Haven't I Seen This Before?

Haven't I Seen This Before?

We put up our Christmas Tree!

Putting up the tree is always one of my favorite moments of the season. Hubs and I put on Muppet Christmas Carol and find all the weird ornaments we forgot we have. If you look closely at the ornaments, you'll get a good idea of our pop-culture obsessions. Our interior design aesthetic is "the toys you wished you had in childhood" and Christmas really pushes that to the limit.

Having the tree up has made watching bad Christmas movies even better. This week I went with Christmas With You, a 2022 Netflix movie that I was primarily interested in because it stars Freddie Prinze Jr., who I was mildly obsessed with back in the She's All That Days. Little did I know that I basically already watched this movie earlier this year when I reviewed Marry Me, the Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson vehicle notable only for J-Lo's dance routines. Christmas With You is almost entirely the same plot scaled down to a Netflix budget, and honestly, I liked it better.

Pop star Angelina (Aimee Garcia) is struggling to stay relevant twenty years into her career in the music business. Her record label is pushing her to write a new hit song, and up-and-comers are nipping at her six-inch heels. When teenage Cristina (Deja Monique Cruz) posts a video of herself singing one of Angelina's songs and says she'd love to meet the star, Angelina decides that she's going to run from her problems and grant this little girl's wish. When she arrives at the school, Cristina and her father Miguel (Freddie Prinze Jr.) invite her to stay for dinner. When Angelina discovers that Miguel is also a songwriter, they start to collaborate on a Christmas song that will shoot Angelina back to the top of the charts. Angelina gets back in touch with her roots while Miguel starts to believe in magic again, and both start to wonder if there connection between them can last longer than a Christmas song.

Last week I said that the preview for this movie makes it look like Freddie Prinze Jr is dating his daughter. I want to be clear that FPJr looks like a 40-something man should, with a few lines and grays and some maturity in his eyes. It's actually a compliment to Aimee Garcia, who is only two years younger than he is and looks like she could be 25. I was genuinely surprised when I looked up their ages. I was also genuinely surprised when I read that FPJr is half Puerto Rican and fluent in Spanish. I assumed that this movie was going for the same vague gesture at diversity as Falling for Christmas, but this movie actually leans into its Hispanic culture pretty hard. There's a sexy tamale-making scene and the climax is a Quinceanera. The chemistry between Garcia and Prinze has a tentative awareness about it that I found very charming. I liked that he never tried to make her into a normal girl, and also didn't seem intimidated by her wealth and fame. While the production value was way lower than Marry Me (the fake snow is hilarious), I found myself way more touched. Plus, Christmas! So I say get yourself some hot tamales and settle down with this one some cold winter night.

What’s on your favorite Christmas snack? Let me know at lily@lilycahill.com!