MOVIE SHOWDOWN: Merry & Bright vs. Picture a Perfect Christmas

As the Countdown to Christmas moves along and the number of new movies continues to pile up, you may find yourself wondering which movies you should prioritize – that’s why I’m here! We’ve already got enough stress during the holidays – baking, shopping, looking hot when we return to our home towns, making sure to not disappoint our families, etc. – so I’m here to take the stress out of choosing between Hallmark Christmas Movies. Today, we’ve got a head-to-head showdown between Merry & Bright starring Jodie Sweetin (she’ll always be Stephanie Tanner to me) vs. Picture a Perfect Christmas with Merritt Patterson (I’m only naming the ladies here because they’re the ones carrying the movies). Let’s do this!

Stressful Careers
Merry & Bright: With the death of her grandmother, Cate must step in to be the new CEO of a candy cane factory. Literally all they make is candy canes and for some reason they are surprised that they aren’t doing great in this economy.

Picture a Perfect Christmas: Sophie is a world-traveling photographer and it seems like her career is booming. She gets job offers all the time, but the stressful part comes when she gets an offer to go to Switzerland during Christmas time, which would take her away from her family and current boyfriend Brent, who is a total dud.

WINNER: Merry & Bright
Clear winner here. If Cate fails, a whole bunch of people lose their jobs and the reputation of her family’s business is ruined. Sorry Sophie, go take pictures or something.

Misunderstandings with the Love Interest
Merry & Bright: Cate mistakes Gabe as a blind date her mom set her up on rather than the businessman who flew in to help save her business.

Picture a Perfect Christmas: David thinks that Sophie is applying to be the new nanny for his nephew, but is actually just his neighbor’s granddaughter coming by to say hello.

Winner: Merry & Bright
Both are great mix-ups, but Cate’s misunderstanding could have led to her business failing. Plus the misunderstanding really sets the tone for a lasting tension between Cate and Gabe.

Hair
Merry & Bright: Cate has HUGE HAIR throughout the entire film and it’s never really addressed. I’m talking like basically is a bouffant – SO much volume at the roots. If you told me she was an extra from Hairspray the Musical, I would believe you.

Picture a Perfect Christmas: While Sophie’s hair is great, David’s hair is honestly a mullet. It’s not the obvious kind, but once you see it, you can’t help but look at it every time he’s on screen.

Winner: Picture a Perfect Christmas
Both of these hairstyles are SUPER distracting, especially on main characters. I think I probably missed 30% of the dialogue just because I was questioning the hair team for these movies. BUT I have to give it to Picture a Perfect Christmas because as I said, the ladies carry these films, so if their hair is off, it’s a huge no-no. Sophie’s hair is beautiful, so there we go.

Caring Motherly Figures
Merry & Bright: This movie’s got Cate’s mom, Joy, who is divorced and doing everything to support her daughter, including getting and housing an adopted dog for Cate for Christmas.

Picture a Perfect Christmas: Here, we’ve got Sophie’s Grandmother, Louise. She totally wants Sophie to dump her current boyfriend, Brent, because he travels so much for photography and instead get with David, and she makes its KNOWN.

Winner: Picture a Perfect Christmas
Louise is all about making sure her granddaughter has a dream dude, which will outlive a dream dog, so this just math.

Cute Small Side Characters
Merry & Bright: We’ve got the cute dog Joy adopted for Cate. Joy builds a bond with the puppy, which is super lovely since Joy has an empty home after the divorce.

Picture a Perfect Christmas: David has a nephew Troy, who is like 50% cute, 50% weird. He is originally cast as the 5th reindeer in the local Christmas show, which I think really captures his entire character’s essence.

Winner: Merry & Bright
Sorry, but that dog brings a lot more happiness to Joy (and the viewers!) than Troy.

What Makes Them Fall in Love
Merry & Bright: They bake chocolates together, which is both functional for the business and a romantic moment. There’s lots of putting-flour-on-eachother flirting.

Picture a Perfect Christmas: They go pick out a Christmas tree together and talk about their families. Troy is there, too, so it’s a full family situation

Winner: Picture a Perfect Christmas
Outdoor activities AND the whole family is involved? Clear winner. Plus, the whole chocolate situation actually becomes a point of conflict between Cate and Gabe. Gabe is so focused on helping Cate save the company that he forgets the essence of what the company is – a candy cane company – and pitches turning it into a chocolate company instead, which leads to a pretty significant fight in the film that happens with 20 MINUTES LEFT.

Final Kiss
Merry & Bright: Gabe surprises Cate at the Christmas party with a phone in his hand that he hands to Cate. After some good news on that phone call, the two of them kiss.

Picture a Perfect Christmas: Sophie rushes back from the airport to the Christmas festival in which Troy is performing. She surprises David and the two of them kiss.

Winner: Picture a Perfect Christmas
The rush back from the airport is always so exciting, and David is genuinely surprised to see her, making the kiss feel romantic and believable. We’ve got hands in the mullet kissing. In Merry & Bright, the good news that Cate receives on the phone is technically coming from a THIRD party, not Gabe, and has to do with something (new candy cane flavors) that she did all by herself – Gabe had nothing to do with! Basically, he’s not even in the equation, and frankly he went down a couple of points for me when, with 20 minutes left in the movie, he still didn’t fully understand what Cate wanted for her business and was willing to transform it into a chocolate factory and ignore the company’s history. SORRY GABE, you’re over.

Overall Winner: Picture a Perfect Christmas
It’s a close call, but Picture a Perfect Christmas squeaks by with the win. Do you agree? Have you seen both films and have a different take? Let me know in the comments!

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