The Holiday Dating Guide (2022 Lifetime)


The Holiday Dating Guide (2022 Lifetime)

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Cast: Maria Menounos, Brent Bailey, Mason McCulley

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Dating coach and aspiring book author Abigale Slater (Menounos), is close to making her lifelong dream come true. She has completed her first book — a how-to guide for dating in today’s modern world — and is now more than ready to become a published author. However, after reading the book, her publisher Jack won’t proceed with the deal without knowing that her dating advice actually works. Before he has a chance to say no, Abigale proposes that she prove the rules work by using them herself and making a man fall for her by Christmas Eve, in 12 days. Although Abigale’s never seen love as a priority for herself, she sets out to find someone who will fall quickly enough to get this book in print. Things change when Abigale meets Michael Ryan (Bailey), and her single-minded mission takes an unexpected turn. While following her own advice, and learning to expect the unexpected in the process, Abigale discovers the romance of her dreams.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

Maria Menounos plays Abigale Seaver, who is a dating coach/soon-to-be author. She helps clients by following them on dates and encouraging them. Her advice works and connects a dork named Jim with a dork (who has) a dog named Annie. Maria Menounos also spits out statistics and quotes from her book rapid fire. 

While doing a celebratory dance Maria Menounos is caught by a hunk named Michael. He has his own hunkier love guru named Brad. Who plays wingman on nights out. 

Maria Menounos lives with her GAY friend, James. They are like Will and Grace without good writing!

The publishers are not into Maria Menounos’s rules for dating and want to pass on the book. Jack invites her to the publishing house’s Christmas party instead. Before they end the meeting, he asks if she is dating anyone, and Maria Menounos sees an opportunity. She promises to prove her rules work and will fall in love and bring the date to the party. 

When James hears about the deal, he offers to hire her as an escort. He hasn’t even read her book. Maria Menounos explains the 12 rules of Holiday Dating. Like not seeing people two days in a row, Never meeting the parents before the third date, and Don’t include your friends too soon. Stuff like that.

Maria Menounos gets dolled up and hits up a local bar with James. They scope out guys, and she can’t stop herself from pitching herself as a dating coach. That is until she runs into Michael and spills drinks all over him. They recognize each other from the other day with the dancing. They flirt over beers while their friends encourage them from afar. 

The bar scene continues! Maria Menounos and Michael play pool, and I just noticed she is wearing LARGE heart earrings. 

Maria Menounos breaks her own rules and meets up with Michael the next day at a farm. They walk through a Christmas tree maze and talk about old cars. Then they give axe throwing a go. 

Maria Menounos has to lie about her writing career because then he would know she is using him to prove her theory. Even though Maria Menounos mentions she doesn’t let dates know where she lives in case they are murderers, she goes with Michael to his shed in the middle of nowhere. He doesn’t kill her, lucky he shows her old cars, and they bond.

At Maria Menounos’ apartment, she makes Christmas Tacos for Michael. He shows up, hangs his coat on the KEY hooks, and breaks the rules of making tacos. Maria Menounos freaks out but reluctantly agrees to break the taco rules. 

Michael encourages her to be spontaneous, so she suggests jumping into a fountain. She Bachelorette mounts him, and they almost kiss until security kicks them out. 

Michael’s turn to plan a date, and he facetimes her to share the plans. They yawn a lot, and we learn that yawns are more contagious than the common cold! Michael invites her to Brad’s family Christmas dinner. 

Maria Menounos shows up for dinner, and everyone is dressed in Christmas onesies. The normal questions come up, and Maria Menounos has to skirt what she does for a living again, saying she is a life coach. Other than that, the night goes great! 

A problem arises when Michael calls his dad, Jack, from the publishing house. 

Since Maria Menounos has broken most of her dating rules, she writes her entire book over focusing on her experience dating Michael. It’s been messy, but the mess is worth it. 

It is the night of the Christmas party, and Maria Menounos wears a sparkly dress. When they arrive, Michael realizes he is at his father’s Christmas party. Maria Menounos tries to talk to him, but he goes off to find the bar when he sees his father.

Maria Menounos tells Jack about the revision to the book, but Jack interrupts her to introduce her to his son. Jack explains the deal, and Micheal is heartbroken. He essentially runs off crying. 

Jack reads the manuscript and tells his son that the book is worth reading. Michael quits his job working for his father and refuses to read the book. (All I could see in this scene is the red curtains are WAYYY too short and all over the cafe bookstore!) 

Maria Menounos cries with James, and he holds her tightly. He tells her to take a chance. She does. They get together and Maria Menounos release her dating advice, which is basically do whatever works for you! The End!

Side Note

This was surprisingly cute! Maria Menounos is kind of perfect for this kind of movie. 

Minority Report: Abigale, Brad, Bill, James, Cole,


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Christmas Trees represent Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is overall enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.


 I will use the following tags for those who want to know if they should watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend). 

Overall rating

Christmas Feels

🎄🎄🎄🎄 (4 Christmas Trees)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 glasses of wine.)

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*Photo Credit: © 2022 Lifetime

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