Thoughts on Hallmark’s “Jingle Bell Bride”

Released:  2020

Summary:  A wedding planner goes to a remote town in Alaska to find a rare flower for a celebrity client, and she becomes captivated by the small town during Christmas.

Ronnie Rose, Jr. and Julie Gonzalo in “Jingle Bell Bride.”  Image:  Crown Media


Celebrity Weddings

Jessica Perez (Gonzalo) loves being a wedding planner to the celebrities, but would YOU?  The salary is probably fantastic, but catering to a bunch of rich, narcissistic divas sounds horrible.
What kind of person expects you to get them flowers from the side of a volcano, like singing sensation “Renne” (Benedicto), only to change plans at the last minute and demand an even more impossible flower to locate–the Jingle Bell flower?
I’d be telling her to stick the bouquet up her rear end!
This is why I get irritated by celebrities who forget their jobs are to entertain us instead of lecture us on politics via social media, like so many do these days.  The elite are simply too far out of touch with the average person.  They live in an alternate reality from the rest of us.  If you’ve seen Julie Gonzalo’s Twitter feed, you’d see she’s more of an activist than an entertainer, which could explain why genuine warmth is absent in the roles she plays.
Back to bouquets.
What was your wedding bouquet like?  I had white and red roses, and I left it up to the florist’s creative whim to put it together because I wasn’t picky.
Jessica admits that celebrities try to out-do each other because each wedding needs to be bigger and more unique than the last one.  No wonder stars never stay married long–they seem to forget about the point of their special day–LOVE, rather than trying to impress others.

Does Music Help Flowers Grow?

Aunt Mary grows the Jingle Bell flowers in her greenhouse, and it’s here that Jessica convinces Matt to not only supply enough of them for a bouquet, but also enough for boutonnieres, the centerpiece, AND an archway.
Is it true that music helps flowers grow like Aunt Mary claims?  Research on this topic is conflicted.
Plants can actually perceive light, scent, touch, wind, gravity, and respond to sounds.  While some people claim plants respond best to classical music, plants don’t actually “like” or “dislike” specific types of music.  It’s the vibrations, rather than the sounds, that trigger plant cell movement, which stimulates plants to generate more nutrients.  This tends to lead to thicker and greener plants with higher yields.
What does this have to do with the movie?  NOTHING.  I just thought it was an interesting sidebar.
The beautiful “Bouquet of Blessings.”

Short Alaskan Days

Did you catch the part in the movie when Matt tells Jessica the sun rises at 10 am in Topeesa and sets at 4pm?  That is a short day!
While it might sound appealing to have an excuse to get into your pajamas earlier, roughly ten percent of Alaskans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Extended darkness affects the body’s chemistry, leading some to suffer bouts of depression.  They eat more, gain weight, and sleep more.  In fact, nearly a third of Alaskans become less productive during the winter months than they are during the summer.
Living in a climate that seems Christmas-y all year long sounds fun, until you consider extended periods of darkness, few places to buy all the essentials you need, longer wait times to receive orders, and towns that only boast a population of 112 people!

Do You Have a Co-Worker Like Rebecca?

Rebecca is Jessica’s co-worker at Novak Events in New York, and she tries to weasel her way into helping with Renee’s wedding.  She approaches Jessica with homemade candy canes, hoping to get in on the action, but Jessica makes it clear she doesn’t need help.
Even though Jessica manages to handle Renee’s wedding details remotely from Alaska, Rebecca capitalizes on her absence to ask the boss to hand the event to her to finish, and her ploy works.
Couldn’t you just punch her in the face?  There’s an employee like Rebecca in a lot of offices–a climber.  Is there someone like her where you work?
Despite the setback, Jessica is a person true to her word, and she delivers the Jingle Bell flowers to Renee’s wedding.
Were you a little surprised when Renee gave Jessica her wedding bouquet right after the ceremony?  Didn’t they need it for pictures or to throw at the reception?  I guess we’re not supposed to look that deeply into it.

Mistletoe is WHAT?

Did you know mistletoe was toxic before you heard about it in this movie?
Although I wasn’t planning on eating it anyway, I didn’t realize the charming flower people kiss under was poisonous.
Interestingly, mistletoe has been used in Europe for ages to medicinally treat arthritis, high blood pressure, epilepsy, and infertility.  Although not approved by the FDA, there is some evidence pointing to mistletoe’s ability to destroy cancer cells and lessen the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
Hey, I’m trying to make Hallmark movies a little more educational.
Image:  Crown Media

Julie Gonzalo’s Scar Is Distracting

Does anyone else find the enormous scar on the bridge of Gonzalo’s nose distracting?
If you’ve ever seen the “mole” scene from Austin Powers, you know how easily it is to fixate on facial markings.
All we know is the scar is a result of a childhood accident, but no further details are available.
Jessica is crowned “Jingle Bell Princess” at the annual town festival.

Rate the Chemistry Between Jessica and Matt

Take the poll to rate your feelings on the chemistry, or lack thereof, between our onscreen couple.
In my book, the climactic kiss definitely did not deliver, but you might feel differently.
survey solution

Jingle Bell Bride Is a Book, Too!

Hallmark bases this 2020 Christmas movie premiere off the book by author Scarlet Wilson.  Here’s a synopsis of the book:
New York wedding planner Jessica Christie always goes above and beyond for her clients. So, stopping in Alaska to pick up the famed Jingle Bell flower for her famous client’s bouquet doesn’t seem too outrageous–until she ends up stranded there.

Matt Holden has spent the last five years since his fiancée died, living in a virtual bubble in Alaska. His research work as a botanist and assistant at the local reindeer farm keep him busy during the holidays.

But when Jessica Christie bursts into his life, all bets are off. Her stay is definitely temporary, but the feelings she ignites aren’t. Could Ms. Oh-So-Wrong actually be Mrs. Right?

Reading the book after you’ve seen the movie is always fun because you can compare and contrast both versions as you dive deeper into the details.
You can order a copy here:

Join Our Facebook Groups

For fun banter on all the Hallmark seasonal movies, we invite you to join our Facebook groups.  One focuses on Christmas movies for the entire year, and the other group tracks all the different seasons of Hallmark, like Winterfest, Love Ever After, Spring Fling, etc.
Everyone is welcome!
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