A Groundhog Christmas Eve
Having just orchestrated a huge Wall Street merger Rebecca (Marla Sokoloff - Gift of the Magi) is convinced a promotion is on the cards, so is stunned when instead she is let go. With Christmas coming and no one looking to hire immediately Rebecca reluctantly returns to her home town for a childhood friend's Christmas Eve wedding. But it is a nightmare from start to finish when the erratic driving of the cabbie (George Wendt - Merry In-Laws) causes her to bang her head, then she sees her High School sweet heart Chad (Chris Carmack - All About Christmas Eve), whilst maid of honour Molly (Chelan Simmons) is catty towards her at every opportunity. All Rebecca wants is to return to New York after a night's sleep, except when she wakes up the next day it is Christmas Eve all over again and she has to relive the same day over and over again until she discovers the answer to the question, Why?
It takes till roughly 30 minutes for "A Christmas Wedding Date" to fully show its hand, up until then it has put a few typical pieces in to place such as Rebecca being single, unemployed, returning to her childhood home and having an encounter her high school sweetheart. Up until then you can guess that Rebecca's return home will result in some rekindling of old feelings but it isn't till the 30 minute mark that it plays the "Groundhog Day" card. Yes "A Christmas Wedding Date" is another made for TV Christmas movie which recycles the whole getting to live the same day again and again theme. And yes that means it is still pretty familiar with Rebecca going from initial confusion, to using the opportunity to her advantage and then of course eventually realising the answer to the $64,000,000 as to why it is happening.
The thing is that whilst "A Christmas Wedding Date" offers up little if anything that the devoted Christmas movie fan won't have watched before it still works. Most of that is down to the talents and likeability of Marla Sokoloff who shows her comic ability with plenty of sweet face pulling. Plus there is Chris Carmack who frankly I spent the first few minutes convinced I was watching Casper Van Dien as he is such a dead ringer for the "Starship Troopers" actor in this. And just for good measure the team who have done the set decorations have done a wonderful job of making a Christmas movie which whilst set in California still has a decent Christmas look despite the distinct lack of typical winter weather, yes this is a Christmas movie without snow.
What this all boils down to is that "A Christmas Wedding Date" is not in the least bit new when it comes to Christmas movies, in fact it is distinctly familiar from the basics of high school sweethearts reconnecting through to the whole groundhog day plot line. But "A Christmas Wedding Date" still manages to entertain with some light humour, nice set dressing and a pleasant cast.