under the mistletoe. Oh no. They kiss! IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. Ugh. I die on their behalf. Yikes.
They are getting his parents travel mixed up. Then Brooke’s mom says called actual Ethan’s parents and left a message. Oh boy. WHY ON EARTH? I mean no one would actually do that.
The next day they sing more carols around the piano. Wally looks over and sees Glen on his phone. Wah wah. Brooke’s mom makes latkes. Walter says there is Christmas in one room and Hanukkah in the other. How does it get better than that? Well that is really sweet. So then they eat latkes and sing carols.
Later,she readjusts Joel’s jacket to do the play. Joel makes a comment about their relationship. He says they are more than friends. Then, he calls Larry, his agent. WAIT LARRY IS MARRIED TO A WOMAN? What? Larry doesn’t have an update yet on the part.
Oh no. Walter hears the whole thing. He angrily crunches a candy cane. He pulls Glenn aside. He says he heard his name was Joel Parker and was an actor. Glen whips out his phone. Brooke’s mom got a call from EThan’s mom and of course was very confused. They think Joel is tricking her? What?
Oh, Joel says he has to go on tonight but all he can think about is them together. He goes to tell them but they seem mad and say, yeah we know. Brooke fesses up. The mom is very disappointed in both of them. They are both very sorry. But then they just walk out of the room. They should say how they like each other now!
Joel stands outside by the fire pit. Walter approaches. Joel apologizes again. Then Walter says he needs to know something. How does he really feel about Brooke? Oh he says he cares for her with all his heart. He’s not acting. He’s not that good. Walter says, he knows. He just saw his commercial. SAVAGE WALTER.
Brooke’s mom says she’s still a little upset. But how does she really feel about Joel? Well she sure does like him a lot. They have a nice chat. The mom thinks this guy is worth the risk!
It’s time for the play. Great costumes. Tessa and Joel crush it. Joel gives Brooke a shout out about the costumes.
After the show, the woman in the play says she loves the costumes. Then Roger introduces her to a friend and also her boss? The British lady was like, I didn’t understand or realize how talented she was. She wants Brooke on her senior design team. She doesnt want that anymore. She wants to be a costume designer. Well I think she should take the senior design job anyway.
They have another apology moment outside to Tessa. Oh, she didn’t witness the original apology. Tessa asks if he’s really her boyfriend? And Brooke says YES HE IS! And Wally and Glen approve. They all leave.
Joel’s phone rings. It’s Larry. Oh he didn’t get the part.Joel is a little bummed but he’s okay. He tells Brooke he didn’t get the role. She says that was a mistake. He says he’d rather do community theatre and wait for something he believes in. Oh, Joel says he could see himself living here some day. Oh now it’s Christmas Eve dinner? Or Christmas Day dinner? Walter decides to pass the torch of carving the turkey to Glenn. Oh, Glenn says he’s been waiting 15 years for this. And then Walter says he can call him Dad. Hahahhaa finally. He gave Walter a grandchild and now he can call him dad. Glen doesn’t know how to carve a turkey.
Joel got her a necklace with a Christmas tree and a menorah on it. That’s cute. They KISS again and then eat dinner. Let’s see how we did!
- Christmas pageant
- Snowball fight
Wow, only 2/10.