The Holiday Calendar Cover: A woman leans against a large advent calendar house while a man stands next to her.


Title: The Holiday Calendar
Released: 2018

Fix: Magical Objects Of Luuurve, Christmas Lends A Helping Hand To Your Love Life
Platforms: Netflix 

Netflix Summary:

A talented photographer stuck in a dead-end job inherits an antique Advent calendar that may be predicting the future — and pointing her toward love.

What’s Actually Going On In Santa’s Workshop:

Abby’s feeling mad jealous when her best friend, Josh, comes back from a traveling year abroad where he did a lot of photography and blogging. She’s been taking uninspired family portraits at someone else’s studio and has closed herself off to love (for some reason). During a family Christmas gathering, Gramps gives her an advent calendar that belonged to her late grandma. That night, the advent calendar opens to reveal a toy figurine pair of…boots. (Like, “Christmas” boots? Is this a thing?) It gets really weird when Josh gives her a pair of Italian leather boots that he picked up for her on his travels—and, okay, this movie should’ve ended right here, because, come on, what just-a-guy-friend knows his BFF’s shoe size and would drop that much money on Italian leather booties—and the hits just keep coming, as each day reveals a Christmas-themed toy that relates to her life.

Is the advent calendar leading Abby to love or success, or, quite possibly, both?

Naughty or Nice List:

Kat Graham as Abby Sutton

As much as my opinion of Bonnie the character went up and down during The Vampire Diaries, I’ve always had a little soft spot for Kat Graham. Netflix has done a damn good job so far by populating its Christmas romances with pretty people, and Kat is no exception; she practically glows when she smiles. If Tyra were to give away smizing awards, Ms. Graham would be the star recipient. When she is told to act like she is in love with someone, girl goes for it. I was so torn for a while because Abby seemed super into Josh right off, but then she met Ty and the chemistry during their flirty banter was way more believable. Who was I supposed to root for?! 

Verdict: Nice. The girl is taking love advice from a magical inanimate object. She needs all the help she can get.

Quincy Brown as Josh Barton

I had no clue who Quincy was before looking him up, but he’s apparently the son of Kim Porter and P Diddy (though not his biological father). Fun fact: his sweet sixteen was featured on MTV in 2007. His acting credits are fairly short which…does not surprise me, as I wasn’t overly enamored with his acting abilities. While Kat can fake chemistry with anyone, I did feel like their dynamic was more brother/sister than sexy friends turned more, and it could be because Josh seemed a lot younger than Abby (his hairstyle, which unfortunately reminded me of those dinosaurs that look like they’re wearing crowns, didn’t help).

Verdict: Naughty. I did not approve of his actions in the latter half of the movie, which consisted of ghosting and not sharing his damn feelings!

Ethan Peck as Ty Walker 

I know OF Ethan Peck but I’ve rarely seen him in anything, though IMDB says he was Patrick Verona in the TV version of 10 Things I Hate About You, so that’s cool. He’s grown into quite the attractive man (I guess he can thank Gregory Peck for his looks) and I was swept up along with Abby during their various meet-cutes. The movie took a strange turn when it decided to focus so much on Abby and Ty’s courtship, especially when Brown’s character was featured way more heavily in the promos. It didn’t feel organic for his personality to shift as much as it did, and I was secretly rooting for these two.

Verdict: Nice. Guy takes you on amazing Christmas dates and then you complain you never talk? Conversation is a two-way street, Abby. You certainly looked like you were enjoying that sleigh ride at the time.

Ron Cephas Jones as Gramps 

This is probably way more lighthearted than Ron’s recent role in This Is Us. Gramps is a little sad that this is his first Christmas without his wife, but overall he seems fine with chilling around family dinner parties and trolling his grandkids with magical presents.

Verdict: Nice. He just wants to see his granddaughter happy. Thanks, Gramps!

Sleigh-Sharing Capability: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

You won’t hate yourself after watching this one, so go ahead and watch in a crowd! It’s the perfect thing to have on in the background while you’re decorating gingerbread houses with friends: you can pay attention to the pertinent stuff but if you get too gabby and miss a few lines here and there, you won’t be lost.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Break Out The Coquito

There’s also no need to get plastered in order to indulge in this holiday movie, so break out something festive—like this Puerto Rican version of eggnog—and enjoy!

Did It Get Me In The Christmas Spirit?: Mostly

This movie made me a little sad that I once again failed to procure an advent calendar in time for December 1st. It did have a healthy dose of Christmas cheer, even if I didn’t love the outcome of the romance.

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.