A Sweet Christmas Romance (2019 Lifetime)
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When food stylist Holly (Kane) returns home for Christmas, she learns that Loretta (Devine), the elderly owner of her favorite childhood bakery, is retiring and has started a contest to give the bakery away to whoever can recreate her famous 12 Days of Christmas recipes. Holly enters, despite not being much of a cook. When a local baker named Brad (Holt) also enters the contest, the two adversaries end up cooking up something special together for the holidays
Holly is a food stylist who sprays makeup on Turkey to make it took more delicious? (I used to be obsessed with this job when I was a kid.) Holly is up for a job at Urban Gourmet. She is on her way home to Maine to visit her favorite bakery (run by Loretta Devine). Oh, and to visit her mother.
The bakery celebrates 12 days of Christmas treats, and it seems like it may be the last. While leaving, a handsome stranger bumps into her, knocking the cookies out of her hands. She gets the cookies replaced and then goes to see her family. (Holly is kind of rude to her mom and tells her she is a terrible baker. Holly loves Loretta Devine more than her whole family combined, but who wouldn’t!)
Loretta Devine tells Holly that she is selling the bakery and moving to Alaska to be with her new boyfriend. (I was worried, she might be getting catfished, but this is Lifetime Christmas… not typical Lifetime Murder.) Loretta is going to create content to give away the business to whoever can duplicate her 12 Day of Christmas cookies via a baking contest. Her son Carson is against the idea, and he wants to sell to a developer.
The handsome man who Holly bumped into is named Brad. He is a pastry chef at a fancy inn. He intends to compete in the contest. Holly doesn’t want him to take over and then make flambes and creme brulees. She decides to enter the contest too, pretty much out of spite for Brad; the only problem is she is a terrible baker. Her family supports her even after tasting her awful cookies.
The contest begins, and it is very much like The Great British Bakeoff. (Including aprons!) Loretta Devine goes through the rules. Everyone must taste the cookie and replicate the recipe from only their pallets. Also, for the sake of time, they are only doing six cookies instead of 12. They will be graded on taste, presentation, and magic.
Day/Cookie 1 is Gingerbread. The contestants go to the store and then start baking. Even in a Christmas movie, it is very relaxing to watch people bake. Holly forgets the eggs, but her cookies turn out okay. The judges (Loretta Devine and her kids) taste the cookies and then call out names and scores. Brad scores a high score, and Holly scores in the middle. They eliminate people each week and give them a gift basket. (This bakery takes itself a little too seriously. If Loretta Devine didn’t run it, I would hate it,)
Holly goes to scope out the competition with her sister, Caroline. Of course, Brad is working, and this allows Caroline to grill Holly about her love life, work-life, and future life with Brad. Little Loretta also joins and drinks wine and isn’t Loretta Devine’s daughter. She works at the store and has a crush on Carson.
Day/Cookie 2 is Sticky Toffee Pudding. More soothing baking ensues while Loretta Devine sassily watches on. Carson and Little Loretta talk about the bakery closing, and he is dead set on closing it for good. The judges taste the cooking, and Carson is particularly harsh. Holly and Brad are tasked with cleaning duty. They taste each other’s dishes and realize that he is a great cook, and she is good decorating. Oh well, then they go walking around town looking at Christmas lights and decorations.
Day/Cookie 3. Holly and Brad are cookie together and smiling. They are falling in love.
Loretta Devine and her Alaska boyfriend think of an additional challenge. The finalists will submit Carson to a blind taste testing, and if he picks his mothers, they will close the bakery or give the bakery to the winner if he chooses them.
Holly and Brad are getting closer. Her family invites him over dinner, and then afterward, she goes over to Brad’s apartment to practice baking and drink Bailey’s over ice #Ad. Then they make croissants.
Day/Cookie 4. Someone else goes home. Everyone runs out of nutmeg.
The two are spending more time together. They cook for one another and talk about Brad being poor and from Florida. His grandmother raised him, and she taught him everything he knows. (No culinary school for this guy!) They are falling in love through cooking, their love of family, and sharing.
Day/Cookie 5 Loretta Devine announces that it is a blind tasting early. Holly and Brad are the final two! (Poor Natalie, we hardly knew her!) Holly is excited to make the finals, but she gets a call from New York and has been offered the job. She wants to make sure the bakery is left in good hands and begs Loretta Devine to rig the contest for Brad to win.
Little Loretta makes cookies for Carson, and he is impressed with her baking. They also discuss Holly and Brad’s apparent love for one another.
Day/Cookie 6- Holly and Brad make sugar cookies; just as they put the cookies in the oven, the power cuts out. They relocate to the bakery, and it is in that location that Carson realizes that he isn’t going to sell the business no matter how the cookies turn out. The final tasting happens, and Carson has a hard time deciding because they are both so good. He declares a tie. Holly and Brad both win the baker and have to run it together.
Holly and Brad agree to this and sign the papers? They hire Little Loretta and Carson as a financial planner. They kiss.
Minority Report: Holly’s photographer friends. Carson, a character named Loretta, and Loretta Devine. Christan. Natalie and another contestant.
Adelaide Kane is charming. I enjoyed her performance.
If you like The Great British Bake Off, I would imagine you’ll like this movie.
🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime