Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Back in Louisiana for Christmas, Noelle Collins (Beverley Mitchell) has big plans to resurrect the town’s live nativity, a beloved tradition that her late mother used to put on. Things become complicated, however, when Noelle runs into her high school sweetheart, Nick Russell (Stephen Colletti), a rising baseball star also back home due to a recent injury. Still feeling the burn from their senior year break-up, their lives are pushed together even further when they learn their parents share an attraction and want to be more than just friends. When things begin to fall apart with the live nativity Nick and Noelle reluctantly team up to pull off the show and find themselves growing close, uncovering a hometown love for each other and the joy of Christmas that both never really faded away.
Driving from Chicago to Youngsville, Louisiana, Noelle picks up some marshmallows from the store. (No big deal!) The store only has one pack left and she fights over it with her old boyfriend, Nick He steals them from her, but then leaves them in her car. This scene may have been cute but, good lord Beverley Mitchell is just terrible!!!! (Weird mouth acting. It was cute when Katie Holmes did it in 1998.)
Noelle is back in her family home and her room is unchanged. Her mom passed away and she is moving home to work with at her dad’s practice. She is also reviving the tradition of the annual live nativity that her mom used to run before she died. She hopes to do her mother justice. They watch an old DVD of her mom singing the end of the nativity “O Holy Night” (She is decent!) Her family begs Noelle to sing too.
Noelle, her brother, and sister and law go to the bar and DO SHOTS?!?!? They play darts and give back story. Nick and Noelle dated but it didn’t work out. Tell me why then Nick is all up in her business. He owns the bar and is excited to hear that Noelle is back in town for good.
Melissa Gilbert shows up and is apparently dating Noelle’s dad. Melissa Gilbert is Nick’s mom! This is getting REAL fucky. They are all going to the Christmas fair together. Nick and Noelle drive together and it is pretty awkward. The festival is pretty lame and includes face painting and a petting zoo? They go on a hayride and throw apples into a wreath? Feeding goats? They also make snowless snowmen? I seriously have no idea what is happening in this movie.
Apparently, no one knew Melissa Gilbert and Noelle’s dad were dating. They find out when they see them kissing on the front porch. The kids accept it up are shocked, and I’m like why tho?
Nick is a former major league baseball player but he injured his shoulder and now coaches little league. Since he knows the kids in town he helps Noelle direct the nativity. He is really good with kids and Stephen Colletti will be great when he becomes my husband.
At the baseball field, Nick has Noelle bat some balls with him. (Is that what it is called?) It is just a chance for Beverley Mitchell to play with her hair an mouth flirt again. Nick is trying to rehab his shoulder, he isn’t giving up on his dream of playing baseball even though he got a job offer to stay in town.
The church that is set to be the venue for the nativity burst a water main break. Nick and Noelle set out to find a new space. The theater is booked but the barn is not! It will be just like the original nativity, except you know, in a barn.
While Noelle is watching It’s a Wonderful Life, there is a knock at the door. It is Nick and he has brought his guitar to practice for the nativity. While Nick and Noelle practice he tells her that his rotator cuff is injured and some doctors think it will never fully get better. Nick strums a few chords but we do not get any singing, yet.
Meanwhile Melissa Gilbert and Noelle’s dad have a picnic date. They kiss at the end of it and it is sweet. They both get approval from their kids to continue dating, which was kind of strange.
Nick and Noelle’s brother have a man to man talk and Noelle and her sister in law have conversations, which basically boils down to Nick and Noelle are meant to be together.
Night fishing happens? Nick and Noelle talk about past relationships and then their past. Nick apologizes for pushing her away so he could focus on baseball. They say they missed each other and almost kiss, but get interrupted. Argh! Stupid trope, I hate it.
There is a B storyline with the brother and his wife to be. She misses her family and they are playing in the snow. He brings the snow to her and turns their room into a paper snow paradise. Including paper snowball fight. This whole subplot could be a Hallmark movie.
It is finally the night of the nativity. Noelle narrates the story as the kids act it out. Everyone bows. It is time for the singing! Nick makes a speech about Noelle’s mom and then starts strumming on the guitar. Noelle sings and I am uncomfortable.
After the show Nick tells Noelle that he was chasing the wrong dream. He wants work at the school and to be near his family with someone he loves by his side. They kiss.
Wouldn’t be a Christmas movie without a Christmas tree lighting where all the B story lines wrap up. Okay byeeeee!
Minority Report: Most people working at the festival, the little angel boy,
Written and directed by women.
Donny Boaz played the brother and did an amazing job. He is so leading man material.
🎄 🎄🎄(3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷(3 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime