Mingle All the Way

Hallmark Christmas: Mingle All the Way Recap/Review

I’m delighted to bring you Mingle All the Way. Why? Let me let the synopsis tell you.

“Mingle All the Way” is a new networking app designed to pair busy professionals together for upcoming events, without long-term romance. Molly, founder of the app, is determined to prove to her family that it is a success. Therefore, she joins the app, and meets another busy professional, Jeff. When Molly and Jeff are matched, they are both horrified to realize they’ve already had not one, but two disastrous previous encounters. Nevertheless, they agree to stay matched for all their respective upcoming holiday engagements. As the pair gets closer, perhaps their business arrangement might turn into something more this holiday season. Stars Jen Lilley, Brant Daugherty and Lindsay Wagner.

Apps, Hallmark, and love? Sign me up! By the way, Hallmark has gotten into the app game by making a special Countdown to Christmas app so that you can keep up with all the new films. It’ll even place the premieres into your Google calendar! I have this app. And I feel bad about it.

Onto the world of tech through the eyes of Hallmark…

Our red-haired heroine Molly arrives at her parents’ house only to have her singleness rubbed in her face by her mother. Molly’s younger sister is recently engaged. (Actually, it’s not yet confirmed, but the mom couldn’t help but jump the gun.) Mom is unnervingly desperate to hook her daughters up with some menfolk and Molly is a total disappointment. Maybe the mother made some sort of Rumpelstiltskin deal where if the daughters don’t get married, they’ll be taken away by a troll.

Just wanted to point out that they are nowhere near blood-related sisters.

Molly is single because she’s too busy making her app, Mingle All the Way. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not Christmas-related at all. It’s a networking app that links you up with a person that can go to networking events with you so as not to arouse suspicion that you are single. It’s very much a “pretend boyfriend” app, even though Molly says it’s not.

At a much smaller house, we see our love interest Jeff goofily greet his little niece. This means he is good with kids and is marriage material. He’s visiting his sister to drop off some ornaments and talk about Christmas. The little niece asks if they can go Christmas shopping for a tree angel. Jeff tells her that he can’t because a new ad campaign he’s working on “needs some serious fixing.” Little niece shouts, “That’s what you always say!” which should be a sign to Jeff that he needs to stop using the same highly specific excuse.

At the office that is stopping her from finding a husband, Molly is worried about an upcoming meeting with a potential investor. The company is made of up Molly and her graphic designer, Tyler. This screams app startup. Molly’s friend Lisa visits the office to give a weird Mingle All the Way testimonial and invite Molly to a Christmas party.

I get the impression they’re trying to hook up Lisa and Tyler. He is the gay best friend. Don’t do this, Hallmark.

At the pitch meeting, the investor is interested in her non-dating app. Let me take a quick break to list why I think this app is stupid:

  • It’s straight up lying to people you want to impress.
  • It requires planning between you and the pretend boyfriend/girlfriend to get your stories straight before an event.
  • If you have a number of events to go to, are you going to keep swapping partners?
  • If one anyone you’re trying to impress actually joins the app, they’ll see your pretend boyfriend/girlfriend on it and the jig is up.
  • The name is stupid because it’s using a Christmas title for something that isn’t Christmas-related at all. Even the logo is Christmassy. Tyler says they’ll change it over the seasons, but I don’t think logos are supposed to work that way. He’s an idiot.

Back to the pitch meeting…the investor wants a case study so Molly must now use the Mingle All the Way app. Will hijinks ensue? Surely not!

At Jeff’s office, Jeff joins a meeting where people maniacally clap at the end of every sentence the boss makes. The boss says a new branch is opening and he’s in the process of selecting who will head it. He wants someone with stability and commitment. This is code for someone in a relationship. This must be discrimination of some sort. Jeff is bullied by a redheaded man who happens to be in a relationship and is therefore the best person to run a business by this particular company’s standards.

I emotionally abuse my wife, but I’m better than you because you’re a single freak.

Molly goes shopping and sees a tree angel that looks just like the one her dad lost. She enters the store to buy the ornament, but when she puts it down for a moment, Jeff picks it up. He is also shopping for a tree angel. The two argue about it. Molly’s phone rings and she exits the shop.

The next day, Jeff and Molly literally run into each other. Jeff rips Molly a new one for bumping into him by accident. He angrily/sarcastically tells her to “try not to ruin anyone’s artistic vision today.” He’s an awful person, but we should be ok with him because he likes his niece.

Molly and Jeff return to their respective friends and bemoan the fact that their businesses require them to be in a relationship. Tyler signs her up for Mingle All the Way and Jeff’s sister does the same for him. Guess who they match with…

The user acquisition rate is low.

The two schedule a meetup and it goes horribly because Jeff is awful. They go through with the “pretend boyfriend” scheme anyway. At Lisa’s Christmas party, Jeff insults Molly the whole time, calling her complicated, a grinch, and desperate. Molly should burn her app and start again.

After the party, Jeff tells his sister that Molly is uptight. Molly tells Tyler that Jeff is weirdly into Christmas. OMG they are such opposites!

Jeff takes Molly to his office Christmas party which impresses his boss. His boss invites them to a caroling event that he’s hosting. Just so you know, the boss has also invited the redhead and his wife to two separate dinners. This boss is really overstepping the bounds of healthy boss-employee relations.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think the janitor matched with someone on eHarmony. I need to invite them to my granddaughter’s christening.

Molly is angry that Jeff called her his girlfriend and roped her into a caroling event. That’s not what the pretend boyfriend app is for! Except once Molly gets a call from her pushy mother, she tells her that Jeff is her boyfriend. Molly meets with Jeff the next day to adjust their arrangement and officially be each other’s fake boyfriend/girlfriend.

Anytime I’ve been taken to a work event with my significant other, I just sit there quietly. It’s awkward because they’re talking intimate work details and I have little to input in that sense. However, in the world of Mingle All the Way, bringing your partner to a literal business meeting is a way to secure a client deal. This is what happens.

I organized this dinner so that I could throw water in your face for being single. However, since you brought your new girlfriend, I’m giving you the multi-million dollar contract.

Jeff invites Molly to the family restaurant to show her that he organizes a gift-wrapping event for charity. We’re supposed to see Jeff as not that awful, but he is. Don’t let the tight shirt distract you.

“You need to look underneath my awful personality and check out my pecs.”

They begin to fall in love and even have pet names for each other. But one thing Jeff doesn’t know is that Molly is the founder of Mingle All the Way. It would be a disaster if he found out…

Molly talks boys with Lisa at a restaurant. She tells Lisa that Jeff isn’t her boyfriend and she’s not really looking. It’s a boring scene until we see that the redhead bully has overheard their private conversation.

Thank God I decided to eat lunch by myself rather than with my stupid wife.

The fake couple goes on another non-date to bake cookies at a Women in Tech event. Lisa and Tyler walk in the door as they’re taking part too.

Yep. Hallmark went for it. This is why you’re unlucky at love, Lisa.

They have dinner with Molly’s family. Jeff meets the mother first. She’s a lovely woman with a warm personality. Just kidding. She’s probably more terrible than Jeff.

Jeff gives Molly’s mother some homemade eggnog. This is her reaction. I burst out laughing.

Jeff wins points by giving the tree angel that they fought over in the beginning of the film to her dad. Molly’s mother belittles technology and her daughter’s life choices. For a woman who’s all about appearances, it’s a weird thing to be doing in front of her daughters’ boyfriends. Jeff defends Molly.

At work, Jeff’s boss notes that Jeff has become more productive thanks to being in a relationship. This is a creepy thing to be watching out for in employees. Someone check this man’s hard drive. The redhead bully bites his tongue…for now.

Jeff buys Molly a Christmas tree and has it delivered to her house. They set up a decorating and dinner date. Molly says she’s going to order pizza, but Jeff says no. He lets himself into the kitchen pantry and fridge to start cooking. He doesn’t ask if he can do this which isn’t a red flag at all. They decorate the tree, Molly falls into Jeff’s arms, and they almost kiss.

After the commercial break, THIS is what we see. Jergens must be fuming at the clumsiness of this placement.

Molly’s mother visits her office to apologize and compliment her app. Her excuse for her awful behavior? She thought that because Molly is confident, she could handle the unrelenting motherly pressure. Her mother also brings homebaked cookies and tells Molly that they’re going to restart their Christmas traditions. The relationship is mended over Jergens and cookies.

Lisa and Tyler are an item. Lisa deleted her account on Mingle All the Way which is bad for user numbers.

At a Christmas party thrown by Molly’s family, Jeff is about to ask Molly out like a real person but is interrupted by his ex-girlfriend, Ashley. This comes out of nowhere. Molly excuses herself and is devastated by the interruption. Ashley is just there to say sorry for being an ass during the relationship. Jeff shrugs and says ok. He tries to stop Molly from leaving the party, but she rushes out.

They have one more event left as a Mingle All the Way app couple: Jeff’s boss’s caroling event. Molly arrives late and acts strangely. They try to keep up the charade in front of the boss.

Theory: Redhead has no wife. He’s by himself in every scene.

Unfortunately, Redhead Bully spills the beans. He even goes so far to read Molly’s post on the company blog about her experience. Jeff is shocked. It’s a very She’s All That moment.

“And I thought I was weird.”

Molly runs out and Jeff confronts her. He’s confused why she would use him like this. After all, this app was meant for them to find love, not network!

Jeff mopes on Christmas day with his family. They hand him a surprise gift from Molly. It’s a snow globe. We next see Jeff sitting on a bench during what looks to be a blizzard by Hallmark standards. He sees his boss walking past and stops him so he can apologize for the caroling incident. The boss isn’t mad at Jeff, he’s mad at the redhead for being a sneak. He offers Jeff the promotion to head the new office.

Molly arrives at party thrown by the potential Mingle All the Way investor. She breaks it to Tyler that the Jeff arrangement is over, putting the investment in jeopardy. Molly sucks it up and approaches the investor. Just as she’s about to explain that Mingle All the Way is actually a pretend boyfriend app, Jeff comes up behind to save the day. The investor sees that there’s some sexual tension. Molly fesses up that she has feelings for the man. The investor gets pulled away before she can give feedback on this bombshell. Jeff uses this time to tell Molly that he didn’t take the promotion. The investor comes back to say she’s investing in the non-dating app. She walks off again.

Jeff and Molly stand under the mistletoe and confess their feelings. They kiss twice at a company party. FIN.

Jeff is tall.

This was a dumb idea. Your app is stupid, Molly. The characterization was all over the place. In some scenes, Molly was painted as some hyper-organized boss, but it really didn’t carry through. It was uneven at best. Jeff was a supreme jerk, but also a guy who loves kids, and was also “whimsical.” These traits did not meld well. The Jeff actor was also trying to be Ryan Reynolds. It did not work.

So we have Reunited at Christmas, Christmas Everlasting, and A Majestic Christmas to get through. The first two are boring so don’t get too excited.

STRAY THOUGHTS

  • Jeff was apparently the president of the AV Club in his high school. My suspension of belief can only go so far.
  • “Molly, you are a catch and you deserve to be happy.” You heard it here, folks. The only way to achieve happiness is through a relationship.
  • They overlaid the mother’s voice in a scene where her lips weren’t moving. Nice one.
  • “My compliments to the Jeff!” This is what Molly says after he cooks dinner. I grimaced hard.
  • They say the name of the movie A LOT.
  • By the way, this is Aspen:
Ahhh, beautiful Aspen! What views!