Christmas With A View
Resort restaurant manager, Clara, is smitten with her new head chef, a reality TV star. But when her ambition to have her own kitchen jeopardizes a quaint nearby hotel, they butt heads. Can their plans melt together, or will their love go down in flam(b)es?
From the producers who brought you the dumpster fire “Christmas Wedding Planner” comes another equally painful flick, “Christmas with a View.” Note to self: If any movie on Netflix begins with “Brought to you by Brain Power Studio,” you’ve been warned.
(Quick caveat to that harsh but honest opener: this movie wasn’t as bad. But a dull movie with a lack of plot and almost zero Christmas means we can play naughty rather than nice.)
Ski resort restaurant manager, Clara, is still recovering from her failed attempt as a Chicago chef. For no obvious reason, reality TV winner of “Can You Stand the Heat?,” Shane, becomes her new head chef. A missed attempt at a Hate Becomes Love plot device, the two immediately connect. Shane is soft spoken and kind to his staff, so when the leads lock lips 30 minutes in, you’re a little let down they made it so easy.
What you won’t pick up on until late in the film is the actual plot or central conflict. The confusing presence of the hippie couple who run the nearby Mountain View Inn (Patrick Duffy in a man bun) become important because Clara is the daughter they never had…and her boss asks her to convince the couple to sell the resort to him. Finally, the classic cliché of Evil Corporation comes into play, but far too late to make an impact.
We’re not heartless enough that we couldn’t find a few merits to the film. Sidekick Bonnie is pushy and awkward, everything you want in a best friend. You might even chuckle when she, her sexy city planner Clive, and Clara break-and-enter to find the real plans for the Mountain View Inn. And, while it shouldn’t be such a big deal, the movie seems to have been filmed in an actual snowy location, dangerous icicles and all.
Now, the main problem: There is nothing in this movie about Christmas. Clara’s mom (Vivica A. Fox) is the only character who even mentions the season, and she’s on screen for less than 5 minutes total. What does make it on screen is the abundance of food montages. We get it—Shane’s a chef who knows how to plate. But at least 10% of screen time is dedicated to food porn, none of which moves the plot forward.
There is no heart to the film, and by the time you find out why Shane keeps pulling out that mysterious photo, you won’t even care. Plus, the movie ends not with the redeeming Kiss or Ring but Vivica A. Fox trying to use Shane’s connections to start her own gourmet gingerbread company. The real meaning of Christmas, right?
Rob's Last Word: Not Very Merry
I missed most of the movie doing other work in the office, but from what I saw combined with Jess’s yelling from downstairs, I have no interest in seeing any more.
Jess's Last Word: Not Very Merry
Boring with an unknown plot. If you want to see pictures of food that much, watch old Christmas episodes of “Top Chef.” They’d probably be Merrier.
Watch It On: Netflix
Starring: Kaitlyn Leeb, Scott Cavalheiro & Vivica A. Fox