A Small Town Christmas (2018 Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

A Small Town Christmas

Stars: Kristoffer Polaha and Ashley Newbrough.

Listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast here!

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Book tour takes Christmas bestseller author to the hometown of the man who inspired her to write the book, but also hurt her feelings by standing her up.

Thoughts

We start off with a FAKE Christmas town, thought up by the mind of Nell Phillips. Springdale, Wisconsin is the best kept Christmas town secret. Nell’s best selling book was based on the description of the town from one of her old co-workers.

Emmet (Kristoffer pulling of his best Jimmy Stewart) knows everything in Springdale and is the coworker that Nell was speaking of. He owns a bookstore in town and agrees to host Nell at a stop on her bookstore and give her the opportunity to see the town that inspired the book. He is also running a Kringelfest. (With a paper and pen. No tech.)

Turns out Emmett and Nell had a spark and things were getting romantic. Nell was supposed to go on a dinner date with him, but he never showed. She even thanked him in the dedication to the book.

Nell has a cute meet with NOT Emmet but with Brad. Brad is going to turn Springdale into a tourist destination because he loved the town growing up. He didn’t get a rental car and Nell offers to give him a ride. On their ride they get to know one another, he is impressed with her book and she is impressed with his REALLY white teeth.  

Emmett gives Nell the tour of the town. Including his bookstore, Paige Turner. He even made a section just for her book. Emmett goes above and beyond to make her feel welcome. He introduces he to the townsfolk. What could have gone wrong between them? And why isn’t he writing anymore?

Nell is super confused when she bumps into a kid named Marnie and learns that she is Emmett’s daughter? (She assumes) Emmet is also makes assumptions and thinks more is going on with Brad than what is actually  happening. You know what they say about when you assume. You make the plot of a Hallmark movie.

At the Christmas tree lighting, Brad is laying on the charm. Marnie and Emmett talk Nell into doing town secret santa and helping to decorate their Christmas tree. Nell learns that Marnie is Emmett’s Niece. (Her parents died in a car crash, and they actually say it this time!) Emmett wrote this all in a letter but Nell didn’t get it and didn’t get a response.

Instead of lighting the Christmas Tree, the mayor goes into a speech about changing the tradition (Which is Brad’s idea.) The town gets out their pitchforks and start throwing tomatoes. Nell reads from her book and even gets to light the tree. She is getting the VIP treatment.  

Brad is not getting the VIP treatment because he keeps going to the town business and trying to buy them out.

Emmett and Nell spend the next day together. He accompanies her to her radio gig, she goes with him to chop down a tree, decorating the tree, and then the gingerbread competition. (Marnie and Emmett win.) He even talks her home to her hotel and they promise to keep in touch this time. Emmett doesn’t have ulterior motives, but he sure does bring up his book he is trying to write, a lot.

Brad pitches plans to his colleagues and Nell is there for some reason. She sees Brad who he really is and decides to stay in town for Christmas. (Her assistant/manager gets the flu so now Nell’s holiday is free.)

This means MORE Christmas tropes. Ice skating happens and a romantic carriage ride.

The town business owners and mayor appeal to Emmett to consider selling their storefronts. The company that is taking over the town is having the Christmas Festival. It is very not Springdale. Nell finds Brad’s plans he is tearing everything down. The business owners tear up their contracts and tell Brad it is not happening.

Nell and Emmett get into an argument and she is off to New York. Emmett leaves the town secret santa to stop her. Thankfully a pothole stops her and Emmett finds her. He apologizes for his sudden departure and not following up. Nell realizes that she didn’t get his letter. It was all a misunderstanding. He asks her out on a dat and they kiss in the snow.

Christmas morning, Marnie opens her present from Nell. It is a locket just like Nell’s. Nell even gets a gift from her Secret Santa and it is a picture of Emmett and Nell. They kiss again. The End!

Side Note

Minority Report: Nell’s assistant or manager? Brad’s boss and coworker, the innkeeper. The mayor. Radio DJ. (Also maybe gay!), Babysitter. This is a pretty substantial list, most are bit parts though.

Overall rating

🎄 🎄🎄(3 Christmas Trees, would have been 2. Added a star for Polaha, he is great.)

🍷🍷🍷🍷(3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

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