credit: Netflix

Christmas Inheritance (2017) ***

Hallmark-style Christmas romances are probably best framed in that way, rather than actually summarizing the plot. This is one of those genres where predictability is considered a feature rather than a bug. I tell you it’s a Hallmark-style small town Christmas romance where an heiress visits her dad’s hometown and falls for an artist/innkeeper, you can imagine every beat.

All of the expected occurs. The movie stands on its marks when it’s supposed to, and there are no major disappointments. Indeed, this is the rare small town romance that acknowledges unhoused people. Usually small town romances seem to happen in a fantasy land with no relation to reality. This one peeked into reality long enough to say, “Maybe we treat everyone like humans who exist in our idyllic small town?” and I appreciated it.

Otherwise there is really nothing to be said about this. It’s a Hallmark-style movie about a Hallmark-style heiress and they live Happily Ever After. It helped me realize I definitely prefer Christmas romance movies that have an emphasis on the com, though. My personal taste is for louder comedy. Or any comedy. This was a pretty sedate romance.

I really liked this hero, though. Dudeface is a normal looking- and acting-dude on the outside, but he’s a deranged little Christmas weirdo and the actor doesn’t seem to realize it in the portrayal. It’s objectively hilarious to get sad about your ex and listen to “Silent Night” loudly in the office. He sits around sadly drawing Christmas stuff, like reindeer. He’s kind of a little defensive shit when he learns the heroine kept a secret, but it feels appropriate to this man’s emotional coping level. When someone is angrily drawing kitschy Santa Clauses… I don’t know man. That’s weird. I love weird. The Hallmarky dedication to a Christmas theme has entered such surrealist territory that I had to get on board.

His main appeal to the heroine is that he’s really caring toward his community, and I love a nurturing hero. Plus, our heroine gave a really good performance that seemed naive but sincere, rather than spoiled, so they were a cute match.

It’s important to note that Andie MacDowell accidentally brings smoldering lesbian bakery energy to the kitchen with Clarke from The 100. Of late, Andie MacDowell has taken up the career of a working actor, and she appears in all sorts of commercial projects to do a professional, sexy job, looking hotter than I’ve ever seen her, and it’s actually possible there’s no chemistry between them but I’m just feeling gay for Andie MacDowell.

As I always say, a movie is queer cinema if it gives me queer feelings, but again: our heroine is Clarke from The 100 (pronounced “The Hundred”), who is a bisexual icon. Just because Clarke (both the heroine and actress have a name too) is only in a wispy brief love triangle with two men in this movie doesn’t erase the fact I know Clarke wanted to scissor Andie MacDowell the whole time. Bakery milf/heiress energy? Anyone on board with me? No? Just me, as usual? Okay, cool.

Anyway, I’ve been watching so much Christmas romance lately that I feel comfortable saying this is a mid movie in the genre, no matter how often it lets me see Clarke’s muscular thighs and Clarke’s generous rack and think about Clarke ~baking ~cookies with Milfy MacDowell.

If you wanna see a woman transform her environment with kindness, pop over to Last Holiday. If you want small town, watch Single All the Way because it’s gay and it has Jennifer Coolidge. If you want bisexual heroine energy, try Christmas With You. If you wanna see Andie McDowell, google.

(image credit: Netflix)

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