The Christmas Contract (2018 Lifetime)

The Christmas Contract

Stars:  Hilarie Burton, Robert Buckley, Danneel Ackles, and Antwon Tanner.

Listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast here!

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

It’s Jolie’s (Hilarie Burton) first time going back home to Louisiana since her devastating break up with Foster (Hunter Burke). Seeing him is inevitable as their parents run the town’s annual Christmas Market together, but when she discovers Foster is bringing home a new girlfriend, Jolie cannot bear the thought of going home alone and seeing them together. Her best friend Naomi (Danneel Ackles) suggests that Jolie bring her flaky brother, Jack (Robert Buckley), home for Christmas as he has no plans this year. Jolie, a professional web designer, is hesitant; so, Naomi, a lawyer, creates a Christmas contract to give them both something they want—a buffer for those awkward moments around Jolie’s ex and a website to help sell Jack’s upcoming novel. Unbeknownst to them, the Christmas contract proves to be so much more than what they signed up for.


Thoughts

Jolie has to go back home for the holidays and her ex (Foster) and his new girlfriend will there. She only knows men who are married, except for her friend Naomi’s brother, Jack. They strike up an agreement or a contract (hence the title), written by Naomi. Jolie will help Jack with his website (While he also works on a book set in Louisiana.)  and he will pretend to be her boyfriend so she doesn’t look so pathetic. Nothing more pathetic than a single girl at Christmas, I guess…

Jolie’s family is confused that she is bringing a boyfriend that they have never heard about and I am too. Also confused as to why they are sleeping in separate rooms, Jolie and Jack are well into their 30’s. Lots of questions start popping up and Jolie and Jack don’t really have the answers.

Foster shows up immediately, he is greasy and gross but somehow close to Jolie’s family? Thank GOD Jolie has Jack to make this less awkward, but not really. They really don’t know much about each other.

The next day, we first get a gratuitous shirtless scene while Jack is getting ready, Only on Lifetime! Jolie and Jack run errands around town. They are helping Jolie’s family set up for the Christmas festival and she even creates a website and app for her dad.

Jolie tells Jack that her mom had cancer and Foster was there for her family during that time. THey got back together but eventually realized that it wasn’t going to work. Jack is happy to listen to Jolie and her stories, especially because it is helping his him get ideas for the story he is writing.

At the Christmas Market, Jolie plays the fiddle and they go through a Christmas tree maze. (That is a new one.) Jolie sees Foster in the maze and he asks her to go to coffee because he misses her, he has a ponytail and is even less appealing than I thought. Jolie agreens and goes to find Jack.

A Tyler Hilton concert happens? He is a legitimate singer/songwriter who was on One Tree Hill. How did I miss this whole generation of WB starts?    .

Jack and Jolie are starting to fall for one another and they realize that they have more in common than they thought. The actors have some chemistry here and some dorkey funny moments. Like playing would you rather and dancing to Tyler Hilton. Jack finally asks Jolie to go out on a real date when they get back to New York. They kiss and it is everything I hoped it would be!

Since, Jack followed through on his side of the bargain, Jolie builds his website on… Wix. (Lame product placement, Lifetime.)

While out on a jog, Jolie runs into Foster who is in the middle of a break up with his girlfriend. Foster tells Jolie that he was only dating her to make her jealous and Jolie admits that is why she brought Jack… WHY WOULD SHE TELL HIM THIS? Jack also bails on writing the book… WHY THO!

Foster of course gets the wrong idea and tells Jolie he wants to get back with her, but he doesn’t know her favorite tea and then yells; “You and Jack are in a fake relationship.” in front of everyone at a bonfire.  Jack takes it well but then Jolie finds his writing checklist which is all the cliche things that they’ve been doing this whole movie. She thinks her did it all for his book and kicks him out of her parents house.

Jack makes it up to Jolie by making a grand gesture. In the Christmas tree maze he leaves notes on the trees for her, each ornament representing a special memory or their time together at Christmas. The notes lead her to him and he makes a passionate romantic speech. (Checklist complete!) They say I love you and kiss. Thee end!

Side Note

Minority Report: Naomi’s boyfriend, the writing agent,

This was billed as a One Tree Hill reunion, but they aren’t really reunited with out Chad Michael Murray.

Shot and based in Lafayette, Louisiana

Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄(3 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime

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