I was at a writing retreat recently, so we decided to watch this movie as a lark. After all, it was about a romance author going on a writing retreat. Most of the women in my writing group do not write romance, but the writing world is so badly portrayed in this movie that any writer will laugh their heads off at the horrible dialogue and the overall cheese of this movie.

On the other hand, the movie offered on its promise of sweet holiday romance. Hey, just because I write erotica doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy lighter fare when it comes to the sexual presentation on the page or screen. The truth is, I thought the  story was absolutely pat and enjoyable at the same time. Story fast-food. No worries about things being angsty. No real tension in the story. You can watch this puppy knowing who is going to end up happy together in the end within the first five minutes. But that’s the beautiful thing about romance. It’s cheery. It’s happy. It’s predictable. It’s exactly what we want when we are weary of the real world around us.

With six writers on the sofa, all the major plot points and reveals were easily pointed out ten minutes into the movie. The acting was laughable, bordering on groan-worthy. Christmas romances must have a snow scene in them, right? Of course, this one took place with the lead actress wearing pumps and a skirt while falling into totally fake looking snow. Add in the CGI snowbanks in the New York City scene for even more eye-rolling enjoyment. And, it being on Hallmark, there wasn’t anything more sexual than a little kiss at the end of the movie.

The only saving grace of this movie is that it’s hysterical to watch with a group of fellow writers who understand the mis-steps and completely off-base comments about our industry. At one point, a key-note speaker gives a two minute lecture on her favorite writing trick which involved putting lights and ornaments on the tree with the angel on top being the perfect point of view looking down on the story. I hear the book is WAY better.