The Mistletoe Inn (2017 Hallmark Channel)


The Mistletoe Inn

Listen to the Podcast Episode about this movie! 

Stars: Alicia Witt, David Alpay, Casey Manderson

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When aspiring romance novelist Kim Rossi (Alicia Witt) is unceremoniously dumped by her soon-to-be-published romance novelist boyfriend, Garth (Casey Manderson), because he doesn’t feel she’s serious about her writing career, Kim takes stock and decides to take a leap. She signs up for a romance writing retreat at a quaint Vermont Inn shortly before Christmas, where a top romance novelist is scheduled to attend and read the work of one lucky writer. Shortly after arriving, she crosses paths with Zeke (David Alpay), whom she initially finds to be intrusive and, naturally, ends up being her assignment partner. Worse yet, her ex-boyfriend, Garth, is also at the retreat. Despite these bumps in the road, Kim steps outside her comfort zone and plunges into the writing exercises and ends up surprising herself. Equally unexpected is the attraction that seems to be building between her and Zeke that promises to take her down a road she never imagined traveling.


Kim works at a car dealership, but her true passion is writing. On a whim, after a break up, Kim signs up for a romance writing retreat at Mistletoe Inn. When asking her sassy boss if she can have a week off, her boss’s response is:


At the Mistletoe Inn, Kim runs into a handsome stranger. She literally runs into him and spills her belongings all over the street. He mocks her packing Christmas items with her on the retreat, a sentimental teddy bear and white noise maker (for when she writes) among other things. She mocks his typewriter… because it is 2017 and he uses a the model of typewriter that Hemingway used.

Things get awkward when Garth (the ex boyfriend who is an established writer) show up at the writing retreat as well. He then throws down the gauntlet and challenges Kim to the writing contest, where they could win a publisher to look at their manuscript and possibly get a book deal.

The handsome stranger (Zeke) and Kim keep running into each other. At the welcome party, they bump into each other. While on a jog, after she slips on ice; they run into each other and then, in a writing class, Handsome Stranger is partnered with her! Their writing styles don’t gel well, her with her whale white noise sounds and him with his typing on a typewriter.

Hallmark gets a little meta, breaking down the tropes of their own movies into writing prompts for the character in the movie. Kim wins the first round of the competition, with help from Zeke. They continue on will different seminars and Kim keeps growing and succeeding as a writer while Garth keeps failing at all the prompts. Nevermind the fact that ALL of Kim’s ideas or storylines are movie plots of previous Hallmark Movies.

We then get a snowball fightwhich is the only way one can fall in love these days. It is absolutely the only way Alicia Witt can fall in love. Maniacally laughing and attempting to be a cute romantic lead through her taut plastic face.

Having built trust with Zeke, Kim give his manuscript to review and he gives her his honest feedback. It is hard for her to take his feedback because the only person whose feedback she trusted was her mom (who is dead). Kim is disappointed that Zeke didn’t like her manuscript, but her generic friend talks to her about it and encourages her to keep at it! At her review with the publishers they reiterate the sentiment, but tell her they are not going to be picking up her manuscript.

“We’re done!” says the stern looking publisher.

To get her mind off of her rejection and inspire her to be a more authentic writer, Zeke takes Kim to New York! It turns out they are BOTH inspired; Kim types away on her laptop and Zeke (over his writer’s block) types away on his typewriter. Except now they find it endearing and not annoying, like before.

While away in NYC, Garth throws away her manuscript! (He is the worst!)

Not to be outdone, though, at the keynote speaker’s address for the retreat from renowned author H.T. Cavell, we find out that Zeke is actually the famous writer! Kim goes off on him and feels like her betrayed her trust, “The worst rejection of all.”

Kim begins to move on and has her generic friend help her with her manuscript. She denies Garth’s offer to get back together and be a writing couple. When who shows up at the door?!? Zeke/H.T. Cavell. He brings her flowers and a publishing offer from the publishers! You know what they say, it is never too late to rewrite a chapter…

Side Note

Based on the book – The Mistletoe Inn, by Richard Paul Evans. Which is even worse, a book about a writer NOT by Stephen King? No interested.

To be a writer, you MUST wear glasses… apparently.

Alicia Witt was significantly less annoying in this movie than in recent years past.  

Overall rating

🎄 🎄(2 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷🍷(4 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2017 Crown Media United States, LLC

Author: Patrick Serrano

Hi! I'm a Chicago based actor, who has a love/hate relationship with made for TV movies.

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