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Tag Archives: Holiday Movie

All That Heaven Allows

Image Credit: All That Heaven Allows, 1955

Although not typically thought of as a Christmas flick, the second I watched All That Heaven Allows (Disc) during a Douglas Sirk Deep Dive last summer, I knew I had to cover it in December. If you’re ever paranoid you’ve chosen a terrible Christmas present for your mom, reassure yourself with this movie. I promise, whatever it is, it’s nowhere near as bad as what Cary Scott’s adult children send to her doorstep.

To be fair, a television is not a terrible gift on its own. But when you’re A) refusing to spend Christmas with your sad, widowed mother, and B) have driven off the only hope of happiness this woman has for your own puritanical, selfish reasons, this television is the insult to end all insults. It says to her, “We know that you live alone. Here’s something to distract you until you eventually die alone.”  I’ve previously lamented the terrible children in classic Christmas movies (see Holiday Affair); however, the college-aged offspring in this one are actually The Worst. All Cary (Jane Wyman) wants to do is find a little joy after losing her husband. She happens to find it with a man nine years her junior (a flannel-loving Rock Hudson), but before she even has a chance to finish one martini, her friends and family lose their collective sh*t. Cary yearns for the freedom to love who she wants, and it takes the mother of all insulting Christmas gifts for her to realize she’s strong enough to tell ‘em all to go to hell. She wants Rock, she wants that flannel, and she does not want a television.

This is definitely a martini-heavy flick (it was the ‘50s after all…), so I’m thrilled to highlight a favorite holiday cocktail of mine. It’s strong, it’s flavorful, and best of all, it’s easy. While watching All That Heaven Allows, I recommend this Cozy Cabin Martini.

Cozy Cabin Martini

2 oz Gin

¾ oz Ginger Liqueur

½ oz Lime Juice

2 sprigs Rosemary

Muddle a sprig of Rosemary in the bottom of a shaker with lime juice. Add Ginger Liqueur, Gin, and ice. Shake well, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a sprig of Rosemary.

All That Heaven Allows inspired another movie I recently enjoyed (Far From Heaven), and both are fantastic picks if you want to get swept up in a domestic drama featuring cocktails and gorgeous ‘50s dresses. But if I have to pick a favorite, it would be this Douglas Sirk masterpiece. It may not be overtly “Christmas-y”, but it reminds me of what I’m most thankful for every time this holiday rolls around- love, and a child-free life. Cheers!

Love at the Christmas Table

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Love at the Christmas Table

Image credit: Love at the Christmas Table, 2012.

This week’s Cinema Sips selection was prompted by my love for Schitt’s Creek actor Dustin Milligan, who once sported a particularly festive Christmas sweater and apron in an episode. I thought to myself, this guy needs his own holiday movie. After a deep dive through IMDB, I was delighted to discover that he already has one, Love at the Christmas Table (Disc/Download).

Before you go thinking that Dustin is the only big name in this, I’ll have you know that it also stars Danica McKellar from The Wonder Years, Scott Patterson from Gilmore Girls, and Back to the Future’s Lea Thompson as a boozy Miss Havisham character! I think we’re supposed to see a Great Expectations plot in this, where lovers meet as children then gradually discover they’re meant for each other, but it’s hard to grasp under all the mistletoe, twinkle lights, and paper-thin career ambitions (you’re a furniture designer all of a sudden Danica? Oh reaaaally?). I’m mainly here for the impromptu ballroom dancing, Lea Thompson’s fab office featuring a mini-bar and fake book wallpaper, and a creepy/cute cardboard house that looks like something a serial killer would have made. Danica, you might need to run.

Something that stays constant as these kids grow up is the annual rum cake at their holiday gathering. It gets boozier as they get older, which I am all for. Here’s a recipe for a fun Rum Cake Martini that’ll put you in the holiday spirit.

Rum Cake Martini

1.5 oz Kraken Black Spiced Rum

1 oz Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur

.5 oz Butterscotch Schnapps

2 oz Half-and-Half

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake well until chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Rum Cake Martini

While the plot of this movie certainly has some issues, I’m willing to forgive a lot for charming actors, which Love at the Christmas Table has in spades. If you want to see what some of your favorite TV stars are up to, give this a watch. And don’t forget the rum. Cheers!