A California Christmas

A California Christmas

Dept. of Justice For Manny


What about Manny? This is all I wanted to know after watching A California Christmas on Netflix. What about Manny? Does he just get a big flat screen TV and the latest limited edition game console at the end of the movie? Where is his happy ending?

Who the hell is Manny you ask? Manny is the ranch hand who was recently hired at the Bernet Dairy Farm before he was paid off not to show up to work by the incredibly rich and positively dreamy Joseph Van Aston. Instead, Manny spends the movie hanging out at an Airbnb with Joseph’s butler, Leo, where the both of them play video games and drink fine wine. He also provides farming advice to Joseph, who is trying to fake his way at being a ranch hand.

A California Christmas
Really? After all that, he’s right back at where he would have been at the start of the movie?

I know this isn’t Manny’s movie, but given his prodigious talent (or “superpower” as Leo calls it) for tasting wine, I was damn sure that Manny would end up being the head vintner at the Bernet Vineyards by the end of this movie. He wasn’t. Instead, he ends up moving into that run down camper and taking up the very same ranch hand job we was supposed to have when this movie started.

Listen, I know what this looks like. It looks like I’m sitting here writing Manny fan fiction. But you need to understand, this guy has got some skills, and I’m pretty sure he’ll go places if given the right opportunity.

The Goggler Podcast

I mean, his is the kind of underdog story that the Napa Valley was built on. Remember back in 1976 when Californian whites and reds beat out the best French wines in a blind taste test? That’s what I’m talking about with regards to Manny and what he brings to the table. It’s all out of the box, Blue Ocean, Pomodoro, mumbo jumbo type thinking. I mean, you saw how entrepreneurial he was in his dealings with Leo and Joseph. Sure, some people may call that blackmail, but not me. Nope. I’m all about that can do spirit.

Which is why I feel that Manny really got the short end of the straw. Everyone else in this movie got their happy ending. Except maybe Callie’s mum. (Fuck cancer!) But even she got to see her daughter find happiness before she passed.

To that end, I think we need a sequel. No, I think we deserve one. A California Christmas 2: A Very Vintner Winter. Manny, feeling unappreciated by his friend Joseph, and tired of patching up that broken chicken coop, decides to leave the dairy farm and pursue his wine dreams. He ditches California and flies to France to learn the old ways, where he meets Marion Cotillard, falls in love, and makes this face:

Now that’s the happy ending he deserves.

There’s also this side plot in A California Christmas involving a rich guy who decides to go undercover as a ranch hand in order to convince the hard-as-nails-yet-endearingly-adorable farm lady to sell her land to his family business. He learns how the other side lives in just 12 days. They fall in love. She discovers his lies. Yadda yadda yadda. Happily ever after.

It’s all incredibly sweet and far more charming than it has any right to be. But you know what? #JusticeForManny.

A California Christmas
106 minutes
Director: Shaun Paul Piccinino
Writer: Lauren Swickard
Cast: David Del Rio as Manny, with Lauren Swickard, Josh Swickard, Amanda Detmer, Ali Afshar, and Gunnar Anderson

A California Christmas is now streaming on Netflix.

Uma has been reviewing things for most of his life: movies, television shows, books, video games, his mum's cooking, Bahir's fashion sense. He is a firm believer that the answer to most questions can be found within the cinematic canon. In fact, most of what he knows about life he learned from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He still hasn't forgiven Christopher Nolan for the travesties that are Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises.

Previous Story

The Emperor's New Groove 20 Year Anniversary

Next Story


Latest from Movie Reviews