So, another weekend in January, another “New Year New Movie” that DEFINITELY WOULD NOT FIT UNDER “WINTERFEST” which MUST be why they changed it. I misunderstood the premise of this movie and I must say, the actual premise is MUCH sillier than my assumption. This movie also features one of those classic, made up Hallmark jobs. I am not sure where they filmed this but it definitely made me want to plan a trip to Banff whenever I can spare 14 days to quarantine or whenever this is all “over.” You know, so…maybe never. Anyway, let’s get into it.
The movie begins with our lead Courtney talking to her client about some kind of high end complicated date for his wife or girlfriend. He wants a very impossible date and Courtney overcommits. I can’t tell if this is a proposal but it sounds like something my 5 year old would ask to do. Something about sitting ON an iceberg with penguins shipped up North and then projecting the Northern Lights in the sky? Then Courtney’s boss, Dana, explains the premise of their work to her as they walk and talk. Essentially, their “concierge” company will arrange ANYTHING for you if you have enough money. I didn’t hear or see of any illegal activity but honestly. SILLY HALLMARK JOB.
Dana then tells Courtney she needs to take on a new client in Banff. Courtney is taking over for “Rachel” who just gave her TWO HOURS notice to work at a….different? concierge company? So rude. So now Courtney is going to be a traveling concierge for lonely WEALTHY Joe Franklin. She gets the folder on him which doesn’t even include a picture! Oof. Also, I am trying to get over my jealousy about going to Banff right now.
That night, Courtney celebrates her parents’ 35th anniversary at their house. She either has a MUCH younger sister or a niece? I think it’s her niece. Also, so no one is going to eat that cake then? Ugh. What a disappointment.
So, at the airport, a man arrives and without waiting to be introduced she just jumps right in to her concierge spiel. That man is the pilot. Then another man shows up and he definitely has the right name. Though, we already know he’s the WRONG person. So, why is he there? Why does he have snowboard equipment? And why does he get on the flight? On the plane, Joe messes with the seats and asks for root beer. You know, like a child. Then he helps Courtney with her computer. He seems very out of his element and has no chill at all about the experience. So based on the previews, I was thinking that this was a mix up where another guy named “Joe Franklin” was the actual billionaire and our lead gets picked up at the airport by mistake. So that is NOT what is going on here.
They arrive at a very lovely hotel in Banff. Everyone keeps trying to take his snowboard for him. And he is GREETED WITH HOT CHOCOLATE. I love this place already. Courtney takes him to his room. It is GIGANTIC. Courtney has planned a VERY fancy (and disgusting) breakfast for him. I think Joe agrees with me. The bell hop, Gabriel (Gabe), tells Joe that the bath robe in the room is 100% cashmere. So does that make sense? Would you want a cashmere bathrobe? Courtney has also planned for him to get picked up to go snowboarding at 9 AM. WHAT? That’s way too late.
Then Courtney tells Gabe that he owns a very successful tech company called “Cyber gophers.” Then Joe realizes something. He calls his friend Alan to tell him there might be a mix up. I truly do not understand what is going on right now. They talk about “Beth” leaving and Joe getting back on his feet without his friend Alan’s financial assistance. But Alan was the one that gave Joe this trip as a gift. So, honestly I don’t think I have ever had a friend that nice. I mean, how much is this trip and like, without his pal? Like just a solo trip? Isn’t that a weird gift? Sending your best friend in the world on a VERY EXPENSIVE vacation by himself? I mean, the flight alone…And if it IS a gift, why in the world would it matter if Joe is wealthy or not? As long as someone is paying for it and the credit card doesn’t get declined. So, do you see now why the premise is a bit silly and just ripe for manufactured nonsense drama? But Alan tells Joe to pretend to be the actual billionaire that is footing the bill for this weird lonely vacation. TO WHAT END? Oof.
The next morning, Joe coaxes Courtney into hitting the slopes with him. They really get Courtney geared up, all on Alan’s dime. Joe has NO QUALMS about spending his pal’s money. Also are they going heli-skiing? I hope they aren’t novices. Oh this is cute. Courtney has kind of been pretending this whole time that she doesn’t know much about skiing. But she is really good. So they just shred. They do one run and are ready for lunch. This lunch includes a little bit of day drinking. Joe asks Courtney about her job. It is a silly pretend Hallmark job as we all know. She tells him a story about a celebrity client asking for an entire hotel to be repainted. There’s no way!
It is clear that this food is way too fancy for Joe. Because of course, ALL WEALTHY people eat really ridiculous and fancy things, RIGHT? I actually don’t even know what they’re eating honestly. Squab? What is that. Then they both learn they have a Colorado connection. Also, they are leaving that lovely charcuterie tray TOTALLY untouched!! I would have just pounded that charcuterie before I even got a chance to order lunch.
Then they head back to the hotel. Joe invites the bell hop, Gabriel on the slopes at some undetermined future date. Then Joe declines a fancy dinner and opts for room service. Courtney makes a FACE at his back.
The next morning Joe is eating regular breakfast. Courtney just walks right into his room without knocking nad catches him eating the not fancy breakfast she organized. Joe tells Courtney how sore he is after the day before. A very stern northern European looking woman arrives to give him a massage. Joe admits that he doesn’t like any of that food and he wants some more childish food. I think we’re meant to believe that chili dogs are “real food” but any man in his 30s knows exactly the price he will pay for eating chili dogs on a regular basis. As Courtney leaves, Joe panics about his massage. It’s funny. Also, I just looked up what squab is and frankly, I am HORRIFIED just across the board. It sounds absolutely revolting and also like, really on the inhumane side of meat eating. Seriously ABHORENT.
Later, Joe is quite pleased with the massage. Olga knows what she’s doing apparently! Then in the hotel lobby, Joe shares more about “Beth.” Because the hotel lobby is a totally appropriate place for that conversation. Then they head downtown to shop. Courtney has a bunch of ideas for activities but Joe shoots them all down. He just wants to snowboard and shop. It seems like maybe he wants her to join him but she has ALOT of work to do!
So she heads to a “café” to do some work. I put café in quotes because the place she is sitting looks NOTHING like a café. Anyway, some of the work she has to do includes shipping Brazilian coconuts somewhere because the client doesn’t like Tahitian coconuts. Oy. Courtney gushes to her coworker, Julie on the phone about Joe. Then Courtney decides she’s done enough work and meets up with Joe to shop. They walk by..through(?) an art gallery and talk about the paintings they see. Then Joe almost gets talked into buying a $300,000 painting. WHAT A STEAL though.
After narrowly escaping getting a mortgage to pay for an art piece, they walk into a tourist shop and we find out that Courtney is single. Surprise! She notices a kitchy Banff snow globe and mentions that she used to collect them. So then Joe says that tomorrow he would like to do whatever she wants to do. So that’s cute! Joe gets a text from Alan asks how it’s going pretending to be a secret billionaire. Eyeroll.
So, of all the things to do in Banff, Courtney wants to race sled dogs. So that’s what they’re doing. After the sled dogs, they have a lovely heart to heart. And then those GOOD BOYS AND GIRLS take a little snooze in the snow too after being SUCH GOOD PUPS and running SO HARD. Back at the hotel, Joe is about to kiss Courtney but then VERY HELPFUL Gabe opens the door for her.
Later…? The next morning? Joe is having breakfast with the whole staff. And boy is he WEARING that turtleneck. So today, Joe wants to go curling. They are just getting after it, aren’t they? They have a lovely time curling and another lovely heart to heart at dinner.
That night, Joe can’t sleep and he calls Alan in the middle of the night. He is just in a panic about lying about being a billionaire. Alan I guess talks him down. This is just silly.
The next day they go to Calgary to see the opera because that is what Courtney wanted to do. She sure has fancy tastes!!
Later Joe gets to try poutine which is like a Canadian tradition. I’ve never had it but I know about it. Also, the restaurant they go to has “craft” root beer. OMG Joe nearly collapses with excitement. He also wants to marry poutine. After that, they walk and talk downtown. Then Courtney tells Joe about her most memorable traveling experience. Then Joe, thinking he is coming up with something revolutionary, essentially describes the Trip Advisor app. But Courtney seems excited about it. Joe offers to design the app for her. Then he tells her he LIKES her. Joe gets ready to kiss her and Courtney jumps away. She tells him about her company policy.
Later, Courtney smiles over a terribly photoshopped photo in her room.
Back at Courtney’s work, an employee finally catches the discrepancy with Joe. The card on file is Alan’s. How did NOBODY notice this or like why was it not included in the file…or at the hotel or ANYTHING? Yikes. Talk about poor management. I guess we can blame it all on Rachel. Who’s Rachel? KEEP UP.
Joe spills the beans to Gabe. Gabe is not sure he can be helpful. Except he does tell him to be truthful.
Then Courtney’s boss calls her to fill her in on Joe. We get even more info on the trip. Alan and his wife had to cancel but it was too late to like get their money back. So Alan decides to send one friend all alone. He had it all worked out with RACHEL OKAY? And then, for the first time, Courtney actually googles Joe and realizes he is just an employee of cyber gopher. So right as she realizes this, Joe comes to her door to talk.
This music playing during this scene is VERY distracting. It’s SO LOUD and there are actual lyrics so who knows what’s happening. But they actually do talk instead of Courtney being like, no I don’t want to hear it. But she is mad about the lying. I do still find her to be a bit unreasonable frankly. But, we have time. I’m not worried. But also, I can barely hear what they’re saying because THIS MUSIC IS SO LOUD and DISTRACTING and also not right for his scene.
So of course, Courtney decides to leave early and fly commercial. ONE DAY early. Honestly. Alan and Joe face time. They are actually cute friends. Did I mention how Joe tells Alan he loves him when the hang up? That’s cute. Alan can’t believe Joe let her just walk away. Alan gives him a TALKING TO. Also, Alan knows QUITE a bit about Courtney. Do he and Joe talk every day?
Courtney talks to her mom on the phone about Joe. Her mom is like, girl get a grip. Her mom gives her some good advice! This mom has just had ENOUGH of Courtney and her nonsense. She tells Courtney that her dad told a little half truth on their first date about his job. So anyway, Courtney considered taking a giant chill pill on this whole thing. Then Dana calls Courtney. She basically tells her to turn around and go back to check out an event venue because tomorrow is Joe’s birthday. So now Alan is throwing Joe a big surprise party and flying in a bunch of friends. Dude, I want Alan as my best friend. But also, I don’t think there is a surprise party. I think Alan is up to something. DANA IS SO IN ON IT.
AND GABE IS IN ON IT. He is there at the hotel waiting when Courtney arrives. Now Courtney is suspicious. Gabe opens the door and sees that Joe has set up the whole ballroom in this hotel recreating her favorite vacation moment. Joe of course, gives her that snow globe from before. Then Joe speaks from his heart. Poor Gabe brings the food in. It’s Chinese food just like her childhood memory. And now I think they are going to dance? Oof. Gabe and I are just feeling so awkward and embarrassed right now. Oh boy. Now they are talking about starting to date and begin launch a business together. GOOD IDEA. OKAY ENOUGH CHIT CHAT. Finally, they kiss. TWICE!
So that was Winter Getaway. Well, this movie had the SILLIEST premise of all the movies we’ve seen so far. I mean, actually the idea of someone just giving their friend a trip because they’d be out the money either way is not silly. The idea that Joe would then have to PRETEND to be the billionaire and that no one would know and that it would actually be that big of a deal at the end of the day is SILLY. It is a silly thing to be upset about. But I liked the actress in this movie more than I liked her in The Christmas Ring. And I liked the lead actor. AND I liked them together. I would have liked to see more skiing and more upscale ski lodge scenery. And DEFINITELY more hot chocolate. But I liked it. It might be my least favorite of the series so far but I didn’t outright hate it like I hated some of the Christmas ones. I think this just reinforces the notion that WinterFest (YES I’M SAYING WINTERFEST) are just really fun movies. Wintery feels without the weight of getting through all the Christmas tropes. What did you think?