I just want everyone to know that Hallmark has ruined me. They dropped SEVEN films during Thanksgiving week so I have to play catch up. I was not thankful for that. I will do my best to ensure that I truly capture these cinematic masterpieces and not burden you with the slow loss of my sanity.
This brings me to A Shoe Addict’s Christmas. It stars Cameron Candace Bure. Cameron Candace Bure (a.k.a Full House‘s Donna Jo Tanner a.k.a DJ) is essentially one of Hallmark’s mascots alongside Party of Five/Mean Girls/All Hallmark films actress Lacey Chabert. Learn more:
Christmas approaches, Noelle (Bure) is at a crossroads in her life when it seems that love, a connection with her father, and her dream career are out of reach. When she stays late at her job in a department store on a snowy Christmas Eve, she accidentally gets locked in after closing. She isn’t too concerned about the prospect of spending the night in the store… until a quirky woman appears out of nowhere in the shoe department and tells Noelle that she’s her guardian angel. Soon, Noelle finds herself revisiting Christmases past, present, and future as she must work with her new neighbor, a handsome, Christmas-loving firefighter, to plan the annual Christmas Charity Gala. Will visiting the holidays of yesterday and tomorrow help Noelle take new chances and discover the true spirit of Christmas? And in realizing that the only thing standing in her way of leading a fulfilling life is herself, will the love she has longed for all her life be the best surprise gift of all? Starring Candace Cameron Bure, Luke Macfarlane and Jean Smart.
Our heroine, Noelle, is getting ready to leave her house and pauses for one moment to select a necklace. She stares at a cross, tries it on, doesn’t go for it, and the camera lingers on the cross. Bure might have demanded this.
Anyway, Noelle goes to work at a department store and starts decorating trees. She’s not an interior designer, by the way. She’s in HR. She just loves Christmas that much. Not only is she spending valuable work time decorating, she’s also planning the fireman’s Christmas gala. The department store is sponsoring the gala and the store’s owner expresses that Noelle needs to make the event “tasteful, elegant, and refined.” Expect many crucifixes.
We move on from the department store to the local firefighter department. We meet a hunky one who is planning to move on from firefighting to an office job. He’s in his father’s firefighting shadow and is trying to step out of it.
Back at the department store, Noelle talks to her friend Lorna who is decorating a shoe tree (to Noelle’s delight). Lorna tells Noelle that she should stop being an HR person and go back to photography. Noelle quit the photographing game after a bad breakup and expresses little interest in doing it again.
While walking to her father’s house, Noelle receives a notification: her ex is getting married. Noelle is depressed.
At dad’s house where there are too many Christmas lights in all the wrong places, our HR manager briefly chats with her father about their mother. She’s dead. Apparently, the necklace from earlier belonged to the mother. All of this dead mother discussion makes Noelle uncomfortable, so she heads off to her apartment.
In the apartment block foyer, she runs into a bunch of boxes and a certain hunky firefighter apologizes for his mess. He makes a bad joke which is endearing, but Noelle doesn’t care for it. He also tries to help her with her bags but manhandles her so much that they fall on top of each other. He makes another bad joke that doesn’t land. Hopefully, the manhandling was out of character because otherwise he seems like an alright guy.
The next day, the store manager Alex asks Noelle to find an employee file from the 1990s. Because it’s so old (I die a little inside), she needs to look for the file manually in the basement. Noelle takes so long looking for the file that she gets locked inside the department store. She calls Alex who promises to get her out and tells her to make herself at home. You know what that means? Goofy Christmas montage!
At the end of the montage, she hears a such a clatter! It’s woman in an ugly Christmas sweater who knows “lots of stuff” about Noelle and has been “watching” her. Time to run, Noelle. The lady is here to help Noelle course correct her life. It seems being an HR manager means that you’re not living your best life.
The mystery woman hands Noelle a pair of gaudy shoes and tells her to put it on. Noelle is transported to Christmas past through the magic of footwear. Three years ago, Noelle’s ex broke up with her on Christmas Eve. Lorna walks in with breakup food, wise words, and a shoulder to cry on. The mystery lady tells Noelle that this was the day she stopped photography and began her journey in HR. Noelle takes the hint and decides to take up photography in this alternate universe.
Mystery lady and Noelle are quickly transported to another moment in time where she is a big-time photographer. Swank studio, cool apartment, and a wedding ring. Her husband is about to walk in the door when the magic shoes take her back to the department store.
Fire trucks arrive to get Noelle out. Seems like a drastic move, but I guess the snow is too much for Alex to handle. Noelle meets the hunky firefighter again. He makes another joke and Noelle stays as humorless as ever. She tells him that there’s a “weird lady” in the shoe department which makes her sound crazy. There’s no one in the store so, yep, Noelle is exhibiting signs of dementia.
The next day at the apartment, Hunkerson pelts some kids with snowballs. Isn’t he just a sweetheart?
Hunkerson hits Noelle with a snowball which most definitely was not a mistake. Noelle tells Hunkerson that she’s organizing the gala. He is taken aback because he thinks she’s insane and an insane person shouldn’t be organizing events. It turns out that HE’S also in charge of the gala so they’re going to be working together.
The fun doesn’t end for Noelle. Mystery lady has broken-and-entered her apartment and tells Noelle more about her magic Christmas job. She also knocks Noelle’s decision to pursue HR. There is a contempt for HR here that has not yet been seen in a Hallmark film. Mystery lady tells that she should make better choices and leaves.
Hunkerson and Noelle begin planning the gala. They clash on ideas. Hunkerson wants fun, Noelle wants elegant. It’s not really her fault though. After some back and forth with Hunkerson, Noelle goes outside to hail a cab. Oops, no cab, only a horse and buggy driven by Mystery Lady is available. The whole “be a photographer” thing is really just a flimsy pretense for Mystery Lady to hook these two up.
This horse and buggy is incredibly slow. Noelle and Hunkerson use this time to talk about their families. Hunkerson’s dad is dead. They bond over their dead parents. Nothing says romance like dead family members. Noelle makes it back home and finds a gift at her doorstep. It’s a pair of cute boots!
The boots take her to another Christmas past. Mystery Lady appears to chastise Noelle for making another bad decision in this past. I`m glad Noelle has confidence because if a ghost took me around to specifically flaunt my poor choices in my face, I’d probably stick my head in the oven. In this past, Noelle’s dad came by the department store to buy a gift and bumped into his daughter. He didn’t know that she worked there. Noelle let him search for a gift by himself. According to Mystery Lady, this was an opportunity for her to bond with her father. After the mother’s death, they grew apart. Noelle doesn’t change her decision and is transported back to the present.
At the firehouse, Hunkerson complains to his firemates that Noelle is a total pill and sucks at planning galas. He wants fun! And she’s no fun. I could’ve told you that based on the fact that she didn’t laugh at his crap jokes. They tease him about asking her out on a date. He bats off their jokes by saying he wants a sign that they should date.
In the department store, Noelle is complaining to Lorna that Hunkerson is tacky. He wants big snowmen for the gala. The store owner overhears this and gets worried that Hunkerson is going to ruin the gala. Alex reminds Noelle that the store does not do “fun.” You see, the store owner is Alex’s mother and he is scared of her.
Noelle and Hunkerson go back to planning and argue about the concept of fun. Noelle doesn’t take enough risks according to Hunkerson. There’s a big red lever and Hunkerson goads Noelle into pulling it. It says “Trained Personnel Only” so this might actually be a stupid risk to take. It could call the fire department and waste the taxpayers` hard-earned dollars. But this isn’t the case. Lights, music, and snow come on. This whimsy is enough to convince Noelle to go against her store owner’s wishes and plan a fun gala.
Inspired by Hunkerson, Noelle goes home to put on the magic boots again. She decides to help her dad pick out a gift in the past and spend time with him. They talk about dead mom again. Because they develop a better relationship, she becomes a photographer in this timeline as well. All roads lead to photography. Back in the present, she calls her dad to invite him to the gala.
Hunkerson and Noelle continue their adventure in the fabulous world of gala planning and are at the menu planning stage. Mystery Lady is the head chef, of course. Let their romance take a natural path, Mystery Lady! She says they need to make the food themselves. I don’t think using inexperienced chefs is the best way to choose a menu for a fundraising gala.
While decorating cookies, Hunkerson says that he doesn’t understand the big deal about shoes. You know what, even if they do end up together, I don’t think he’ll ever understand. Noelle waxes poetic about the value of shoes. Shoes make you think about “the possibilities.” I was recently told I might need insoles. Those are the possibilities that I’m looking at. With his libido red hot from decorating gingerbread cookies, Hunkerson summons up the courage to ask Noelle out on a date. Noelle agrees. They then decorate the firehouse and discuss their dreams.
The next morning, Noelle tells Lorna about the Mystery Lady and her magic shoes. Lorna accepts it, no questions asked. She advises Noelle to grill Mystery Lady about her potential future. At the department store, the store owner impresses her vision of the gala on Noelle. She doesn’t like the direction things are going and wants Hunkerson off the gala committee. He’s far too fun for these sticks in the mud.
Noelle brings cookies and bad news to the firehouse. But Hunkerson interrupts to thank Noelle for giving him the room to make the gala into what he envisions. Noelle loses her nerve and simply tells Hunkerson to enjoy the gift of diabetes.
Outside, Mystery Lady meets Noelle. They have a heart to heart about who she is. Everyone has a person like her watching over them. So if you’ve noticed anyone following you recently, it’s not a stalker. It’s your angel trying to hook you up with a hot firefighter.
Mystery Lady tells Noelle that they send people down to help people who aren’t on the path they’re meant to be on. In another version of herself, Noelle runs a successful hot dog stand chain. Also, I think this film believes in string theory. Noelle doesn’t listen because Heaven sent other angels, but they didn’t push hard enough.
Mystery Lady gives her a red pair of shoes that takes her to last year`s Christmas party. Lorna approaches Noelle to give her a big camera lens so that she is encouraged to enter a photo competition. Lorna must love her because those things are expensive.
Noelle accepts the big camera lens and we flash to her potential life as a photographer. She’s shooting a man in a Santa hat named Will. Her dad tries to set her up with the Santa hat guy and he starts to ask her out on a date which leads to…
Noelle flashes back to the present and angrily questions Mystery Lady. Why is she pushing Noelle towards Hunkerson if she’s supposed to marry Will? Mystery Lady evades the question and says that she’s supposed to take risks, whatever they are.
Noelle decides to riskily enter the photo competition. While telling Lorna this, she gets a call from her dad who says that he needs to fly out to see Noelle’s injured aunt. He can’t make it to the gala. Just as he says this, Hunkerson enters the scene (literally). Across the department store hall, the store owner and Alex are making their way to Noelle. A car crash is inevitable. She intercepts Hunkerson but can’t shove him out soon enough. Store owner and Alex introduce themselves to him and spill the beans. Hunkerson is sad because none of what he wanted is coming to fruition and Noelle made him feel stupid. He walks off in a disappointed huff.
Noelle chews out Mystery Lady for making her have faith and take risks. The gala is gonna suck, Hunkerson is mad, dad isn’t home for Christmas. Mystery Lady isn’t taking her guff and says that God doesn’t want us to just be “comfortable.” Noelle wishes that Mystery Lady never entered her life and with that the woman disappears.
It’s the night of the gala and Noelle is nervous. At the gala, Hunkerson tells his coworker that he got offered that office job. He’s not sure about it. He loves being a firefighter and doesn’t necessarily want to fight his dad’s legacy anymore. Noelle arrives wearing her mom’s necklace. Her dad surprises her at the gala. Turns out the injured aunt doesn’t need any help.
Noelle approaches the store owner and Alex to tell them that she’s quitting to start her new life as a photographer. The store owner says that the department store will be her first client. God, Hallmark people are so lucky. Noelle spies Mystery Lady across the room and they make up. Mystery Lady gives her a gift and disappears for good.
Noelle finally approaches Hunkerson. They also make up. He turned down the office job and will instead be the captain of the fire station. They’re about to dance when Noelle breaks her heel. She runs over to Mystery Lady’s gift: a final pair of heels with a giant buckle on them.
Flash to the parallel universe. Will didn’t actually ask Noelle on a date. He used the opportunity to introduce her to…Hunkerson! OMG it’s like totally fate. The whole thing is over-expositioned. Will is Hunkerson’s older brother. Back in the present, Hunkerson and Noelle dance. A snow machine goes off. They kiss. FIN.
Candace Cameron Bure is chosen as the lead for these films because she’s good at them. She has the right amount of over-emoting cheerfulness that is needed in a Hallmark heroine. She didn’t read “shoe addict” all that much which was unfortunate for me. I wanted a person who was insane about shoes, not an actual insane person. Hunkerson was a nice guy. That’s kind of it. He was just a nice guy. Jean Smart played a fun mystery lady and it’s probably the best role anyone can play in these things. You just gotta be a little weird. Anyway, I have what feels like a billion more films to review so catch up on the next one soon.
Next up is Christmas at the Palace where a British man rules an Eastern European nation.
- Apparently, Noelle’s mother wanted to call her daughter “Jingle” because she loved Christmas. Noelle didn’t stand a chance. Thankfully, her dad put the kibosh on that name choice.
- Hunkerson’s name was actually Jake, but I made it through about 3/4 of the recap before I realized that so Hunkerson he stayed. Same with Mystery Lady. She was named Charlie.
- My SO saw a portion of the film and stated that even though they’re cheesy, they do a good job of tugging at your emotions. He’s banned from watching any more of these films.
- The photo competition is called “The Most Inspiring Photo of the Year Competition.” This is a terrible name. They need a new marketing person.
- Throughout the film, Noelle has extended conversations in public with Mystery Lady. If anyone actually cared about her, she would have been checked out by a professional.
- No Santa is this film. But we got Jesus.
- Find the rest of the recap/reviews here.