Mingle All The Way
Molly has no time for romance, so she’s created an app that helps busy professionals meet and network without the pesky threat of love. But when she’s matched with another go-getter, and their business and Christmas plans intertwine, she starts to wonder if there’s more to life than spreadsheets and sales reports. Can she learn to swipe right on Christmas…and love?
Opens w/ City Scene
Hate Becomes Love
Tree Buy & Trim
Cute, Precocious Child
Ends w/ Kiss or Ring
Modern Christmas movies in an urban setting (aka, the ones that acknowledge the existence of technology) often struggle to incorporate Christmas. When we heard the premise of “Mingle All the Way,” it made our list of 2018 premieres we had to watch. Could a movie centered around a kind-of-dating app give us the holiday feels we crave? We had to find out.
Career-Driven Molly (Jen Lilley, quite perky but still palatable) created an app for the busy professional who’s not interested in love: Mingle All The Way, where you’re matched by personality and schedule with a platonic partner so you won’t attend holiday gatherings alone. Molly joins the app to prove its effectiveness and secure some much-needed funding. But when she’s matched with a man she’s run into (literally!), their mutual dislike is outweighed by Jeff’s need to get the “couples invites” at his firm and Molly’s hunger to prove to her mother that the app is more than a “project.”
The flip from Hate to Love is fairly quick, but it feels honest. Jeff is a Christmas fanatic—when Molly reveals she lost her spirit when her family abandoned their traditions, his firm’s Charity Work event and his secret surprise of a Tree Buy & Trim at Molly’s house warms her to the holiday…and to him. Their text exchanges and pet names of “Elf” and “Grinch” give their affection authenticity. And when Jeff matches his tie to her dress, it’s unnecessary but adorable.
But it’s the little details that make a good movie great. The second half of this movie took it from great to oh, that’s really bad.
Side characters, like Jeff’s work nemesis Brent, are given too much screen time for no big payout. And new characters are introduced to throw our protagonists’ love story into jeopardy, but they don’t even last through a commercial break. These unneeded details wreak havoc on the story and make it feel like the screenwriters are cramming 2 hours into 1 hr and 22 minutes.
The editing, too, becomes jarring. Scenes jump from emotional moments or important phone calls in half-seconds, bringing you to an entirely new plotline with an entirely new soundtrack. Then, as Jeff needs to contemplate his feelings after the big reveal, he sits confusingly in the middle of the town square, on Christmas Day, in a distracting CGI snowstorm. To be lost in a movie and then removed from its joy because the script couldn’t prioritize what matters made us a bit grouchy.
In total, the movie balances Christmas with a creative and believable love story. Just close your eyes near the end so the bad editing doesn’t make you question the quality of this flick.
Rob's Final Take: Merry
I loved the first half, and our leads had great chemistry, but the movie fell apart with go-nowhere characters, pointless plotlines, and enough fake snow to keep Rudolph grounded.
Jess's Final Take: Merry
The premise and chemistry between the leads screamed Very Merry. It’s angering how the shoddy production lowered that rating.
Watch It On: Hallmark
Starring: Jen Lilley, Brant Daugherty & Lindsay Wagner