Reunions, Lies, and Jesus: It’s Christmas Crush (aka High School Holiday Reunion)
Georgia Hunt is a Preston High School legend. This former cheerleader dated the high school quarterback, had a squad of mean girls at her disposal, and dreamed of a life in fashion. But a decade later, she’s a college dropout working as a fashion designer’s assistant, and her 10-year reunion looms. Is this her chance for a do-over, or will she return to Preston to dishonor her “Most Likely to Succeed” superlative in person?
This is … Christmas Crush (aka High School Holiday Reunion), now streaming on Netflix.
Is being a designer’s assistant at 28 really that horrible?
Throughout the movie, Georgia tries to hide the fact that she’s “only” an assistant and not somehow a world-famous fashion designer. But hello, despite not having a college degree, Georgia is working in fashion and living on her own in LA. She’s not at her mom’s house doing spon-con on Instagram in between Soul Cycle sessions. Give her a break.
Way harsh, Tai
Don’t tell that to Georgia’s dad, though, who greets his daughter by reminding her that one of Georgia’s mean girl squad members, Tory, is now a fashion model. “If you consider modeling a career,” Georgia says. “It’s better than no career,” Dad responds. Ouch.
Speaking of Mean Girls…
Georgia’s pals are clearly modeled after The Plastics in Mean Girls, with Tory as Regina George. And who do we have as Georgia’s best guy pal? Why it’s Ben Oliver, played by Aaron Samuels himself.
The Ben-Georgia relationship is weird
First, they haven’t spoken to each other in a decade, but Georgia still has a framed photo of them in her apartment. Then, when she runs into him at the Christmas tree farm, they have a brief conversation and he kind of just wanders off after refusing to attend the reunion with Georgia. If he hadn’t shown up at the reunion, was that supposed to be it?
Meanwhile, why is Ben the lovesick nerd boy in this equation? He’s Mr. “Your hair looks sexy pushed back.” He’s not Ducky (look it up, kids). I’m not convinced a) that he’d be the high school dork or b) that he and Georgia would be friends, let alone besties, if he was. How’d that happen? They’re not even neighbors, which is the usual trope in these types of situations.
Did you happen to catch that Ben is an ARTIST?!
Ben might look like he regularly pulls on a fleece vest for M&A strategy sessions at the firm, but he’s actually an ARTIST. How do we know that? Because he can’t shut up about it. With a high school diploma in hand, he absconded to Europe a decade ago to make his mark on the world of art and culture. But for now, he’s back in Cali working as a graphic designer.
But he’s not like a regular artist. He’s a cool artist.
We catch a glimpse of a drawing Ben did of Georgia in high school, and it’s fine. But he is not a man constrained to one medium. He can also serenade the ladies with a guitar. He takes his emo self to the music room to strum out a few tunes, when Georgia interrupts him and they sing a song about … Jesus? These kids would’ve graduated in 2002, so I was expecting perhaps Ben’s take on Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You,” but instead we get “Jesus was a poor man, too!” Which the internet tells me is from a group called The Burns Sisters.
This is a very Jesus-heavy reunion.
Now, I went to a Catholic high school, so having someone belt out Jesus-y songs at a school function was nothing out of the ordinary. But from what I can tell, this movie takes place at a California public school, and yet it’s very heavy on the Christian tunes. No Jingle Bells or Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree here. This reunion is full of straight-up church favorites, from “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” to “O Holy Night.” All you need is a nun playing the organ.
But it’s also very not Jesus-y at times?
This movie is a study in contrasts. Jesus tunes are bookended by some questionable sub-plots, including one of Georgia’s friends throwing herself at her former chemistry teacher. He’s played by Harry Hamlin, so perhaps understandable for those of a certain age. But while this friend is now a consenting adult, I’m going to guess the school board wouldn’t be super jazzed about Mr. Taylor getting it on with a former student in his classroom.
Brooke might want to call HR
Ben’s bid to woo Georgia is interrupted by Brooke, a co-worker he’s casually dating who found the reunion invite on his desk and decided to show up there as his date. Psycho, yes. But she’s also an intern at his company, which is probably an HR violation waiting to happen, Ben.
The Plastics are in the glee club?
You know what I’d definitely look forward to at my high school reunion? One last magical performance from the school’s glee club.
Georgia and crew don angel costumes for a subdued version of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” … which they then rip off for a more scantily clad REMIX. Too bad Georgia didn’t practice because she doesn’t know the dance very well and knocks a prop off the stage. This is apparently a grievous error that will bring shame upon her family, and Georgia is banished from Act II, which is a dancey remix of “Oh Christmas Tree.”
Christmas Carol remixes = fantastic. Cheerleading = ridiculous
The crowd loves the glee club action, but when Georgia dons her old cheerleader sweater and does a quick cheer on the stage, it’s crickets. Resurrecting an old cheerleading routine would seem 100% more appropriate for a 10-year reunion than a sexy dance to “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” but Georgia’s old classmates look at her like she just got doused in pig’s blood.
The football bros look 40
Georgia is ostensibly at this reunion because she wants to rekindle things with Craig, the quarterback who she dumped on prom night for allegedly cheating on her. He and his crew are still dumb jocks; they’re tossing a football at the reunion (indoors), ogling classmates as they walk in, and Craig doesn’t recognize Georgia when she first approaches him. They also look like they’re at their 20th reunion, not 10th. Nice khakis, Craig.
Does Georgia have brain damage?
The demise of Craig and Georgia’s relationship is referenced multiple times; she broke up with him on prom night, which is like high school movie sacrilege. But why? When they have a moment alone at the reunion, Georgia says it’s because he cheated on her. Craig denies it, and Georgia believes him, retreating to the Pinterest board of their wedding in her head. But like an hour later, she has some sort of flashback to seeing Craig and Tory leaving a room together on prom night and realizes he is indeed an asshole.
Alexa, define ‘trophy wife’
After Georgia breaks it off with Craig a final time, he tells her that due to her lowly status as an assistant, she’s “not exactly the trophy wife I was looking for” anyway. But would a trophy wife have a high-powered job? He knows not what he says.
How long have we been here?
At the end of the night, when Georgia and Ben are predictably coupled up, they dance to “Auld Lang Syne,” aka the tune that plays at midnight on New Year’s Eve. I guess it’s no longer Christmas? I’d like to think that somewhere on the walls of Preston High School is a photo from the class of 1921’s 10-year reunion, with Georgia front and center.