So we open with the designated busy office scene to establish JJ Jenner's identity as a busy career gal. JJ Jenner is played by Carly Pope who will now be referred to as the Poor Man's Eva Longoria (PMEL). PMEL has one of those Madonna Blonde Ambition microphones on her and she's BUSY. She careens around the office slinging documents and saving people's asses. She works for Glow magazine, a New York magazine rip-off that supposedly is the arbiter of good taste in New York. In the midst of all of this careening, we meet Redheaded Best Friend (RBF) and Evil Blonde Assistant( EB). We then move on to PMEL's very pregnant boss, the outgoing food columnist, who appears to rely heavily on PMEL for everything. Pregnant boss ruefully rubs her belly and says it's been a great gig but she's moving onto "better things" (motherhood). This is said as if she could just go on maternity leave and come back. But this is the land of bitter single career gals so I guess that isn't a possibility.
PMEL then calls and calls and calls her boyfriend to see if he'll come to her office Christmas party. It's at some swanky hip restaurant. While PMEL is fruitlessly trying to hail a cab, we cut to her mother played by Christine Baranski who's so fabulous she hails a cab just by breathing. Lesson #1 - Single career women are so sad they can't even hail a cab. Even if they look like Eva Longoria. More fabulous folks at the Christmas party, including PMEL's metrosexual Editor-In-Chief and the new sleazy new Food Critic.
Across the way is poor Greek Alex, played by Bobby Cannavale. His accountant brother-in-law frets over the fact the barren restaurant they co-own is across from the hippest place to eat in New York. For Alex, it's all about the art. Sorry Alex, integrity won't pay the bills. In a moment of desperation, Alex and brother-in'law go across the street to see if they could get some recognition in the oh-so-trendy Glow. They get brushed off by Evil Blonde but PMEL shows she's a redeemable bitter career gal by giving Alex her card.
Christine comes out of Her cab giving the cabbie advice on his love life and the becomes best friends with PMEL's Latina landlady. She can tell she's HIDING A SECRET because Christine is furrowing her brow. More hip partying where we learn lecherous food critic has been accused of sexual harassment. There's a scene that establishes PMEL as a foodie because she can name all of the ingredients of the appetizers. It's annoying but this is a chick flick so it establishes her as lovable. And then we see a trashy blonde coming out of a bathroom all pissed off because it appears that lecherous food critic tried to grope her. She's Metrosexual Editor #1's girlfriend and he decides to fire lecherous food critic rather than risk the inevitable lawsuit. The Metrosexual Editors decide to give the food critic gig to PMEL since she is an idiot savant with the ingredients.
In another scene, Alex is cleaning up his restaurant when his swarthy loan shark comes asking for money. Alex doesn't have it because he has integrity instead. Dimitri the loan shark gives Alex until after Christmas, three weeks away, to get the money.
Christine is straightening up PMEL's apartment when PMEL's boyfriend enters. She immediately doesn't like him because he blew off her daughter's office party. Since this is her first meeting with the guy, Christine rips him apart as PMEL enters the apartment. Christine then announces that boyfriend is probably cheating on PMEL and in a surprise move, boyfriend admits to it and breaks of with PMEL on the spot. Oh dear god, Lifetime. Don't you know your chick flick conventions? You need to string the quirky heroine along for three quarters of the movie and THEN she realizes she can do better and SHE breaks up with HIM. This movie blows.
To further establish PMEL as a bitter career woman, PMEL rebuff's her mother's attempts to insert more Christmas in her life. Only bitter career woman hate Christmas. Because even Hindus, Muslims, Jews Buddhists, Wiccans, and Zoroastrians have nativities in their bedrooms. If they don't, they are bitter career women.
End of part one of the recap from hell.