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Christmas Perfection

Christmas Perfection

Image credit: Christmas Perfection, 2018.

“Okay campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s COOOOLD out there today…” Wait, wrong movie. I got confused because Christmas Perfection (Download) is basically a Christmas-themed version of Groundhog Day. If it weren’t for all the charming accents, I’d start to wonder if this actually takes place in Punxsutawney instead of Ireland.

Christmas Perfection is a delightful surprise within a crowded holiday landscape of milquetoast heroes and low-stakes plots. Our hero Brandon has a scrawny, Ben Whishaw appeal, and it’s easy to picture him standing beside you in a real-life grocery store, looking for the herb goat cheese. Our heroine Darcy is the classic STRESSED AT THE HOLIDAYS-type; a perfectionist who can’t handle it when her holiday doesn’t align with the picture she had in her head. Through the powers of a magical miniature holiday village, she’s transported to a small town in Ireland, where every day is Christmas, and it’s the perfect Christmas she always dreamed of. Except, even perfection gets old after a while. A girl can only take so many gingerbread cookies, cute red-headed children, and Lego-haired Stepford boyfriends; eventually she needs something different. Enter Brandon, her lifelong friend who also transports to the Irish village and helps her see that perfection isn’t everything. I was skeptical about this hero at first, but the actors’ chemistry is off the charts, particularly in one steamy foot-rub/yule log scene. Things get worse before they get better, and there’s even a Groundhog Day-esque moment with the smashed alarm clock (alas, no Sonny & Cher), but eventually Darcy realizes the most perfect Christmas is an imperfect one.

If you’ve got a bottle of Bailey’s sitting around, here is your chance to use it. The thing I’ve noticed with these TV Christmas movies is that there’s usually romance, but never any sex. If you want an Orgasm, you’ll have to make it happen yourself with this cocktail.

Orgasm

1 ½ oz Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur

1 ½ oz Amaretto

1 ½ oz Coffee Liqueur

Aztec Chocolate bitters

Combine Bailey’s, Amaretto, and Coffee Liqueur in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a glass with ice. Top with Aztec bitters.

Orgasm

I’ll admit, I saw a lot of myself in this heroine. I too like to play with miniatures, and go to painstaking efforts to decorate my dollhouse exactly the same way every year. I enjoy creating a world where everything is perfect, where not even a tiny Christmas card is out of place. Meanwhile, my real house is full of chaos and warmth; of memories and mistakes. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cheers!

Rudy

Image credit: Tri-star Pictures, 1993, Rudy

Image credit: Tri-star Pictures, 1993, Rudy

Since it’s been one whole year of Cinema Sips fabulousness, I’m harkening back to my very first post on A League of Their Own, where I discussed my general disdain for sporting events, and my inexplicable love for sports movies. This year, I’m switching games so I can talk about one of the all-time best football movies, Rudy (DVD/Download). Now that we’re heavy into college football season, it’s definitely appropriate viewing. While I roll my eyes at a Facebook newsfeed littered with tailgate photos and score updates, I plan on watching Rudy with a tasty autumnal cocktail in my hand to usher in fall. Some autumn spice candles may be lit- we’ll have to see.

Rudy is the wonderful inspirational movie about young Rudy Ruettiger, whose main dream in life is to play football for Notre Dame. He’s not the best student, so he can’t get into Notre Dame on academic merit, and he’s pretty small for a football player, so he’d never be recruited. But, he doesn’t give up. Even after being rejected time and time again, he continues to work on his studies at nearby Holy Cross, improving his grades, until eventually he’s accepted. Then he goes to work on becoming a football player. Everybody tells him he’ll never make the team, but he persists day in and day out, until eventually he makes the practice team. From there, he never misses a practice, and always gives a 110% during training, until finally, they let him dress for a game and run out onto the field with all the other top players. Honestly, during the final moments of the film, with Rudy’s family and friends cheering him on in the stands, I’m a weeping mess. This is the Marley & Me of sports movies- you just can’t watch it without tearing up. The game is utterly uninteresting to me. What makes this such a great film is the courageous, tenacious, and unbreakable spirit of Rudy.

My drink this week is inspired by the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  It features that great Irish export Bailey’s, along with apple and caramel.  Perfect for fall, and for when you just can’t drink another pumpkin spice latte.  This week, while watching Rudy, I’ll be drinking a Fightin’ Irish Appletini.

Fightin’ Irish Appletini

3 oz Baileys Caramel Irish Cream

1 1/2 oz Smirnoff Green Apple Flavored Vodka

1 teaspoon caramel

1 apple slice

Add Baileys and Vodka into a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake until chilled.  Prepare glass by swirling caramel on the bottom and sides.  Strain liquids into glass, then garnish with an apple slice.

fighting-irish-appletini

After thinking about this movie, I got to wondering what Rudy Ruettiger did after the big game at the end. If that was his life’s goal, to play in a Notre Dame football game, wouldn’t it all be downhill from there? A little internet research has informed me that he’s now a motivational speaker, which made me remember that the real Rudy actually did come speak at my elementary school 20 years ago, and I’m sure at the time my only thought was, “Well he looks nothing like Sean Astin.” I’m happy that his life took this particular career path though, if only because I’m seeing now how important it is that kids understand that their dreams are attainable. It’s not going to be easy, and nothing will be handed out on a silver platter, but if you work hard enough, and don’t give up, anything is possible. So hats off to Rudy and this movie for inspiring generations of people, and for goodness sake don’t forget to watch it with a box of Kleenex. Cheers!