Forever Christmas or Always and Forever Christmas (2019 Lifetime)
Cast: Lexi Lawson, Mark Ghanimé, Beth Broderick
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When marketing exec Lucy (Lawson, Hamilton) learns that she’s inherited her grandfather’s year-round Christmas store, “Forever Christmas,” she makes a trip back home to support the store during its final Christmas season before she sells it to a hip athletic leisurewear company. But once she is back in Vermont, she begins to understand why her grandfather’s shop is so special with the help of local diner owner, Scott (Ghanimé, The Bold Type) and the magic of a Christmas stranger from the north (Broderick, Sharp Objects, Sabrina the Teenage Witch).
Lucy eats avocado toast, works at a BUSINESS, and spews exposition.
“I’m leaving tomorrow two weeks back in my hometown in Vermont. I’m sending my parents to Maui as a thank you. They really deserve it. They have been putting off their retirement for the past year running the family business. They finally found a buyer for their store. Technically it’s my store.”
The store is Forever Christmas. Run by her parents. (who are an interracial couple) And on their way out the door to Hawai. They are leaving the store in the hands of Randall. Before they go, they talk to Lucy on the phone and call her “Loosey Goosey.” which is not an endearing nickname. Apparently, everyone calls her that. She has a flashback of her grandfather calling her that too.
Lucy arrives in town, and the store is a junky looking Christmas mess. (No wifi, computer, or credit card machine.) Lucy will be staying in the upstairs apartment that used to belong to her Grandpa. As she looks at a picture of her with her Grandpa, a window blows open and startles her. What frightens her more is Beth Broderick (who plays Karen.) popping out of nowhere with Christmas cookies. This bitch is magic. She makes the fireplace work by pointing at it. She also has minimal exposition.
“I’ve wanted to visit this store for quite a while. I have some friends back home who talk about it all the time. I’m from a little town back up north in the middle of nowhere. My husband is so busy this time of year that it is the perfect opportunity for me to get away.”
Beth Broderick is Mrs. Clause. She mentions her husband is in the imports and exports business. She also believes in the magic of Christmas. She claims to have been hired by Lucy’s parents.
The next day, Lucy goes into a local cafe to use their wifi. The owner, Scott, tells her that she needs to order something to use the wifi password. The password is “password.” (Haha.) She orders a poached egg and tells him her plans to turn the Forever Christmas Store into an Athleisure Store.
Beth Broderick helps Lucy pick out gifts for customers with Christmas magic. Whenever she is close to the right present, Lucy hears jingle bells. Lucy is properly weirded out and got out for a walk to get fresh air. She ends up at the Christmas Tree Lighting, where they only sing one line from “12 Days of Christmas.” while Scott puts a partridge in a pear tree ornament on the tree. He will be doing this with different decorations for the 12 days till Christmas. Scott walks Lucy home, and she hears the same jingle bells when he accidentally touches her hand.
Lucy builds a website and starts social media. When Scott sees her working on the website, he asks that it is, and she namedrops WIX without using #Ad. Then she reads Gift of the Magi to some kids in the store and hones her gift finding skills. (With the guidance of Beth Broderick.)
Beth Broderick is not only guiding Lucy with running the store, but she is also bringing Scott and Lucy together. She sets them up on a romantic dinner under the guise of a business meeting. The romantic dinner allows Lucy and Scott to get more backstory and create a connection. They toast to small-town magic. Then they walk around, said, small town. They stop by a real-life nativity and drink hot cocoa.
Lucy is in an excellent mood the next morning. She is walking around town singing “Jingle Bells.” Next, we get a montage of Lucy getting into the Christmas spirit (with a WIX demo.) while a soulful version of “Joy to the World” plays.
The Christmas Snow Ball happens, and Lucy is very sparkly. Everyone in the town stops Lucy to tell her how much Forever Christmas means to them. It is time for the Christmas ornament raffle. The final winner is selected, and there are two winners! Randell and his crush the Mailwoman. They win a date! Scott and Lucy slow dance to “O Holy Night.” He then walks her home, and they don’t kiss under the mistletoe.
Scott’s brother Matt comes to town, and then pudding toss happens. Lucy and Scott are a team, and they win. After seeing the chemistry, Matt advises Scott to go for it with Lucy, even if she is moving back to California. He makes a grand gesture with candles in paper bags and caroling. He asks her not to sell the store and stay in town with him. It backfires, and she runs off.
The owner of the Athleisure company comes to sign paperwork and tells Lucy about a Christmas where he didn’t get what he asked for. That was when he stopped caring about Christmas. As lucy signs the paperwork, Beth Broderick works her Christmas magic and make coffee spill on the papers. She also makes a window open, and a gust of snowy wind blows the papers all around. Paperwork still gets signed after all that.
Matt is the store’s final customer, and Lucy helps him get the perfect for Scott. (A toy that Matt threw over a cliff at the Grand Canyon when they were kids.) Lucy calls the owner and tries to take back the deal.
Beth Broderick is back at it again and uses her Christmas magic to keep the owner in town with some “car trouble.” Since he is stranded in town, he goes to Forever Christmas, and Lucy helps him find the perfect present. It is a puppy?!?! Haha, the exact kind of dog that he always wanted was waiting for him on a shelf in the store. Sure, Christmas magic.
The whole town comes by the store to sing “Silent Night” terribly. They are saying goodbye to Lucy and the store. She gives an impassioned speech and thanks to them for the best Christmas she should have asked for. The owner calls off the deal, and the store is saved. I don’t think we get a kiss at the end… which is weird.
Minority Report: Lucy, her dad, her boss, Scott, Randall, the store worker, Mailwoman.
This movie had so much Christmas music in it. I loved that.
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🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees, added one for BB.)
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime
no one will ever read this but this is one of the only (if not THE only) Hallmark movie I have begrudgingly seen that has the male love interest move his life to be with the female lead back in the big city where she keeps her job (and everything back in small town usa is also saved!).