Listen to the Podcast Episode about this movie!
Stars: Maggie Lawson & Brennan Elliot
S1 E25 – Christmas Encore (Hallmark Channel) – Lifetime Uncorked
Synopsis (via Hallmark)
An aspiring New York actress who is considering abandoning her dream and taking a real job in Chicago following years of near-misses and bit parts, lands the role of a lifetime in a new production of A Christmas Carol. However, the play’s director is a successful TV actor, and the one she blames for her biggest professional disappointment.
Charlotte is an aspiring TV actress in NYC. She practices lines in the mirror, misses holidays with her family (Who want her to date Brad Pitt, because he is an actor too!) and is one just one audition away from “the big one.” (The big role, get your mind out of the gutter!)
At lunch with her pragmatic friend, Rachel (who is also a POC) and they reminisce about the good old days in college, but really just talk about Charlotte’s acting career. Because actors are narcissistic. We find out that Charlotte was up for a lead role on the hit TV series Thick or Thin but she lost out on the opportunity because she was partnered with her nemesis Julian Walker. (A former classmate, who got the role and is now a star.) and Rachel offers her a job in Chicago as a coordinator of employee events. But, Charlotte can’t think of that now because she has to get to work… she is a waitress at the restaurant.
Julian Walker is a big-time actor, he has a People’s Choice Award, who is directing a production of The Christmas Carol. He runs into Charlotte at her restaurant, where she pretends to NOT be a waitress. (Despite wearing a name-tag and a uniform) Even when her boss (Gary) gives her a tray of food to deliver, she uses her acting skills to act like “Who is this guy giving me a tray, he must think I work here… what a weirdo!”
The Christmas Carol is holding open auditions and Charlotte gets a call from her TV agent for the theater gig. But what part will she go for? Why not dream big and go for Scrooge! At the big audition Charlotte bails when she realizes that Julian Walker is the director. He chases after her attempts to get her back in the room, she storms off but not before he shouts “What are you so afraid of!” Realizing that she is afraid of being a waitress for ever she runs back to the theater to pitch her vision for production of a female scrooge and then delivers a really really dumb monologue. She lands the role and the auditors all give her a BIG group hug. (This really happens.)
The two work on the new script that Charlotte has pitched, because that is what actors do. (conceptualize, write, and star in someone else’s play that they auditioned for.) They work so long at the restaurant that they have to go back to Charlotte’s place to work through the night. She bakes cookies and they talk about acting.
At the theater during rehearsal, Julian calls everyone to a meeting because this production will be the last in the theater. The owner is selling the property because “Property is more valuable than sentimentality.” The theater people give passion speeches about saving the theater, it will take a Christmas Miracle.
For some reason, Charlotte and Julian visit their old acting studio. They then walk around Manhattan, and of course have a snowball fight and then (OF COURSE) Christmas Tree decorating!
In the middle of rehearsal a phone rings and it is Charlotte’s, she apologizes and then runs to answer the phone. The rehearsal takes five, so she can talk to her BFF Rachel. (This would never happen.) Rachel tells her that she got the job!
The twist in this one is when Charlotte is at Julian’s house, his ex, Samantha (a famous actress with big ears), shows up to make him a drink. Charlotte gets jealous (?) and leaves abruptly. TWIST!?
On the night of the big show, Charlotte tells Julian she has accepted the job in Chicago and will do the play but that is it. Before going onstage Charlotte meets with the building owner (Mr. Hayes) and gives him a picture of himself and his Dad in front of the theater he is closing down. She also gives Julian a cast picture and a thank-you note. (Which I always appreciate.)
We don’t see the play but we do hear the final line, said by the Scrooge character (Instead of Tiny Tim.)
“God bless us, everyone.”
The actors and whole production crew do a curtain call and then sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Charlotte literally waves to her Mom in the audience and says, “Hi Mom!” and then points, “That’s my Mom!”
At the cast party, Mr. Hayes makes a BIG announcement. Due to the success of the theater on SOCIAL MEDIA (not the performances or production quality) he has decided to keep the theater in business and vows to revive the theater district of New York.
Charlotte and Julian ditch the party to talk in the snow. He is taking the artistic director position at the theater and she is NOT moving to Chicago. “You know what they say about rules…” Charlotte says, but before she can finish her sentence they kiss. The end!
The writer of this movie, Jennifer Noats Shapiro, has written several of these Christmas movies. Including this year’s Lifetime movie, Wrapped for Christmas.
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*Photo Credit: © 2017 Crown Media United States, LLC
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