Baby, It’s Cold Inside

Our lead, Hannah, is a travel agent. This travel agency office is filled with lots of REAL definitely NOT STOCK PHOTOS of tropical locations. Her boss pulls her aside to talk about cold weather vacations. This agency normally focuses exclusively on tropical vacations. I think the name is actually “Tropical Vacations Travel Agency” or something creative like that. Her boss tells her they want to expand to cold weather vacation packages and Hannah may just be the girl to lead the new division. So, she is getting sent to “The Ice Hotel.” There is, of course, a real hotel with that very generic name. It’s in Sweden. However, as we continue with this movie, you may find this, as I did, quite puzzling. Hannah doesn’t want to go because she hates the cold. Also, she planned a tropical cruise with her family. So she can’t go. Her boss lets her know that she’s in line to be “manager” so she really needs to cancel her vacation and head to the ice hotel. And obviously she has to go RIGHTTHISMINUTE. It can’t wait until after her week of vacation.

While packing for the trip, Hannah’s recently dumped friend, Phoebe decides to tag along. I love how everyone in Hallmark movies can just drop everything and go on an expensive trip at the last minute.

The girls pull up to the hotel and guys. It looks SO COOL. Literally and figuratively. Inside there are ice slides, ice sculptures. Again, like SO COOL. Would I want to sleep there after seeing what I’ve seen? No probably not. As you’ll see, they still have to sleep in their coats and stuff.

Hannah gets bumped out of line by someone. It turns out to be someone she has booked travel for frequently! What a coincidence. Peter (?) I think, gets a complimentary room upgrade just for being there. The girls are in separate rooms. And like, not even close to each other. That is kind of a bummer I think? For a friend vacation? I would have asked to be next door or maybe even to turn my room into two queens at least. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like my privacy but if the point is the hang together then I wouldn’t want my friend on the other side of the hotel. Hannah gets lost on her way to her room. She runs into a guy sculpting right in the middle of the hallway. (Our lead, Ben) Also, this was totally meant to be a winter movie.

OMG. This ROOM. It looks so so cool. Ben says she’ll get the best night sleep of her life there. Why am I freezing? Also why doesn’t anyone sound Swedish? Guys, not a single person in this movie, who alleges to live in or around the Ice Hotel is Swedish or even pretending to be Swedish.

Later the girls sit outside in a hot tub with jackets on! I feel like that doesn’t make a difference? I’ve sat in an outdoor heated pool in the Winter in a regular swimsuit. I don’t get the jackets. I just don’t feel like an extra layer really adds anything in the water unless it’s an actual wet/dry suit…? Someone explain! Hannah’s friend drops her phone in the water and runs to find rice for it. These are straight up hot tubs. Hannah gets out and can’t figure out which robe is hers? And she is way too calm about standing outside in that temperature. Like WAY. Phoebe at least danced around and pretended to be cold. Ben helps her get her robe on and again, I must reiterate that she is way too calm about the temperature.

Later, Hannah video calls her mom who is DEFINITELY on a cruise on a tropical beach.

The next morning, Hannah discovers that Ben is the co-owner of the hotel. Ben, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned, is NOT SWEDISH. Bridget, the front desk lady (also not Swedish) tells Ben that Peter is actually a hotel reviewer. I think she likes Ben also.

Then the girls have breakfast. Phoebe tells Hannah she is going to spend the whole day talking on the phone to her ex boyfriend Sean. Hannah calls her a wet sandwich to her face. Hannah tells Phoebe she plans to go on a tour of the ice hotel with Ben. She’s already admitted that she likes him too! Despite the fact that Hannah sat down mere moments ago, Phoebe decides not to eat any of her breakfast and runs off to her room.

Now it’s time for the tour. Ben talks Hannah in to sliding down the ice slide. I can see their breath but they are being so chill about being cold. I apologize for the pun. I have witnessed real life ice slides and as my children can attest, they are in fact, very fun. I love everything in the hotel! The rooms all have a different theme with different carvings into the walls and stuff. However, the rooms don’t have doors. Just curtains. So that’s weird. No one is worried about their valuables? Also, where do you shower? Or use the bathroom? Surely you can’t do any of those things in your hotel room? I tried to look up the hotel online to see how they managed these logistics and the website kept freezing. Again, no pun intended.

Hannah tells Ben she is a travel agent but she’d love to be managing a hotel. Then Hannah finds out that Peter is the super secret hotel reviewer.

The next day, the girls go cross country skiing. They somehow end up right where Bridget is unloading a kransekake for the traditional Nordic dinner that night. Then obviously, Hannah knocks it over with her skis. Because of course Bridget is trying to set up outside where everyone is cross country skiing even though later we see that the dinner is inside.

Inside, Bridget and Ben are wondering what to do about the cake. Apparently their chef can only make pudding. Shall I repeat this-THEIR CHEF CAN ONLY MAKE PUDDING. Okay. So LUCKILY, Hannah seems to know everything about Nordic desserts and offers to make ebelskivers. I thought those were breakfast items, but what do I know?

Ben obviously helps her make them. This is so insane. It is just Ben and Hannah making dessert for the hotel guests that evening. Not another person in sight. Hannah shares that she’s always wanted to manage her own hotel. She did manage a hotel once but it flooded so she got fired and became a travel agent. As you do.

That night at dinner, Hannah catches Phoebe up on the day. Where was Phoebe though? Shouldn’t she should have helped with all the baking?

They bring out the ebelskivers…which actually looks like a French wedding cake. Is that also how ebelskivers are presented? Again, not in my experience but what do I know? Peter loves it. Apparently he is putting on an American accent for the hotel to be super sneaky. He loved the dessert! Like he had never in his life had such a thing. It’s basically a donut hole dude. Get a grip!

Phoebe heads back to her room to talk to Shawn. How many different ways can I spell this guy’s name? Doesn’t matter. Meanwhile, Hannah and Ben hang out over specialty cocktails. They start with homemade cider. Hannah says the cider is better than any tropical drink she’s ever had. But like, that’s totally circumstantial! You don’t want a tropical drink when it’s freezing, right? So when you’re cold, cider is definitely going to taste better than a cold fruity drink. Cider is definitely another signal that we were meant to view this in winter though, right? Then Hannah facetimes her boss. She’s up for the big promotion still so that’s good news..

The next morning. Hannah runs into Peter and suggests he try snow shoeing. But, UH OH. All the snow they got stopped staff from getting to work. So there is no one to lead the tour. Does Bridget live there then? So, Hannah offers to lead the snow shoeing tour. With Phoebe. Because apparently you need one person at the front and one at the back but other than that, there are no requirements of a snow shoe tour guide. Luckily, Phoebe is like a fitness instructor so that’s all the same thing, right? Bridget points out that they don’t know the trails but let me argue that they are presumably…trails? Right? So you could probably figure it out? Then Ben is like, I’ll go too to help them. He offers to CLEAR HIS WHOLE DAY to help facilitate a snow shoe tour rather than tell Peter the weather has impacted the activity. And also, if Ben is going, then surely they don’t need all three people? Ben could probably just handle it on his own. No matter. Hannah goes to break the news to Phoebe. Phoebe is reluctant to help but Hannah gives her some lame sob story about how she always screws everything up and she needs to redeem herself so Phoebe agrees.

Phoebe dives right in to instruction and they hustle these people along the trail. Also, Hannah is right next to her so what was all that “someone stays in the back” talk? They get to a point where Ben is not sure where they’re going. So then they get lost. Poor Peter looks like he is about to have a heart attack. Good thing Ben was there to navigate!

They see a house and stop in to ask directions. The home owners are NOT SWEDISH. These guys invite the WHOLE TOUR GROUP in for tea. The tour group has no idea that this isn’t a planned stop. They learn these home owners are glass artists. The husband shows them how to make glass and they each get a turn rolling the glass around. Then the husband asks if the guests want to try their hand at glass art as well. So this has really turned into a great tour.

They finally make it back. Bridget is not as freaked out as I thought she might be about them being gone because the guests all loved it. They said they should officially add that stop to the hike “next year.” Do they only do that once a year? Hannah suggests they make a brochure and Ben is just out of his mind about that idea. Like no one’s thought to do a brochure. Not a single brochure in this entire hotel apparently. He is ready to hire her to manage their brand new ice hotel in Finland. Bridget seems a little miffed by that. Then they walk around a beautiful lighted path and find their way to the “maple syrup party.”

Then Ben shows her how to make maple syrup. All the guests ten learn how to make maple taffy. I remember reading about this in Little House on the Prairie and I’ve always wanted to try it!! Hannah gets so excited she flings her little taffy sucker up and it sticks to Peter’s hat. Apparently it is HIS FAVORITE hat from some very specific place. Then Peter gets taffy stuck in his hair. Hannah just feels like she keeps screwing everything up. But also, she totally is.

The next day, Phoebe and Hannah wait for Shawn to arrive. Because he can just drop everything and fly to this hotel. Hannah finds Ben ice sculpting. Ben invites Hannah to help him sculpt the block of ice he’s working on. Hannah suggests a…seashell. He lets Hannah etch the design. Ben asks her about the whole hotel flooding business. It’s boring. Who cares. Ben encourages her generally.

Wow. They do a great job on the sea shell. Phoebe and Shawn arrive, arm and arm.

Hannah and Ben go on a carriage ride later.

Bridget catches Ben and relays a message from his dad-they closed on the Finland hotel. Like Ben’s dad would relay that message through their manager to him. Geez Louise. Bridget invites Ben out that night to celebrate. He has plans with Hannah already. Then Ben spills to Bridget about Hannah’s flooding dilemma. So Bridget googles ” New York hotel incidents” and THE FIRST HIT is a ridiculous picture of Hannah and something that says “New York Hotel Floods” or something like that. I don’t even want to type that phrase into my search engine. I guarantee a flooding incident from several years ago would not be top of the list. Also, I SWEAR to you earlier when she tells this story, she was managing a hotel in the Bahamas. Am I wrong?

After dinner they run into some guy that helped get the hotel set up. He said he makes time to help in between hockey periods to help out but that’s not how that works so what? Then he tells them they can see the Aurora Borealis. Wait are they not in Sweden? WHERE ARE THEY? This hockey reference plus the complete lack of accents makes me think it’s supposed to be Canada but why would the NEXT location be Finland? Then Hannah tells Ben she has a surprise for him the next day.

They head to the glass studio the next morning. They make a mini glass ice hotel. Hannah suggests that they give the guests each one to take home. OR SELL THEM FOR LIKE $50 each in the gift shop. Doy. They inexplicably have live music in the lobby and ol Peter jumps in on the keys. Hannah and Ben get up to dance. Then Shawn steals the mic from Peter. He gives a pretty weird speech but then proposes to Phoebe. Yay.

Ben asks Hannah if she wants a job in Finland. Poor Bridget has been BUSTING HER BUTT and he’s going to give the job to Hannah?! Because Hannah suggested they print a brochure with suggests activities on it? I am not sure honestly what Hannah has done aside from tell Ben she wants to manage a hotel to deserve to BECOME a hotel manager. Then Bridget arrives and is like, so Hannah are you going to bed right now? YOU DEFINITELY SHOULD.

Bridget stops by Hannah’s room and basically reminds her what a screw up she is and that she better not mess up Bridget’s chances in Finland…Delores Umbridge style. Then Hannah promptly drops and breaks her cup. So maybe Bridget is right.

The next morning after the girls check out, Hannah tells Ben she is not going to take the job. Peter creeps on this exchange from around the corner. And then she’s like, well okay BYE! We’ll get email addresses later.

Oh my gosh, Hannah’s mom’s house is GORG. And totally decorated for WINTER. Her mom knows something is up with her. Hannah tells her mom she is scared of screwing things up again. Her mom is like GURL get it together.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Ben catches up with Bridget who is setting up at a wedding. He offers her the Finland job. Bridget wonders if he really wants her there. He’s like, well not really, but I don’t really want to go through the hassle of interviewing anyone. Plus the girl I was trying to impress rejected the job and you’re the only warm body left. IRONIC choice of words for an ice hotel employee, I know.

Then everyone reads Peter’s review. It is GLOWING. Is that a pun too? I guess I just can’t help it.

Hannah finds out that she got the management job at the travel agency. And then Peter shows up? At Hannah’s work? WHY? From where? Since when is he so invested in her? He gives her the glass ice hotel. He tells her “safe travels.” But Ben already gave the job to Bridget!

Later, Bridget tells Ben she wants to stay at the current hotel and admits she scared Hannah off of the job. Then Hannah shows up and gives her speech. She’s like, yes I want to start a new romantic relationship and also be your employee! And then they kiss. So this is going to work out just fine.

Guys, my view of this movie is elevated because of the ice hotel moments. But otherwise, I find it unsurprising that this is a filler movie. It is full of nonsense. It is mostly fun nonsense though so I didn’t mind. I will say that I really do hate the trope of the two leads beginning both a romantic and work partnership as that would likely end in disaster. But it is what it is. What did you think?