A Christmas Scavenger Hunt (2019 Hallmark)
Synopsis (via Hallmark)
When Belinda (Kim Shaw) heads back to her hometown for the holidays, things get complicated when she is forced to team up with her ex, Dustin (Kevin McGarry), at the town’s annual Christmas scavenger hunt.
Have to say, Hallmark really gets things right with the snowy Christmas. Belinda work at a development firm in Pittsburg. She has been tasked with going to Deerfield to make sure condos go up. If she does, she will become Jr. Partner. Her boyfriend is excited about her promotion but not interested in joining her in Deerfield. (Which also happens to be her hometown.)
When she arrives in town, Belinda runs into Dustin, her ex. He has BIG ears and is in charge of the town scavenger hunt. He asks “Bell” if she is engaged, randomly. Belinda tells him that she is dating someone, and she still appears bitter about their break up.
Tom Arnold is Belinda’s dad. UGH! (His acting is the same, but now with Botox!)
Belinda meets with the local realtor, and he tells her that the museum/old mill that she wants to buy means a lot to the town. The town is very behind on payments, and it would be a Christmas miracle to save it.
The town scavenger hunt this year is raising money to save the museum. Belinda gets roped into playing along this year, and she gets partnered with Dustin.
They spend the duration of the movie doing Christmas scavenger hunt things, while Belinda works up the courage her to tell Dustin the real reason she is in town. They go to a Christmas tree lot and bring a tree to a local retired recluse. (They take a picture in front of the tree for proof.)
“I come from a white powder. I’m silent, not louder. You create me in the cold from your ideas bold; I can’t be sold since I melt, and in the sun can no longer be felt.”
They build a snowman and debate whether Bigfoot/Yeti is real. Then they agree to be friends, even though it is obvious they both want more. He also mentions that he didn’t bail on Belinda when he stayed in town. His dad lost his job, and Dustin had to stay to take care of his family.
“He’s the main attraction. Kind of all the action. Someone who brings joy, not just in the form of a toy. Loves giving for a living. With this legend, take a photo and then together drink lots of hot cocoa.”
They go to see Santa and talk about Dustin’s ex-girlfriend, Whitney Johnson. Whitney is Belinda’s long jump rival. A kid interrupts their arguing and tells them about his Christmas wish for his mom to come home from the army.
“Look around at your neighbor. It’s fun and easy, not a labor. Is there something that they need? Plant the seed and perform a kind deed. You can’t resist. You want to assist Open your heart. It’s time to get together, not apart.”
Have I mentioned that when the actors read these, they plow through them and have absolutely no excitement about the scavenger hunt? Belinda finally comes clean about the condos, and Dustin is betrayed. He is upset that Belinda didn’t come clean sooner.
“This residence is a miniature dwelling. But the ingredients are quite compelling. All the frosting can be exhausting. But the candy makes it dandy. The walls and rooftop sheets are made of sweets. Once you’re done you can eat the treats.”
They go to make Gingerbread houses. A proper montage happens with full-on instrumental Christmas music cheesiness. Afterward, the couple goes to a diner in town and eat chili? Jenny, the owner of the diner, and Belinda’s dad are dating. Much like Belinda and Dustin want to.
Just kidding, it is a text from Logan. Belinda’s boyfriend. (Remember him?) He has booked a flight into town.
Ok, for real now. Next Clue.
“Small in scale, its contents contain specific detail. They pull the sleigh and guide the way. Not all have a nose that glows. Their world contained within a sphere. You can see through it. It’s clear. When you shake it, there’s flakes and glitter. No worries, it doesn’t litter.”
Snowglobe! Belinda and Dustin go to the town antique store and then see an old teacher for a reindeer snowglobe.
Next, Clue was obstructed by a “10th Anniversary Countdown to Christmas” logo.
“Open for interpretation, you can use your imagination. This task goes beyond a toy or trinket, you’ll have to rethink it. You’re asked to fulfill a young one’s desire and will. This may take some skill, but it may be a thrill.”
Dustin has this one solved. He takes Belinda to that little boy from the beginning of the movie. His Christmas present is his mom coming back early from the army. Dustin arranged the whole thing. He just called up the military and pulled some strings.
“So time to enter the kitchen for a delicious tradition. Your creations will require fun-shaped cutters. You may need lots of butter. The icing is enticing and comes in many colors – red, green, blue, yellow, and white – you can’t resist taking a bite.
Belinda and Dustin are off to make sugar cookies. They are interrupted by Logan, who had to take a taxi into town because Belinda forgot about him. A baking montage would happen here, but Logan judges the cookie’s healthiness and shades Dustin for “knowing his way around the kitchen.” (What a dick.) Dustin gets his revenge by making Logan stir the dough, and he spills it on his expensive french silk tie.
“Go back to where it all began. It’s all a part of the master plan. Time to grab those mics. No need to croon, belt out a tune until you fell over the moon. This is a duet, not a single. You’ll both know the words to these holiday jingles.”
Christmas karaoke. It’s as terrible as it sounds. If you were expecting a magical Christmas singing moment, you’d be sorely mistaken. Belinda and Dustin sing “12 Days of Christmas.” (Maybe the most annoying Christmas song.” Logan shows up to and sees the performance.
The scavenger hunt winners are Faith and Jason. They raised 15,000 dollars for the mill. Logan tells Belinda that she is lacking focus and can’t save the old mill. She needs to put up condos! The old hermit comes and makes a speech. He will donate the money to keep the museum and the old mill.
The next morning, Belinda breaks up with Logan because they fell out of sync. He is the most understanding person dealing with a breakup. They hug, and Belinda goes to find Dustin. She is staying in town, leaving her job, and committing herself to Dustin. They kiss.
Finally, at Christmas eve dinner, Belinda gets a Hallmark Card with a clue that leads her to the Christmas tree. It is a locket with a picture of Belinda and Dustin. They kiss by the Christmas tree.
Will this movie never end? They drive to a bridge and kiss on that bridge too. Who cares.
Minority Report: Maybe, the teacher?
Wow! Kevin McGarry is very photogenic.
🎄(1 Christmas Tree)
🍷🍷🍷🍷 🍷 (5 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Crown Media United States, LLC