After starting her first job at a country club restaurant, Callie – an aspiring chef – reconnects with her childhood friend David, whose wealthy family is a member of the club. When David enters Callie into the club’s annual Christmas ice sculpting competition without her knowledge, she’s forced to go head-to-head with her boss, Chef Gloria. Even though ice sculpting is cold work, sparks are ignited between Callie and David as they prepare for the competition as a team. Callie’s passions for cooking and ice sculpting are met with romance and Christmas spirit as she works to create the perfect sculpture.
Ice Sculpture Christmas is the first of the original movies Hallmark Channel is showing this year. Starring Rachel Boston and David Alpay (neither of whom I’ve seen anywhere before), it was a cute, pretty standard Hallmark holiday offering.
Callie and David met briefly as children, but only once. David and his family were heading in to eat at the annual country club Christmas dinner, while Callie and her family were heading somewhere else to eat, because though her dad worked in the country club, they weren’t actually members. Oh, class difference. Such wonderful romance fodder. Though it’s a little difficult in today’s world, in America, to make the class difference a believable reason for two people to not be together. As we saw here.
The big drama in this movie came from the country club ice sculpture contest. David and Callie have recently met again at the country club. Callie is just starting work there as a dishwasher, and David and his family still belong. But I think they also sort of run the place. Maybe. It was a little hard to tell exactly what was happening with David’s job. He worked for his father in some capacity, and there was some rushing around on the “Bradford project”, but I don’t have any idea what that means. At first I thought they owned the country club or ran it or something, based on how everyone kowtowed to David and his dad, and how David went charging into the kitchen any time he wanted to see Callie, but then there were meetings in corporate offices and vague references to David ‘being in finance’, so I really don’t know.
But – the ice sculpture contest. David, believing so thoroughly that Callie could win, after seeing her giving an ice sculpture demonstration to a ladies luncheon at the club (using an already carved ice sculpture), has entered her in the 25th annual country club ice sculpture contest. Without telling her. Which meant she was competing against her new boss Gloria, who has won for the last three years running. The rest of the kitchen staff reacts to this news as though Callie has officially declared war on their favorite aunt. Callie herself is horrified by this turn of events, because she just started working in the kitchen and Gloria is a world-famous chef. Callie has been hoping that even though she started as a dishwasher, she could learn under Gloria and work her way up the line, using her new culinary school diploma. But now David has forced her into this contest, and Gloria has told her to that she had better do her best to win, because she will not accept slacking off. Each ice sculptor needs a partner, so Callie tells David that he’s going to have to be her partner since he got her into this mess, despite his complete lack of ice sculpting knowledge. This leads to a few charming scenes of David reading a book called “Intro to Ice Sculpting” and breaking her favorite Japanese-handled ice sculpting saw while trying to carve ice that’s too cold to carve. (Bet you didn’t know that was a thing. I had no idea ice could be too cold to carve.) He makes it up to her by finding her another saw online and having it overnighted to her from Japan. Is that a thing? Can you get items sent overnight from Japan?
Anyway, there’s a cute montage of her teaching him ice sculpting, them entering some smaller local contests and completely failing because they can’t quite get the hang of using dry ice to bind pieces of ice together. David’s dad thinks he’s too distracted by this lowly dishwasher (“Oooohhh… You’re the one he keeps going on about. I assumed you were a member….”), Gloria’s current sous chef knows Callie is a threat and is trying to sabotage her at every turn (actual quote – “You think you’re special, don’t you? Just remember our specials change every day.”), and through it all, Callie just keeps on smiling. Seriously. At everything. She is the most relentlessly cheery person I’ve ever seen. She’s just graduated from culinary school and can’t find a job anywhere, so she takes the job as a dishwasher at the country club. She’s thrilled to be there, though, because Gloria is there, and she’s a great chef. Gloria’s the real deal – she’s been on Top Chef and everything, so Callie reminds us at least four times. The mean sous chef is trying to make her fail in front of everyone, but that’s ok, it’s just a chance to show how good she is at overcoming adversity. Her mom died when Callie was a teenager, but that’s ok, because she had a great mom for a lot longer than a lot of kids did. Etc. She was a bit of a Mary Sue, but I don’t expect a lot of character development or depth in these movies.
And David…. well, David was a very nice man. There was nothing wrong with David. He was a pretty typical romance hero – grew up with a lot of money, went to work for his dad so they could work together, but really just wants to make a difference in the world and do something bigger than finance. He falls for Callie, because she’s an equally pleasant person and so cheery all the time that you really have no choice but to like her, and he’s able to help her dad get a charity off the ground. A charity Callie’s dad has wanted to start for years called Anna’s Angels, in honor of his late wife. But he had no idea how to go about putting it together or financing it until David came along with his head for business and finance knowledge and got it going in a matter of days. Win-win for everyone!
Callie spent about five minutes being angry at David at one point, which was the only time we saw her not smiling. He came to the door and Callie’s father told David that Callie was ‘rage cooking’ and he should probably let her cool off. Which is exactly what David did. Then Callie realized she was wrong to be mad at David and was all smiles again.
I love these movies. They’re all so charming and sweet, and this one was no different. I don’t know why I like the sweet charming movies so much when I do not like sweet and charming romance novels, and I don’t generally enjoy rom-coms, but every year I watch these silly movies constantly. I mean, really. There’s one where Brandon Routh adopts a stray cat. Superman with a stray cat! There is no way you can not enjoy these. This one was no different. I’m not going to spoil the big ice sculpture contest, though. Will Callie and David beat Gloria and the sous chef??? Will Gloria realize that her sous chef is a snake? And most importantly – will David and Callie find lasting love this holiday season? So much drama here – you’ll have to check out Ice Sculpture Christmas yourself to find out!