Today’s Christmas movie recommendation comes courtesy of my buddy Jeremy – so, he’s the one you should direct your angry faxes to. Onward! It is time to enjoy:
Here are our heroine and villain, Kayla and Carlton. You know he’s gonna be awful because he has a forced British accent and is named Carlton while not being played by National Treasure Alfonso Ribeiro:
Carlton is a very successful choreographer, and Kayla is his fiancee / business manager. They’re spending time in Palo Alto for a performance of the Nutcracker that Carlton is choreographing, but they’re staying at a hotel in San Francisco because he sez: “I only stay in 5 star hotels, and there are none in Palo Alto!!” OK. Palo Alto, in Silicon Valley, where the tech nerds live, probably has no nice hotels. If it’s good enough for MySpace Tom, why does Carlton think he’s so fucking special?
When they arrive at the Nutcracker theatre, Carlton has a breakdown about how his name is not as big as “The Nutcracker” on the marquee. Cartoonishly selfish and evil boyfriends are such a made-for-TV trope. Just once I’d like to see a movie where the relationship crisis arises because the boyfriend and girlfriend are deadlocked over the smell in the recycling bin, and what’s causing it, and who will break first and take the bag outside. You know, REAL SHIT. Instead it’s always some mess like this guy:
Kayla goes for a walk to escape Carlton’s soul patch and drops a dime in a homeless Santa’s bucket (wink wink – wait, wut?). When he asks what she’s wishing for, she points to a meth head on a bus bench and says she wishes that all her dreams come true. I groaned so hard I lifted the roof off my house. Fuck off, Kayla.
The ADR in this movie is OUT OF CONTROL. The actors were probably too embarrassed to say their lines out loud in front of people on the street. I understand, and I forgive you.
Kayla wanders into a gift shop where she is recognized by the aggressive German woman who runs it. She recognizes Kayla as Carlton’s fiancee (ha!) and begs her to get an autograph from him. Kayla makes a hasty escape, but all I can think about is – is that gift shop lady a former Nazi? On the lam? Hiding out in Northern California?
Enter random good-looking couple #2! They’re baking cookies for Kayla and Carlton’s engagement party, because the dude Dustin is the caterer! Oh, and his baking partner / assistant is his cousin Kim, so we know there’s no sexual tension between them, leaving him open to fall in love with Kayla.
Dustin heads downstairs via the elevator in his building, and – you guessed it! Doris Roberts is in there.
She starts putting her fingers in all of Dustin’s holes, and I wish I was making that up. (Paul, suffering with me: “SHE IS SO HORNY”) She starts deeply tongue-kissing Dustin because I guess there’s mistletoe in the elevator? This feels like rape. Septuagenarian rape, but rape all the same.
I want to make a note here – this movie is billed as a Doris Roberts vehicle. I was under the impression she would be a saucy grandma or a DMV officer who forces love on others or something. But they just traded on her name – she’s in this movie for a total of maybe 60 seconds, and they put DORIS ROBERTS in bright neon lights to get asses in seats. Hollywood, how could you? I TRUSTED YOU
Anyhoodles, Dustin laughs off his sexual assault and continues on his way.
Kayla decides to pour her heart out to Carlton about how he treats her like a business manager and NOT a fiancee. But he has no time for this.
Now we meet Jana – a savvy business lady / party planner (I think?) who got Dustin the job catering Carlton and Kayla’s engagement party. See – she knew Kayla in grade school or some shit. Will that be important? WHO KNOWS.
The most unbelievable part of this movie so far is that wherever Carlton goes, he is signing autographs for devoted and rabid fans. Carlton. THE CHOREOGRAPHER. THE FAMOUS CHOREOGRAPHER. Lolololololoolol. What do I know, I freak out when I see pro hockey players out at the bar. Sometimes, those pro hockey players can’t be bothered to sign an autograph for me, and then they get traded from the NY Rangers, and then they get cancer*. Is it related?!?! No. Of course not. What’s wrong with you.
A mix-up of some sort that I missed while getting more wine leads to Dustin buying a Nutcracker from the town gift shop that apparently Kayla wanted? When she finds out the Nutcracker has been sold, Kayla runs top-speed from the former SS officer / shop owner, who chases her all through the streets. WHAT GOES ON IN THIS TOWN? Kayla runs to the building that Dustin lives in and directly into the Doris Roberts rape elevator where he happens to be. Apropos of nothing, she starts making out with him HAAAAARD. They introduce each other and then go their separate ways.
Sidebar: when Kayla was being chased through town by Mrs. Goebbels, she passed the world’s worst carolers. They sounded like that lazy lead singer from Cake. “I want a Santa with a white beard and a reeeeeeeeed jacket!” (Fuck Cake) (SORRY everyone I went to college with)
Apparently it is known (Khaleesi) that the mistletoe in the elevator makes everyone super horny. And no one has lodged a complaint with the HOA.
Dustin tells Kim about making out with Kayla and how he can’t wait to see her again. I HOPE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN AT HER ENGAGEMENT PARTY THAT HE IS CATERING!!
Kayla meets up with her buddy Jana who straight up asks her if she’s actually in love with Carlton.
Kayla’s all – “What’s not to love? He’s garbage to me and hates my friends and my hometown and I think maybe me, but we’re engaged HAVEYOUSEENMYRING?!?”
Carlton and Kayla are off to meet with the caterers for their engagement party at the venue. She has to go in alone, because Carlton gets a very important call from the Sugarplum Fairy (his dealer, I assume). What’s this? Dustin is the caterer! She remembers what his fillings taste like, and they have a laugh about how weird it is that they almost rubbed fronts in an elevator. She sees the nutcracker she wanted to buy, and he tells her that the guy who made the Nutcracker was a very interesting man – oh boy! Ladies love talk of old Austrian wood-makers, I’ll tell you what! They make googly eyes at each other and Kayla squawks something about being a writer, but who cares! Here comes Carlton to piss all over her ankles so everyone knows she’s with him.
Carlton tells Dustin to GET RID OF THE NUTCRACKER, because he knows from Nutcrackers, and the one he bought is trash. Sad Dustin is sad.
Welp, shitting on wooden soldiers is the line, because Kayla dumps Carlton as soon as they walk out of the venue. She tells him they don’t fit because they’re “two different pieces of different jigsaw puzzles” and I see what they’re doing here. Their clumsy puzzle metaphors are an attempt to make me keep watching this claptrap, and it! is! working!
Kim and Jana tell Dustin to disrespect Kayla’s relationship and just go fuck her anyway. Dustin is all “But I’m a handsome man with a thriving business – NO WOMAN COULD EVER LOVE ME!!!”
Also hilarious, Jana guilts Kim and Dustin into having dinner with her. Right after guilting them into having drinks with her. Jana is so thirsty for friendship / human contact – doesn’t she have a job or a home to go to? “If you guys say no, I’ll THROW MYSELF OFF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE!!!”
Dustin listens to his very sad friend Jana and heads into SF to surprise Kayla at her hotel and I guess kill Carlton? He doesn’t know they’ve broken up yet, so how does he think this is gonna go? No, really – I would like to know his gameplan. Dumb asshole.
He bribes the doorman with $20 to take the Nutcracker up to Kayla’s room, and the doorman agrees. Because that’s almost half a year’s salary for doormen in TRUMP’S AMERICA!!!!!
Dustin attaches a note with the Nutcracker telling Kayla to write the story of the artist who created it. Kayla’s like, “Well, I better do what this post-it note says!” and writes until she falls asleep. When she walks up Carlton is reading what she wrote and accuses her of having feelings for Dustin. He’s butthurt, so he’s all “I yelped this caterer and he is GARBAGE. 2 stars! He poops on people’s plates!”
He’s also like, “I still love you Kayla, sorry about my facial haaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiir!”
Kayla is a consummate professional and still Carlton’s business manager, so she’s like, “UGGH, I’m in love with someone else but I will still fluff your (get your head outta the gutter) ego and buy a sick dress and show up at our not-engagement party!!!” Cool. Coolcoolcool. Good plan.
Kayla heads to the caterers to return both the Nutcracker and her feelings to Dustin because she’s a goddamned martyr. He chases her into the Rape-o-Vator and they both lay out very mature and well-though-out reasons they cannot be together. Then Kim gets on the elevator and is like, “Whoa – it smells like soggy d and p in here, do you both wanna come help me make cookies for a dog kennel run by a guy I love?”
They take the cookies to Joshua at the Pet Store / Vet Clinic / Euthanasia Shop, and Kim is very hard up for him and Dustin and Kayla are like “Go bang, young ones!”.
Dustin and Kayla go and get a pizza to share. A Hallmark pizza – that means it’s 4 slices large and neither of them can bear to get through half a slice, so instead they talk about their failed relationships. Sexxxxxxxxy. Head back to the Rape-o-Vator, already and GET. IT. IN.
Instead, Kayla heads back to the hotel to stroke Carlton’s (Head! Gutter! GITITOUTTATHERE!) ego some more. He’s all like, “I love you!” And she’s like, “I love being torn between two guys and making a face like I just burped up puke!!!”
She meets Jana for a drink and tells her she’s def gonna stay with Carlton and that Dustin suuuux. While they’re talking, Carlton walks in with the Sugar Plum Fairy from his Nutcracker revue, and Jana sees, and Jana DOES NOTHING.
Kayla drops off some Quiznos coupons for Dustin and Kim to prove she’s super over him. He’s all “Did you work on that story about the Nutcracker artist?” And she’s all, “Naw, I was playing Fortnite”, and he’s like, “I thought you were gonna get a couple of pages down”, and I’m like, “WHAT THE FUCK, ARE YOU HER EDITOR NOW, DUSTIN?!?! DOES SHE HAVE A DEADLINE??? GET OFF HER NUTS.” Then Dustin tells her he wishes she had “set boundaries.” Oooooh….burn.
They are mad at each other. Probably because Dustin hates Quiznos and loves Subway and fucking Kayla KNEW THAT.”
Kayla goes back to drunk Santa to check in on the meth-head she used her wish on earlier. PSYCH! She makes a wish for her ooooown self. “I wish I knew how to set boundaries.” Santa is like, “Bitch, do I look like I studied psychology at Harvard? I’m a geologist. Now lift up your skirt.”
Kayla starts writing about the nutcracker and tells Dustin “I’m setting boundaries!” And he’s like, “Go to the shelter with me tomorrow so I can adopt a dumb dog?” And she’s like, “Why not? I don’t even know what boundaries are!!!”
They adopt a dog named Barkley and take him home.
OH NO THEY’RE TAKING THE DOG INTO THE RAPE-O-VATOR
Phew. That was close.
They keep hanging out and not respecting boundaries. They do a dating montage that seems to span 3 months, but because this is a made-for-TV movie that operates on a schedule, I assume it’s been a tight 46 minutes. Oh noes, Carlton calls to demand she show up to talk about Nutcracker stuff. Dustin’s like, “Go ahead, I’m immune to blue balls anyway!”
Kayla goes to Carlton and finds out he’s not freaking out about ballet shit at all, but instead decorating their hotel room for Christmas and promising that he loves her for real and will bring the magic back into their relationship. She’s like, “Imma think about it. The movie needs to make it look like I’m dumb enough to take you back”.
She goes for a morning walk and runs into Santa again, and now I’m worried she’s stalking him? She says she needs a true love wish, because she’s torn between two men. Santa slut-shames her and gives her a shiny penny to toss into the river. Then she goes to see Dustin.
She tells him:
JK – she tells him she’s choosing Carlton over him. Sorry not sorry, you’re on your own to raise that loser dog you adopted.
**cut to Dustin drowning Barkley **
Jana stops by to shame Kayla for staying with Carlton. Jana – BITCH – you’ve been sitting on cheating info for like, 14 years now (In Hallmark time), you are PART OF THE PROBLEM.
At their engagement party, Kayla is dressed like a 1997 American Girl Doll.
Kim tells her Dustin has decided not to show up to cater so he doesn’t end up dry-humping Kayla at her own engagement party. Very nice move as a human, TERRIBLE MOVE as a caterer. Of course Carlton has gone back to treating Kayla like a servant and of course she’s like, “I have regrets!!!” Jana decides to stop being a pussy-ass bitch and tells Kayla she saw Carlton and the Sugar Plum Fairy canoodling the other day. Her timing is impeccable, as they are currently canoodling across the room.
Kayla heads over to break up with Carlton again, who – understandably – doesn’t believe her. But this time she means it, they break up on amicable terms, and Kayla decides to go back to the hotel to get her shit (nutcrackers, vibrators, vibrators shaped like nutcrackers), and head home to LA. OR DOES SHE?
After getting some sage advice from his dog –
Dustin decides to GO AFTER HER! He heads into the Rape-O-Vator, which instantly gets stuck. He stands in there for hours, wishing Doris Roberts and her sweet toffee-candy breath would come and save him.
Kayla arrives at the apartment building to see a crowd of people gawking at the trapped elevator and not calling the cops to help. Dustin has hit the intercom button in the elevator, and all his pissing and moaning is being heard by everyone in the lobby. He declares his love for Kayla as the crowd parts to let her approach the elevator. And how do they know it’s her he’s talking about? Well, she has perfect blonde hair, and it’s certainly not going to be poor man’s Judah Friedlander in the Christmas Trucker Cap.
Kayla announces herself to the elevator gods, the doors open and she and Dustin start their lives together. Fast-forward one year and they’re riding the very expensive ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier. I mean, like – $32 for two people? Is that even the real price? I dunno, but what are you gonna do, fact-check me? That’s what I thought.
Anyhoodles, Dustin proposes with a ring from Kay Jewelers, and as we all know every kiss begins with Kay and they were obviously contractually obligated to go with Kay over Jared because this movie is called “Merry Kissmas” and nothing matters to anyone!!! (Real ballers go to Jared)
To recap – Doris Roberts was only in 2 elevator rape scenes. This was BARELY a Doris Roberts movie at all. 0 STARS!!!
*He’s in remission, calm down