The second pair of movies in my “comparison” series (I guess I’ll call it?) are Christmas at Pemberley Manor and Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe. I’ll give you the lowdown on both movies first, then share my thoughts.
Christmas at Pemberley Manor
As Christmas approaches, an event planner is sent to a small town to organise a festival but finds a billionaire in the process of selling the estate she hoped to use as a venue. Before long, the unlikely pair begins falling for each other.
I spent a good bit of this movie trying to work out who everyone was because they’d kept most of the names, but not all of them? And most of the personalities, but not all of them? I’m not a stickler for these things per se but if you’re gonna do it, do it all the way?
So first we meet Elizabeth, anally detail oriented, hard working lass, working on her first bit event solo. We later figure out that her boss is Caroline (as in Bingley) and that’s why she’s such a self-serving bi— boss. She’s heading to Lambton to help her friend George (who is kind of Wickham, but only the good parts?) with his first Christmas festival as mayor. His PA is Jane Lucas which… just… what are you doing here?
Next up is Darcy, he’s much nicer than OG Darcy, if a little unable to make jokes, but he knows it, and mentions it and it’s meta and I appreciate it. His assistant is Travis who is… Bingley I guess? (So is her boss actually Lady Catherine? You see what I’m dealing with!?)
Anyway! Darcy is back in Lambton to sell Pemberley Manor which wouldn’t be a problem except that since a water main broke and flooded the town square there’s nowhere else to host a Christmas festival. After some deviousness on Elizabeth’s part she gets Darcy to agree to let them use the lawn of Pemberley Manor, provided he stays out of any spotlight to do with it. They work together putting things together while George watches on hopelessly but definitely not getting in the way or trying to do anything to further his cause whatsoever.
Darcy is falling hard for Elizabeth but she kind of misses it? A lot of the time? Or exaggerates his negative actions towards her, but she seems pretty indifferent to him most of the time. Then, unfortunately, a press photographer takes a picture of Darcy and Elizabeth shaking hands and it goes viral and Caroline steps in because Darcy Foundation should really be her client – not Elizabeth’s, despite the fact this wasn’t an arrangement with Darcy Foundation. Caroline gaslights Elizabeth into the sidelines, creeps all over Darcy, and takes over the running of the festival. George tells Darcy he’s going to ask Elizabeth out and Darcy encourages him for some reason? Then Darcy sees them hug after Elizabeth told George no, signs the house sale and leaves for New York or wherever. Which is super immature, come on dude.
Elizabeth goes to Pemberley manor the next day and sees that all the festival stuff is being taken down due to it not belonging to Darcy anymore. She gets Jane to call Travis and they find out that the house is not technically completely sold yet because the board haven’t ratified the sale so she and the gang decide to just host the last night of the festival there anyway. Caroline grows a soul and helps out, and Travis tries to hold up Darcy at the airport. When Darcy asks him why Travis says “you were supposed to spend this time working out that you’re in love with Elizabeth and didn’t want to sell Pemberley” which I thought was pretty amusing.
He does work it out and they head back. Then they get stuck in snow and it turns out that Christopher the caretaker is the real Santa and he brings Darcy (by sleigh?) to Pemberley manor (leaving Travis and the driver behind) so he can read The Night Before Christmas. The End.
Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe
Darcy returns home for the holidays and quickly reconnects with her high school nemesis, Luke. They spend time together helping plan a Christmas charity gala and realise the hasty judgments they made on one another may have been incorrect.
OK, so Darcy is the lady this time, Darcy Fitzwilliam, and she is an accountant (investment banker?) with a heart of gold. Her partners are not so nice and there’s a thread about that through the movie. She’s heading home for Christmas for some well-earned rest, but also to help her family host a charity auction at the last minute. Luke, her old debate partner, on and off the stage, has been hired by her mum as the caterer for the event. Thus Darcy and Luke are going to have to work together.
I called it pretty early that Darcy was going to give up on her business. The partners were trying to cut her out because she wanted to reduce the minimum investment requirement so that individuals, families, and businesses could start investing. With her dad owning an investment banking firm it seemed only natural that she would come to work for him again with these goals in mind. That said, it was still pretty nice to watch it unfold.
So most of the movie is Darcy and Luke sparring and putting together this very lovely event. The sparring becomes more flirting as time goes on, naturally, but it progresses well.
Darcy here also has an old flame who also does nothing to recommend himself during the entirety of the movie and then suggests they get back together just at the right point for Luke to overhear and think that they do. Which is a little tropey but you’ve got to throw in that 70th minute problem somehow!
I’ve said a little less about this movie but honestly there’s less drama, they just have a little passive aggression at first, realise they work well together, fall for each other. It’s nice easy watching. Although it was listed under HP Pride Productions on the movie when I was looking it up it’s under the Hallmark banner and honestly you can tell.
Both pretty solid movies, I liked Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe a little more and I think it’s just because you can tell that Hallmark made it. They know what they’re doing, it’s like a well-oiled machine. If you like a little more drama then Christmas at Pemberley Manor is probably the one to go for, though I was regularly outraged by the behaviour of the business partners in Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe. Basically they’re both good, will see you through a happy, warm, cosy evening in, but if I had to pick I’d pick Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe.