For me, Christmas Perfection was about as perfect as a Christmas film can get.
It’s all about Darcy (Caitlin Thompson), who grew up dreaming of the type of perfect Christmas that she never actually got to experience. Her parents are divorced and can hardly handle being in the same room together. Her best friend has the type of dark sense of humor that doesn’t always go along with Yuletide joy. Her best friend since childhood, Brandon (James Henri-Thomas), is obviously in love with her but Darcy continually insists that he’s just a friend. She dreams of a perfect boyfriend, one who makes every Christmas special.
Every December, Darcy sets up her Christmas village. It’s a recreation of the perfect Irish village that she always used to hear about when she was younger and it’s full of figures that are based on the people from Darcy’s life. Darcy has created the perfect world in which she wishes she could live.
And then one day, through a little Christmas magic, Darcy wakes up in her perfect village!
It’s a village where every day is Christmas. Every day, Darcy wakes up and puts on a perfect Christmas sweater. Her parents, who love each other and never fight in this perfect fantasy world, start every day with a perfectly prepared breakfast. In her perfect Christmas village, everyone gathers in the pub and dances and Darcy ends up each day by making a snowman with her perfect boyfriend, Tom (Robbie Silverman).
Everything’s perfect, right?
But then, something unexpected happens. Suddenly, Brandon shows up! It turns out that, through the same magic that transported Darcy, Brandon is now a part of the Christmas village. Brandon takes one look around and tells Darcy that this is insane. She’s created a world that’s so perfect that it’s also a prison. By creating a rigidly perfect Christmas, Darcy has lost sight of what the holiday is all about!
Darcy dismisses Brandon’s concerns. But, as day after day passes, she starts to realize that a world without spontaneity isn’t a world worth living in. Tom may be the idealized guy but that also means that, at the end of every day, he’s going to make the exact snowman in the exact same way and he’s not going to listen to Darcy’s suggestions for how they could make the snowman different. I mean, everyone knows what a snowman is supposed to look like, right?
Now, I know this might sound like it’s just a Christmas-themed version of Groundhog Day and certainly, that’s a legitimate comparison. That said, I still liked the film. It even brought tears to my mismatched, multi-colored eyes. I looked at Darcy and I watched her obsessive attempts to make the holidays perfect and, as a child of divorce, I knew exactly what she was going through. Year after year, you wonder why you couldn’t keep your parents together and you fool yourself into thinking that, if you can just get them together for one perfect day, you can magically erase all of the pain and sadness of the year before. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that and sometimes, like Darcy, we spend so much time pursuing an idealized dream that we forget that there’s still joy and happiness to be found in the messiness of reality as well. It may not always be easy to find but it’s there. You just have to be willing to look for it.
The film may be called Christmas Perfection but it’s message is that Christmas and families and friends don’t have to be perfect to be special. And that’s a good message for us all.