Single and Ready to Jingle

Tinsel Town

The premise for this one had a lot of promise and opportunity for laughs and romance and largely succeeded. Emma is a senior vice-president of Tinsel Toy Company, and being the Christmas season and in the toy industry she has had it up to here with Christmas. For her vacation, which is a couple of weeks before the toy-centric holiday, she is looking forward to going to a Christmas-free zone in the Caribbean. I guess toy companies aren’t too busy a few weeks before Christmas? Whatever. She has her airhead assistant book a trip to St. Johns for a week of beaches, bikinis, and drinks with umbrellas. She gets on the plane for a direct flight to the tropical island but when she deplanes, she finds herself in fictional St. Johns, Alaska. We are treated to a pretty funny visual of her in a sun dress with all of the fur-coated and parka-ed fellow passengers fighting minus 12-degree cold and fierce winds to get from the plane to the terminal. It doesn’t say much for her situational awareness that she never notices that something might be a little off with this airplane flight before she is hit with a blast of cold air instead of balmy heat and sunshine, but whatever. It is pretty funny. The love interest is Connor, the brother of the inn owners who put her up until she can get the next plane out of town. He also has a secret identity which is a big reveal towards the end. Don’t worry, he’s not Santa Claus. Both the Inn and the whole town are like a Christmas bomb went off. Emma stays and stays. First due to a snowstorm and lack of cell service and then she waffles back and forth saying she’s going to go the next day but never actually leaves.

Much of the humor in this is due to the excellent comic timing of Natasha Wilson who plays Emma. One of the funniest scenes is her confronting her clueless assistant over the phone about booking her to the wrong St. Johns.

“And you thought there was only one St. Johns on the planet?”

“ It’s the only one I’ve ever heard of! Except the one in the Bible!”

 There were enough other funny bits to keep it entertaining. Unfortunately, there were a lot of hard-to-believe aspects, situations, and behavior some of which were easy to ignore, but there were way too many of them. They started to pile up which made them a distraction. St. Johns is one mysterious town. Large enough for an airport that had regular non-stop flights to Miami Florida, and lots of fancy stores, but small enough to have our hero as the small-town style part-time mayor. It certainly didn’t act like a town in Alaska.

It was refreshing that Emma didn’t hate Christmas, she was just sick of it. And though she was fish out of water, she was a pretty good sport about it most of the time. When there was the inevitable fight with Connor, they made up pretty quickly and she rightly apologized for her rather incomprehensible behavior. Despite the silly title it was fine. And it refreshingly ended with Connor and Emma going back to the big city rather than staying near home and hearth in the frozen north.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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