Movie Face-Off: A Christmas Prince VS A Christmas Heritage

Movie Face-Off Image

Movie Face-Off is a feature that pits two movies sharing the same genre against each other, and comparing them in terms of the thematic, dramatic, stylistic and/or technical aspects. And only one shall emerge victorious!

Happy Holidays everyone! With that said, I just watched not one, but two Netflix made for TV, Hallmark/Lifetime-ish kind of Christmas movie! And they’re ridiculous! And I love it! I mean I was told that I am quite nit picky with romance in books, and yeah sometimes in movies. But with movies like these, you know what I am getting into and they never advertise otherwise anyway. Plus they are super tropey and make you feel super smart for knowing what’s going to happen and for pointing out all the ridiculous cockamamie plot points. So yeah. I saw Netflix’s A Christmas Inheritance and as I’ve come to realize, the more famous, A Christmas Prince.

And this time, instead of a straight forward review, I will be comparing both films in terms of characters and plot and whatnot, and ultimately choosing the movie that I like more.


The Leading Lady

ACP: Amber Moore (played by Rose McIver of CW’s iZombie) is an aspiring journalist who is stuck in an editorial job at a magazine, rewriting articles (from scratch yo) of douche bag writers. She loves Chuck Taylors and wears them everywhere. At work, at press conferences, at the Royal Ball. Yeesh. This is probably to emphasize her All-American-ness? Or to show how much of a down-to-earth, every woman she is? Sheesh. And she is an only child who lost her mum at a young age, and now her only family is a dad who dotes on her with platitudes. She longs to be a “real” journalist, so she snaps up the opportunity to cover a press conference regarding the coronation of The Prince of Aldovia.

ACI: Ellen Langdon (played by Eliza Taylor of CW’s 100) is the daughter of the CEO of Home and Hearth Gifts a, um, gift company. After an incident that involves doing gymnastics at a charity function and falling into a Christmas tree (even if it was for a good cause) she is dubbed by the media as the party heiress. Apparently this counts as scandalous in the world of ACI. Anyway, she too is an only child and has lost her mum at a young age. She also doesn’t know the ff: a. that buses don’t have attendant buzzers; b. how to use a vacuum cleaner; c. what a heat pack is.

My pick: Amber More of ACP. Only because her character has less inconsistencies than Ellen Langdon of ACI. I mean sure Amber Moore  is a poor excuse for a journalist. I don’t know the first thing about journalism but I do know that real journalists’ notes don’t consists of things like:

  • The prince is still reluctant – WHY??? It’s more than just nerves
  • Have to find out!!
  • I think I’m finally getting to know the prince…so not what I thought!
  • I have to dig deeper

Triple question marks! Double exclamation points! ALL CAPS! This sounds more like my teenage self’s diary entries than a journalist’s notes. BUT I admit, this made the movie more hilarious! And ugh, I can’t stand the Chuck Taylors thing. But I guess I have to be thankful that she isn’t into Crocs.

But Ellen Langdon of ACI is just super inconsistent which makes it hard for me to emphatize with her. Like how can a wealthy, most likely college educated girl, not know that buses don’t have attendant buzzers. Or what a heat pack looks like? Or know how a vacuum cleaner works? I mean it’s fine that she hasn’t ridden a bus before, sure. But you got to know they don’t have attendants. And yeah, it is possible she hasn’t used a vacuum cleaner her whole life, but you got to at least have an idea of a vaccuum cleaner’s process. And through these things, we are supposed to believe that she is a spoiled, rich princess? I don’t buy it.  Sure these things made for some great sight gags but it made Ellen Langdon a poorly written character.

The Leading Man

ACP: Prince Richard of Aldovia played by Ben Lamb is reported (by the tabloids) to be a jet setting, playboy but is truly a kind, compassionate man, and a really down-to-earth guy who loves having snow ball fights with orphans, playing Christmas songs on the piano, and going on horseback rides in the snowy forest. He is also incredibly handsome, as movie princes are won’t to be.

ACI: Jake Collins played by the lovely Jake Lacy, is a small town boy, and innkeeper of the local inn. He is a wounded artiste. Wounded not because of his art. But because he was dropped like a hot potato by a jerk ex-girlfriend (who works in the finance business, because people in finance are pure evil) while having a romantic dinner at a restaurant. He is also a compassionate guy who loves helping people, but he somehow quite narrow minded and thinks that people from New York and/or rich folks are assholes.

My pick: I love the whole Prince William vibe Ben Lamb is putting on, receding hairline and all. But my vote goes to Jake Collins of ACI. Partly because I have a crush on Jake Lacy. Mainly because I think he is quite a good actor. And I think he made his character, Jake Collins, less annoying than what it would have been on paper. I mean wounded artistes can be annoying. and small town boy characters can so easily be one dimensional. But Jake Lacy gave his character more of an edge, I feel like. There is this scene where he was assaulting a jukebox for playing the song that was played at the restaurant while he was being dumped. And said scene was both earnest and awkward. And I totally believed his grief and anger. He was pummeling that jukebox like he meant it.

The Other Guy/Girl:

ACP: Lady Sophia (played by Emma Louise Saunders who looks like a dead ringer for a young Mila Jovovich) and The Prince go way back. They used to date. But she broke his heart because apparently she loves the crown more than the head attached to it.

ACI: Gray Pittman (played by Michael Xavier) is the boyfriend of Ellen Langford who, judging by that name, can only mean he’s a total jerk. And he is. He cares less for Ellen and more for her “party heiress” persona. Plus his opinion on the homeless really takes the cake.

My pick: The other guy/girl are almost always impossibly nasty because it is the only way you can justify the leading man/lady for leaving said other guy/girl for the other leading man/lady. Lady Sophia is definitely nastier because she is pro-active and does a lot of scheming. She also has got the stink eye down pat. BUT my vote goes to Gray Pittman of ACI because he is super hilarious and says things like “You know I don’t do sugar” (when offered a Christmas cookie) and “Ellen, tonight is the night for my office Christmas thing. You gotta get back here for that. I want us to make a bit of an entrance.” I mean, “Christmas thing”? Guffaw! This guy is golden.

The Guardian Angel:

ACP: Princess Emily (played by Honor Kneafsey) is a young child with spina bifida that confines her to a wheel chair. She is headstrong and speaks her mind and has been known to be quite a handful when it comes to her governesses. But she taken quite a liking to Amber Moore and decides to the keep the cub reporter’s identity a secret and even help her out with her story.

ACI: Aunt Debbie (played by Andie McDowell) is the aunt of Jake Collins. She runs the local diner and caters the meals in the Inn. She is the first to find out the true identity of Ellen Langdon but decides to keep it a secret and help her out in her vague ass mission in the town of Snow Falls.

My pick: Gosh, I do love a cookie baking, singing, sweet as apple pie Andie McDowell. But ACP’s Princess Emily’s presence is quite imposing for a little girl. I can totally see that she can be an excellent queen when she grows up. Plus she puts mice in the beds and cushions of her governesses. I love that she’s old school that way.

The Plot:

ACP: Aspiring journalist Amber Moore is sent to Aldovia to cover a press conference announcing the coronation of Prince Richard. But the prince rumored to be abdicating, is a no-show so everybody leaves the conference empty-handed. But Amber Moore is a plucky, cub reporter that won’t be deterred from her supposed big break. She sneaks inside the palace and pretends to be the governess from America, as all good journalists are won’t to do. But her undercover job has led her to discover that The Prince isn’t the person the media says he is. And she..gasps…falls for him. And vice versa.

ACI: Ellen Langdon is poised to take the reins as CEO of Home and Hearth Gifts, a um… gift company established by her father and his buddy Zeke. However Ellen can only do so if she proves to her father that she will um, no longer do gymnastics and fall into a tree. So she was sent on a mission to Snow Falls, the quaint small town where Home and Hearth Gifts was initially conceived, with nothing but 100 dollars and a box of “Christmas letters” that dear old dad claims should be personally hand delivered to Zeke (living in Snow Falls and owns the Inn) as it is tradition. So she goes and finds herself trapped by a snowstorm and forced to earn her keep. In the process she falls in love with the town, the townsfolk and the local innkeeper. And along the way finds the true meaning of Christmas and kindness.

My pick: Both plots are absurd (which is just as it should be. I mean the whole Box of Christmas Letters makes absolutely no sense to me until now) and both seem to be nothing we’ve not already seen, practically an amalgamation of romcoms through the decades. So my pick is borne only out of personal preference. I will go with ACI because it is a little more grounded on reality which is how I prefer my TV-movies.

The Christmas Atmosphere/Setting:

ACP:  Let’s see there’s a Christmas Ball involving a tree decorating tradition. In fact there is one tree ornament that is actually of import to the story. There’s also tobogganing, and snow ball fights with the hot prince. The royal castle of Aldovia looks pretty Christmassy covered in snow, (a plus is the nearby forest with wolves in it, like ala, Beauty and The Beast!) on the inside though, the decor is more TV movie kitsch than grand palace. But that adds to the movie’s charm, I guess.

ACI: Snow Falls looks fantastically Christmassy. I mean the town is well and truly decked. Besides the town’s name in itself is already fantastic. I mean it’s called Snow Falls. Lurve eet. And they have this thing called the Christmas Tea where you just basically um sit around and um stuff your face with cookies and um tea. And then there’s the Santa Dinner where they auction donated stuff for charity. And ice sculptures!

My pick: I am sorry Aldovia, but despite the fact that you have wolves in your snowy forest, I pick Snow Falls of ACI because I am a sucker for ice sculptures.

Overall Winner: A Christmas Inheritance.

Probably, largely because of the fact that Jake Lacy is in it. Swoon.

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