VOD film review: Something from Tiffany’s
Ivan Radford | On 26, Dec 2022
Director: Daryl Wein
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Kendrick Sampson, Ray Nicholson, Shay Mitchell
Christmas romantic comedies are a dime a dozen nowadays, thanks to a race to the bottom of the stocking fuelled by streamers looking to bag repeat viewings each holiday season. What’s less common is a romantic comedy that just happens to be set at Christmas, and Christmas at Tiffany’s is a slick move to fill that gap.
The film follows two couples during the holiday season – Gary (Ray Nicholson) and cafe owner Rachel (Zoey Deutch) whose festive plans are upended briefly when Gary is hit by a car (spoiler: he’s mostly fine), and Vanessa (Shay Mitchell) and Ethan (Kendrick Sampson), the guy who ends up performing first aid on Gary following the accident. Needless to say, the two men were both trying to get Something from Tiffany’s at the time – Ethan had bought an engagement ring for a proposal, while Gary had bought a pair of fancy earrings. But, in all the drama, their bags get mixed up: Rachel winds up thinking Gary wants to marry her, while Vanessa likes the earrings so much that Gary says nothing. The complications arise when Gary, whose memory has been given a bit of a knock, mistakenly thinks that he did buy the ring after all.
You won’t be surprised by the end result of all this kerfuffle, especially when Rachel and Ethan spend a lot of time together and find they have some rather sparky chemistry. And Zoey Deutch and Kendrick Simpson really do have good chemistry, each of them laidback enough to gel together and gently feel out of sync with their respective partners. The cast’s low-key performances are backed up by quietly confident direction, with Daryl Wein gorgeously making the most of each location with a glossiness that feels several steps above the Hallmark-esque style that has come to define the genre. The costumes and sponsored jewellery live up to the product placement inherent to the premise and the soundtrack is a classier affair than most cheap and cheerful Christmas outings.
Given the likeable performances – including Leah Jeffries as Ethan’s wise-beyond-her-years daughter, Daisy – and handsome production, it’s a shame that the whole thing is undermined somewhat by the tawdry script. Adapted from Melissa Hill’s novel by Tamara Chestna, the screenplay fails to write any of the characters or dialogue with anything approaching realism – Rachel is reduced to little more than a quirky baker and Ethan has too many moments where he talks about how bread makes him sad. The result is a shiny but shallow affair that’s given a significant polish by its cast – it’s a slick move to fill a gap in the Christmas market, just not always a successful one.