Canadian actor Shay Mitchell is breaking the cliché of what a woman's "happily ever after" looks like in her new holiday movie, Something From Tiffany's on Prime Video, also starring Zoey Deutch and Kendrick Sampson.
The premise of the film is that after a freak accident on the streets of New York, just before Christmas, Ethan (Sampson) and Gary (Ray Nicholson) end up accidentally swapping blue bags from Tiffany's. Gary had bought his girlfriend Rachel (Deutch) a pair of earrings while Ethan, who's visiting New York from Los Angeles, bought an engagement ring for his girlfriend Vanessa (Mitchell). That leads to Rachel getting unexpectedly engaged.
While Ethan tries to figure out what happened to the engagement ring he purchased, he and his daughter Daisy (Leah Jeffries) get closer to Rachel.
'I think you have to be selfish'
What makes Vanessa such an attractive character is the way she advocates for herself in her relationship with Ethan, which isn't always the case in romantic comedies. When Ethan shares that he wants move from Los Angeles to New York, Vanessa doesn't hesitate to speak up about what she wants for her life.
"I think Vanessa is such a strong, independent woman who knew exactly what it is that she wanted to do, and didn't let a proposal deter her from moving in that direction,” Shay Mitchell told Yahoo Canada. “I think that's something that not everybody is used to seeing.”
“I think in a lot of romantic comedies, the happily ever after is because that couple gets married and they run off into the sunset… I think she had a very happy ending because she ended up doing exactly what she wanted to do... I think sometimes you can just come to that realization in a relationship where you're like, our paths just aren't aligned for where we want to go. At the end of the day, I think you have to be selfish before you're in something like that. You're not married yet and all of us, we have one life.”
When it comes to what makes romantic comedies, particularly those centred around the holidays, so appealing for so many people, Mitchell says they're like "comfort food."
“I think it's a feel-good movie, you know what you're going to get, you're not going to be upset,” Mitchell said. “I think especially now, more than ever, we need those feel-good moments, we need that feel-good content.”
“To be a part of something like that, that I know people will walk away from feeling happy, is a really good thing and something I want to be a part of even more in the future.”
Shay Mitchell on the 'perfect proposal'
Shay Mitchell is an absolute boss, booked and busy between her acting career, her luggage and travel accessories company Beis and other ventures, in addition to being a mom of two. So what does she look for in a possible project that's worthy of taking Mitchell away from her family and other responsibilities? She says it's all about "strong characters and great scripts."
"In this case, it was that feel-good movie,” Mitchell said. “My mom is also a huge fan of holiday films, so I was excited to do it knowing that she would watch this and enjoy it.”
“I'd say characters, scripts and just, is it sort of like that feel-good movie? Or does it have a message behind it? That's kind of what I ask myself now if I'm going to get taken away from my kids.”
Mitchell, who's in a relationship with ex-MuchMusic VJ and former co-host of MuchOnDemand Matte Babel, hasn't experienced a marriage proposal personally, but when it comes to a "perfect proposal," which can often be seen as quite an antiquated tradition, Mitchell thinks it's about really knowing your partner.
“I think the best proposals are when you do it in the perfect way for that person,” she said. “You do it in a way that couldn't have been done any other way for them.”
“I don't necessarily love public engagements or proposals. I'm not proposed to, I don't care to be, honestly, but if I did, it wouldn't be public. So I think as long as you get it right for that person you're proposing to, that's what's most important.”