12 Days of Netflix: A New York Christmas Wedding
James R | On 24, Dec 2020
Director: Otoja Abit
Cast: Chris Noth, Nia Fairweather, Chris Trousdale, Cooper Koch
Watch A New York Christmas Wedding online in the UK: Netflix UK
With Happiest Season providing a divisive but largely feel-good LGBTQ+ milestone in the festive cinema canon, it was with intrigue that A New York Christmas Wedding popped up on Netflix UK, a seasonal drama also centred on a lesbian couple. Once the play button has been pressed, any intrigue soon disappears.
The film follows Jennifer (Nia Fairweather), a Goldman Sachs executive who decides to give up her high-flying finance career for a job as a vet. But while that might sound like the start of a getting-back-in-touch-with-your-true-self narrative that populates almost all Christmas films, A New York Christmas Wedding eventually turns out to be based around a completely different festive staple: It’s a Wonderful Life. The titular wedding, we learn, is to David (Abit), and it’s a marriage that her mother-in-law is heavily involved in organising. But, before they tie the knot, up pops Azrael (Cooper Koch), who offers to show her an alternative timeline in which she actually married her childhood friend, Gabby (Adriana DeMeo).
A swift bit of It’s a Wonderful Life magic later and Jennifer finds herself in that other universe, where all the sad bits of her life have become happy. There’s no logic to any of the changes that have occurred in her life (including her dad now not dying) and they’re all presented by Azrael’s guardian angel, who makes Dolly Parton’s angel in Christmas on the Square seem subtle. As more and more on-the-nose speeches pile on top of each other, and nobody seems to notice that Jennifer is a fish out of water in this parallel existence, along comes Chris Noth, who plays a priest batting with his conviction to be welcoming and the doctrines of the Catholic church.
The result is a frustratingly unbelievable festive tale that wastes any potential it had for being a poignant reflection on unspoken feelings – particularly when one final reveal stretches all credulity with no relevance to the plot or characters whatsoever. When Chris Noth as a fist-pumping, progressive priest is the most convincing thing in your film, you know something’s gone wrong.
A New York Christmas Wedding is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.