Hey, everybody! Christmas in July is here! Unfortunately, due to many ongoing issues, there’s no new movie premiere. However, that just means that I’ll get to cover a selection of them sweet sweet Hallmark classics.
Today, we’re looking at Snow Bride from the far off year of 2013. Of all the bland recycled plots from the greeting card company, this is one of the few films that sticks out in my mind, so I think that’s a positive.
Greta Kaine (Katrina Law) is always in search of juicy gossip. As a tabloid reporter at “Pulse! Gossip” in Los Angeles, it’s her job to expose the rich and famous for the entertainment of the magazine’s readers. So when word gets out that one of the late Senator Tannehill’s two sons might be proposing marriage at the family’s Big Bear compound during Christmas, Greta and her chief rival Wes (Tom Lenk) are challenged by their old-school editor to get the scoop. There’s incentive to be the first, too– the editorship of the magazine’s new online incarnation. Greta’s assistant tells her that Wes has a head start to snowy Big Bear, so she dashes to the mountain resort. When she mistakenly ends up as a guest of the family, she’s in the middle of what could be her best story yet! However, she soon discovers that the family, including matriarch Maggie Tannenhill (Patricia Richardson) and caretaker Peters (Robert Curtis Brown), are more down-to-earth than she ever gave them credit for. Increasingly guilt-ridden about her game of subterfuge, Greta must make a decision: how far will she go for the sake of a story?
Sweet Lord, that’s a long synopsis. Hallmark doesn’t appear to have a set template on these which is genuinely mind-blowing.
We meet our intrepid Hallmark Heroine Greta and her tiny eyebrows circa 2005. After a playfully antagonistic chat with a fellow Pulse! tabloid reporter, Greta heads to a bridal shop to help her friend try on gaudy dresses. The friend berates Greta for 1) not having a man and 2) working for a gossip magazine even though Greta graduated from Stanford.
Through some mayhap, the ugly wedding dress gets some gunk on it, causing Greta’s friend to have a mini meltdown. Greta offers to pick up the dress once it’s cleaned up.
Back at Pulse! HQ, Greta tells her assistant that you should never fall in love with your mark as it will impede your ability to rob the MGM Grand. Actually, she says that you shouldn’t consider celebrities people because then you won’t be able to write mean things about them.
Greta and the other reporter meet with the boss who explains that Pulse! is going online-only, presumably to save on costs. But to really make a splash on the worldwide web they need to cover a BIG story. The earth-shattering scoop? Something about a knock-off Kennedy family. Cool.
The boss doesn’t offer the assignment to one person. Instead, he decides to have his two star reporters literally race to the bargain bin Kennedy estate to uncover the story. And we wonder why print is dying.
The next day, Greta’s assistant tells her that the rival reporter is already on the way to the Kennedy’s. Unfortunately, Greta learns this while she’s picking up the ugly wedding dress in her gym gear. She dumps the dress into the trunk of her car and takes off in the direction of the Kennedy’s.
Greta drives AAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL the way from sunny California to some cold temperature place in one day. In her “competitive fury,” Greta forgot to pack anything. Her car runs out of gas, leaving her trapped in the snow in Adidas shorts with no cell reception.
Greta tumbles into a MAN who mannily carries her unconscious ass into a cabin. The man happens to be one of the Kennedy boys, Ben. Hopefully, she’s not in Chappaquiddick.
The intrepid reporter awakes and quickly informs her savior that she is a runaway bride and NOT a gossip columnist. Ben offers her his clothes, some tea, and a warm bed.
The next morning, Ben makes Greta some breakfast and tells her that he once had a fiancée who was “not what she appeared to be.” She was, in fact, a shapeshifter.
Unfortunately, the story gets interrupted by Ben’s butler, Peters, who tells him to stop working on his “super secret project” and come to the main house for brunch with the family.
Ben invites Greta along.
Not realizing he just let TMZ into the house, Ben leaves Greta alone in the foyer so that he can go look for his mother. She picks up a picture frame from the mantelpiece. (I swear that Hallmark characters have no manners.) Ben’s mother appears and politely asks Greta who the hell she is.
Ben interrupts the awkward meeting and Mama forgets all about the stranger in the house. She tells her son that his brother Jared is on his way with a surprise guest. Just as she states this, baby bro saunters through the door with his secret guest: Ben’s former fiancée, Claire.
Jared notices Greta weirdly standing around and questions who she is. Ben blurts out that the mystery woman is his Christmas date. It’s a gender flipped “woman pretends man is her boyfriend for Christmas” trope.
Greta takes advantage of the situation and convinces Ben to keep with this charade. She even kisses the dude to make sure their first mouth-on-mouth action isn’t forced upon them by the family as is custom in a romcom. Woman is shrewd. With the plan in motion, the newly anointed couple heads to brunch.
Upon discovering that Greta has no clothes, the baffled matriarch offers to take her shopping. Claire shoehorns herself in.
The brothers use this alone time to get into a lame fist fight. After all, baby bro straight up got with Ben’s fiancée a YEAR after the end of the relationship.
Later that evening, Greta snoops into Ben’s stuff and finds some of his fanfic. She encourages him to follow his dreams of writing romantic stories that ship characters from Hannibal. Ben shrugs her off.
The following day, the family attends a charity event. But who should be there? The rival reporter! Greta drags him into a janitor’s closet to threaten him with a plunger. Thankfully, the encounter ends with a truce for the sake of the story.
After receiving a call from her friend, Greta remembers that she needs to get the ruined wedding dress to her. She races back to the cabin and runs into Peters. Greta somehow lets it slip that she and Ben are not really an item. Peters tells Greta that he loves Ben’s mom. It’s all a bit weird.
Time rolls on and Greta is into the all-American Christmas thing with the political family. Ben even lets her read his romance novel. She loves his work so much that they almost kiss, but we’re not in the third act, so it doesn’t happen. He instead invites her to a ball.
By the grace of God, one of the dresses actually fits and Greta joins the ball.
Claire decides that a gala is the best time to ruin her current relationship and rekindle her old one with Ben. However, Jared interrupts her attempted infidelity with an impromptu marriage proposal. Claire says yep! It’s actually pretty funny.
Ben rushes away from the scene, quickly followed by Greta. They dance to no music which is a normal reaction. Ben reveals that the reason he broke up with Claire: he discovered that she was spilling all the family stories to the gossip rags.
He tells Greta he trusts her and initiates a really long kiss. Greta has a moment in the middle of sucking face and runs back home.
Once at the Kennedy house, Greta has a heart-to-heart with the mother. The mother casually mentions that Claire “propositioned” her husband some years ago. Man, they really made this girl the VILLAIN.
Speaking of Claire, she looks up Pulse! online and discovers that Greta is a gossip columnist.
Claire wastes no time telling the family that Greta is a rag reporter. This revelation breaks Ben’s fragile heart. Greta gives a touching speech, but gets kicked out anyway.
With her love rival banished to LA, Claire meets Ben in a gazebo to tell him that she loves him. Not only does Ben hardcore reject her, but Jared sees the whole thing. The evil witch is vanquished and the two brothers make up.
Back at Pulse!, Greta gains some scruples and leaves her job. But not before seeing Claire enter the offices to give them a big “scoop.”
Greta manages to weasel her way back into Ben’s house and tell the family of Claire’s intentions. However, Momma Kennedy squashes the whole thing by calling Greta’s former boss and saying that she bought the magazine.
Mom then announces that Peters did a background check on Greta when she arrived, so she’s known about her true identity the whole time. This discovery was also the impetus for her purchase of Pulse! The family was never under any real threat of gossip leakage.
This is a really weird twist. I guess Mom let Greta hang around because she didn’t want a spinster son.
Greta, now a good guy, turns down the offer to dine with the family. Before leaving, she hands Ben a letter saying that his novel has been accepted by a publisher. After congratulating her son on getting his Tumblr posts printed, Mom tells him to seal the deal with Greta.
Ben appears in what looks like the suit from that Mentos commercial. He tells Greta he’s chill with her deception and redemption. They kiss. FIN.
I sort of liked Greta. The actress made her kind of charming in some ways. Ben wasn’t fully a wooden plank, so that’s a pretty big positive. As for the story, it was standard but elevated by the actors as much as it could be. The twist at the end was pretty stupid though. Mom didn’t need to go out and buy an entire failing magazine. Overall, this is one of the better Hallmarks and stupidly entertaining. These are big words coming from me.
Rating: 4 out of 5 failing magazines
- Fun fact: I was once in the running for writing for a gossip site.
- How does a gossip writer have an assistant??
- It was kind of interesting to hear the Pulse! staff reference actual celebrities like Beyoncé and the Jonas Brothers (recall that this was filmed in 2013).
- Ben has an amazing dog. Might have to do a Hallmark dog power ranking.
- Ben has a DEAD FATHER™
- Sometimes the scenery looks SO HOT. I feel awful for the actors having to wear massive coats when they’re clearly filming in summer. I mention this often, but it’s so painful to see.
- Do lots of families make Christmas cookies together? Our Christmas food tradition is eating panettone.
- Ben’s teeth are a sight to behold.
- I truly can’t help but roll my eyes to the back of my head when the male lead gasps at a woman wearing a dress.
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