A Merry Christmas Match (2019 Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
Cast: Ashley Newbrough, Kyle Dean Massey, Lindsey Gort
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Synopsis (via Hallmark)
Corey, who works in her mom’s antique shop, puts on a Christmas pageant in honor of her late father. When a man named Ryder visits her store, she wonders if she should have left town to follow her dream of becoming a theater director.
Corey works at her mom’s antique store and loves to stop and smell the fresh air. (She literally stops and sniffs the air.) Ryder lives in the big city and drinks nothing out of empty coffee cups. He is the hottest bachelor in the city.
When Jillian (A blonde actress type celebrity.) shows up back in town, she immediately starts going in on Corey for being single. Jillian makes it her mission to set up Corey with someone she knows from LA. Corey’s mom gets in on the action, too, and tells Corey to start dating. She pulls up an article featuring Ryder as one of the most eligible bachelors for the holidays.
Speaking of LA, Ryder’s wannabe girlfriend (Victoria) is redheaded and spoiled. She wants him to go to dinner with her, but he is going skiing with his friend, Davey. On their way into town, the boys stop at the antique store, as men do! While browsing the store, Ryder gets startled by Corey. He falls and breaks a rocking chair. He offers to pay for the damages and then insults the town’s catchphrase: “Santa’s favorite final pit stop in the snow.” THEN he haggles with Corey over a clock that wasn’t for sale.
The next day Jillian and Corey get breakfast. She invites her boyfriend (Davey) and his friend Ryder. It is awkward! Corey thinks Ryder is annoying and arrogant. Her friends tell her to get out from under her rock and go on a date with him. Which she essentially does. Ryder shows up at the shop again, and they have banal banter about Santa’s reindeer’s being girls. Apparently, all-female reindeers have antlers. The banter goes so well that they walk around town “drinking” coffee with candy canes in the sippy part. (Making them undrinkable.) Then they look at stars.
Ryder is surprised to learn that Corey isn’t considering selling the antique store. He tells her that it would be worth a lot, and he can help her sell. This offends her because it is the last thing she has from her dead father. They fight.
To bring them back together, Jillian sings “O Holy Night,” and it works! While watching Corey and Ryder almost kiss. They are interrupted by Mindy, Corey’s friend, who is continually cockblocking. Ryder has to go back to the city, but before he goes, he stops by the antique store and asks Corey to come back to the city with him. (We all know that women in Hallmark movies can’t leave their hometowns if they start the film in them.) Corey declines the offer.
Later, Corey receives a reindeer necklace anonymously in the mail, and she is off to LA with Jillian. The girls go to the calendar shoot with hopes of seeing Ryder. They get hair and makeup done and are sad to learn that Ryder is on his way to Temecula with VICTORIA. (She just thinks he is with a friend.) After the photoshoot, they go to Ryder’s parent’s annual party. Ryder’s parents know all about Corey and are happy that she made it. They are confused, though. Ryder didn’t end up going to the wine country and IS at the party. Corey and Ryder talk about reindeers again. (It is bizarre foreplay.)
The next day, everyone dresses up in Christmas costumes that are a little too sexy. Ryder’s mom tells Corey that she can get her a directing job in LA. (Corey directs children in pageants back in her small town.) Corey calls her mom, who urges her to take the responsibility if it makes her happy.
What doesn’t make Corey happy is Victoria. Jillian finds out about Victoria and confronts Ryder about it. She tells him to come clean with Corey. When Ryder is about to tell Corey about Victoria, the bitch shows up!!! Victoria is all baddy bad girl and comes in and out in a huff. Corey gets upset and runs off, while Ryder is left standing alone in a Rudolph costume. (Haha!) Corey goes back to her small-town life and leaves LA behind.
The Christmas pageant happens, and it is the stupids song I’ve ever heard and terrible choreography. Maybe Corey isn’t as talented as everyone thinks she is. Corey gives a speech about her dad and the holidays. He used to tell her to dream big. She lets the audience know that it will be her last Christmas pageant. Jillian gets on stage and sings a non-Christmas song as Ryder shows up.
Corey and Ryder makeup! (He gives the repaired clock that he bought at the beginning of the movie.) She plans on moving to LA with him, as long as they spend Christmas in her hometown. They kiss. Movie over.
Nice to see Ashley Fink outside of Glee. Hallmark is an excellent fir for her. I’d love to see her in a leading romantic role.
Minority Report: Ryder’s co-worker in the big city, a hairstylist, and an attendee at the costume party.
I added an extra tree for the protagonist getting out of her hometown. I wish she had left on her own and not with a man.
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Crown Media United States, LLC