Published: December 19, 2023
5 min read

Appily ever after: A modern-day holiday romance


Brenna Cleary

Principal social media marketing manager; security and privacy advocate

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A young couple staring in the window of a store surrounded by Christmas lights and décor.

An influencer with a penchant for oversharing and an offline romantic discover the magic of swiping right in a hometown holiday romantic comedy.

This winter, a remarkable holiday love story is snowballing. Love and technology collide in a spectacular display of sparks with a new romantic comedy that's taking the cyberworld by storm. "Appily Ever After" (ALT: “At First Swipe”) seamlessly blends the heartwarming charm of a hometown romance with the electrifying buzz of the social-savvy world. 

Miles apart, but digitally destined 

Our tale begins with Gemma and Jack, two souls who are simply destined to meet. The only catch? Gemma lives in New York City and Jack is 2,000 miles away in their hometown of Tempe, Arizona— until Gemma comes home for the holidays, that is.

Gemma, a verified social media sensation and influencer, lives her life in the public eye. She can make a cup of coffee look like a celestial experience and turn an OOTD into a runway-worthy event. Her followers hang on to her every post. She can even make a sponsored product placement feel like a romantic gesture.

Jack, on the other hand, is a self-proclaimed digital minimalist. His idea of a status update is changing his smartphone wallpaper, and he's convinced that "tick tock" is just the sound a clock makes.

Swipe right into the holidays

But fate has other plans when Gemma is home for a couple of weeks in December to celebrate the holidays with her family. Bored and stuck in the midst of cuffing season, the two find themselves on a common dating app, swiping through endless photos and profiles.

That is, until they swipe onto each other.

Gemma loves Jacks sense of humor that pervades through his witty profile and fish-less pictures, while Jack's interest is piqued by Gemma’s love for live music. They both swipe right and the chemistry is immediate.

As they connect online, their witty banter flows through the screen like a high-speed internet connection. Their connection is undeniable, transcending pixels and screens. They must meet IRL. 

Tech tangles and a hacking misadventure

But not everything in this tech-infused fairy tale is smooth sailing. Gemma is used to oversharing every aspect of her life online—giving away details of her location, her friends, and her personal life on every social channel.

Meanwhile, Jack prefers to keep things offline and authentic. Their first real-world encounter is a clash of worlds, with Gemma trying to share a selfie with every snowflake, while Jack tries to convince her that memories are best kept in the heart, not in the cloud.

The holiday season unfolds with a series of digital mishaps. Jack tries online shopping for a gift for his gal, only to fall for a phishing scam. Gemma’s kooky, white-haired grandpa is mistaken for “Santa” after mysterious packages arrive at the family’s front door unannounced, which sadly ends up just being a brushing scam.

To top off the digital-world high jinks, Jack and Gemma have a strange encounter with what they deem a “car whispering ghost” who asks them for help—and gift cards—through the Bluetooth sound system. 

There are ups, downs, laughs, and cries. But when Jack gets jealous and inquisitive about Gemma’s clandestine texting, he tries out his not-so-savvy hacking skills to get to her data for details. Once LifeLock alerts her that her login information might be compromised, she figures out it’s Jack attempting to look at her accounts. Will they ever rebuild their love and trust? 

Love gone viral: A grand gesture in the digital age

Jack must present some kind of grand gesture to win Gemma back, and he turns to the one place he never expected: social media. Jack downloads an app he’s never used before and creates an account, asking for Gemma’s followers to help him as he road trips from Tempe, Arizona to New York City to be with the one he loves.

When his post goes viral, Gemma takes notice and duets his video with an outpouring of her love for him. She meets him at Grand Central Terminal where they livestream their reconnection together.

In a heartwarming twist, Gemma learns to appreciate the beauty of real-life moments, while Jack discovers the joy of sharing those moments with the world.

Jack also learns more about LifeLock and keeping his own identity safer now that he’s also #instafamous. But the clash of their views on cybersecurity turns into playful banter that keeps the audience in splits—and informed. Spoiler alert: Gemma learns the hard way to not sign into any open Wi-Fi—and that’s an eye-opening scene for us all. 

When love clicks in the cyberworld  

"Appily Ever After" is more than just a love story. It's a heartwarming exploration of how two people can find common ground despite their digital differences. So, dear viewers, grab your popcorn, safely log into your streaming service, and get ready for a rollercoaster of romance, laughter, and a love story that swiped right into our hearts.

NOTE: This is not a real movie but a playful interpretation of what modern-day romance looks like when put on the big screen. If only studios left it up to us at LifeLock to help write scripts. 

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. LifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.

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