Christmas at Pemberley Manor
Stars: Jessica Lowndes & Michael Rady
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Synopsis (via Hallmark)
As Christmas approaches; a New York event planner is sent to a small town to organize a holiday festival. When she arrives, she finds a high-profile billionaire — who lacks holiday spirit — in the process of selling the charming estate she hoped to use as a venue. Before long, the unlikely pair begins falling for each other. But when complications arise, the couple parts ways and the billionaire moves forward with his plans to sell the estate. On the night before Christmas, the young event planner wishes for a Christmas miracle to save the estate and rekindle her holiday romance.
Elizabeth is a “behind the scenes binder type” who is sent to Lambton, Connecticut to plan their holiday Christmas. She also writes letters to Santa to find true love and openly admits that to her boss, who is seriously like “WTF?”
William Darcy is a businessman who works every Christmas and wears leather gloves. He takes helicopters because he is a VIP. There is also a maybe gay (I’m projecting) assistant who is William’s side kick.
B- blot characters. George, who is the very young mayor of Lambton and his maybe gay assistant, Jane. (Just kidding she is blonde and adorable.) Pemberley Manor is being sold and George knows William Darcy will never change his mind. They go on to talk about the town festival and how amazing it will be because of Elizabeth’s event planning skillz. (Also, George MIGHT be in love with her.)
On her way into the quaint town, Elizabeth sees a Santa looking man shoveling now outside of his house. Will that comeback? You bet!
Now in town, Elizabeth goes right into event planning mode. (Which consists of her holding her hands out and stating where things will go, “The Christmas Tree goes… THERE! The hot cocoa stand goes… THERE!” and clumsy gives more exposition about her and George dating back in college. (The met over a Jane Austen book, or something.)
While in line at the local outside coffee stand (like in New York?) William Darcy pulls up and tells his gay/not gay assistant to get him a coffee or he will fire him. The assistant (Travis) cuts the line and Elizabeth is not cool with that and marches over to William Darcy and tells him to be a more caring boss. William Darcy is kind of turned on by this woman telling him what is what and Elizabeth couldn’t care less.
At Pemberley Manor, the grounds keeper Kristopher (The santa guy from 2 mins ago) meets William Darcy and shows him around. Darcy tells him to stop decorating because he is just going sell it and the owners will tear it down to build the dreaded… condos.
When a water main break (but really sinkhole) makes the town square unusable, Elizabeth heads to Pemberley Manor to try and convince Darcy and isn’t successful. Lucky for her, Kristopher finds some old family records and gets him in the christmas spirit. Elizabeth stops by and does her event planner arms out thing, it works and Darcy agrees to have the Christmas festival on one condition, his name is kept out of it. (His family is a big deal, okay!?)
While planning the festival, the gay/not gay assistant fall in love, of course. Elizabeth and Darcy and falling in love too, they are shopping A LOT. The chemistry between the two actors is pretty cute. Elizabeth forces Darcy to get a Christmas tree for his house, he is reluctant but ends up liking having the tree (and her) in Pemberley Manor. Elizabeth gets his jokes and Darcy begin to open up about his past Christmases.
To ensure the Hallmark formula check list is hit, the two decorate cookies together. (They are both REALLY bad at it actually.) Darcy wraps presents and is terrible at it. Horse drawn carriage and flirting.
We are only halfway through the movie and things are starting to draaaaaag. Elizabeth and Darcy share more about their past. (She was engaged for two years, he used to sled in the backyard.) George reveals to Darcy that he still has feelings for Elizabeth and then sexily looks out a window. I love George.
Elizabeth’s boss (Caroline) gets wind of Elizabeth working with a high profile client. The boss comes in and makes changes to make the event more elegant. (But really she is trying to mack on Darcy.)
At another event leading up to the festival, Elizabeth is roped into singing. So we endure Jessica Lowndes singing a rendition of “Oh Holy Night”. She isn’t terrible, but flat and full of bravado and melismas.
After her big number, Elizabeth is sent on early vacation by her conniving and THIRSTY boss. Caroline, will be working with Darcy from here on out. Darcy is on his to Elizabeth and he sees her hugging George goodbye and mistakes it for a lovers embrace. Darcy leaves for New York and the Christmas festival is cancelled. Elizabeth is disappointed and defeated, but George (the best love option in this movie) takes her into saving the festival and fighting for her Darcy.
Elizabeth, with the help of the town, gets the festival back up and running. Darcy’s gay assistant gives him a Christmas speech and convinces him to stay in town and go to the festival. They hit a snag on the road back to town, only to be picked up by Kristopher. (Who is dressed up as Santa for the event.) BUT WAIT, Kristopher really is Santa and gives Elizabeth her Christmas wish, true love.
Darcy doesn’t sell Pemberley Manor and the two kiss outside their new home.
The fake snow and green green trees in the background was pretty distracting in this one.
AGGRESSIVE twee Christmas music underscored every scene.
Try as you might, Hallmark, giving Cole Gleason glasses does not make him the less attractive option.
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*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC