Advent Day #17: Christmas Pen Pals


Aha! A Christmas movie with an interesting take on romantic matchmaking! I’m really glad to finally have a movie that isn’t the same old tired formula.

Hannah (Sarah Drew) is one of the founding members of the dating app, Perfect One. However, the company begins to tank right a few weeks before Christmas. In order to find a solution to her problem, Hannah heads home to celebrate the holidays with her family. Once there, she finds out that the town is pulling out an old tradition where people sign up to get matched with a secret pen pal. In order to get her widowed father back in the dating game, Hannah agrees to sign up as well. Will she meet her soulmate?

We’ve already seen movies where the leading woman runs a dating app. (Hi, Mingle All The Way.) This time around, the plot doesn’t revolve around the app so much. It’s basically a device to show that Hannah is super techy and she doesn’t do ‘normal’ things like writing letters. But once we establish that the town doesn’t do things like wifi or grande lattes with all of the syrup squirts, the tech thing is pretty much thrown to the wayside. There are a few calls between Hannah and her business partner but that’s about it.

The interesting thing about the movie is how the writers go about connecting Hannah with her pen pal. We only see them trade a few letters but they are very open with each other right from the beginning. Of course, her pen pal/true love turns out to be her high school ex-boyfriend, Sam (Niall Matter). That isn’t really the important part though. It’s her journey to reconnect with him and how sweetly he treats her, even though he doesn’t know it’s actually her… OK, the plot falls apart a little bit. I mean, he does send her on a scavenger hunt for some earrings before he knows who he is matched with but, whatever, it’s TRUE LOVE.

It was definitely a cute movie. I did spend way too much time trying to figure out who he dad was (he’s Michael Gross from the 80s show Family Ties)…that’s just my own senility rearing it’s ugly head. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It was an interesting take on ‘how to update online dating.’