12 Days of Netflix: Christmas Made to Order
Ivan Radford | On 16, Dec 2020
Director: Sam Irvin
Cast: Alexa PenaVega, Jonathan Bennett, Jo Marie Payton, Jacob Young
Watch Christmas Made to Order: Netflix UK
Holiday co-ordinator. If that isn’t your dream job before watching Christmas Made to Order, well, it probably won’t be after watching it either. That’s the life goal for Gretchen (Alexa PenaVega), who takes on the gig of decorating an architects firm’s office in the run-up to Christmas. While there, she crosses paths with Steven (Jonathan Bennett), an architect who thinks Christmas decorating and festive cheer is overkill – not because he’s a would-be Scrooge, but because he’s still getting over a broken heart.
Will Gretchen be able to win him over? Will she also win his heart in the process? There are no points for guessing the correct answers: this is a Hallmark movie through and through, right down the cheesy, tinny versions of Christmas carols that make up most of the soundtrack. This is the kind of movie where we can tell a workaholic is learning to grow as a person by a moment when they don’t pick up a ringing phone with the word “WORK” written in big letters on the screen. From dialogue that sees characters amazed by the notion that it feels good when you help others to lectures on what qualities make for a perfect Christmas tree, Christmas Made to Order is certainly produced to the extremely narrow specifications required; it’s as formulaic and predictable as the miniature nail clippers you always get in a Christmas cracker.
But PenaVega (Carmen from Spy Kids) and Bennett (aka Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls) are game enough to spark some chemistry between them, and their likeable double-act helps make Christmas Made to Order a watchable affair – even if the idea of having a job dictated by such cliched holiday conventions all year round is enough to make your stockings shrivel.
Christmas Made to Order is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.