Christmas Under the Stars (2019 Hallmark)
Cast: Jesse Metcalfe, Autumn Reeser & Clarke Peters
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Synopsis (via Hallmark)
When Nick, a career-focused investment banker, is fired from his high-powered firm at Christmastime, he takes a job at a Christmas tree lot owned by a warmhearted widower. There, he meets Julie, an astronomy teacher who’s always looked to the stars for hope. As the Christmas spirit washes over him — and he begins falling for Julie — the once self-centered Nick discovers the joy of helping others. When he learns that Julie and the tree lot owner are facing hard times, Nick strives to end their troubles in time for them all to share a Christmas under the stars.
Julie is a teacher/single mother in Chicago. She is dealing with the recent death of her father. Nick lives for his job and is recently fired because he made a bad deal. A tree lot owner named Clem stops Nick on his way home for being fired. Clem offers Nick a job because he can tell he is down on his luck. (Nick flakes and leaves without a decision.)
Clem is also Julie’s deceased father’s best friend and serving as a surrogate father figure for her. He is living on the Christmas Tree lot.
After lying to his dad about still working in business, Nick decides to work on the Christmas Tree lot. While working his first day, Nick meets Julie, forgets her name, and scares her son. (Not off to a great start.) The Christmas tree lot is going to be sold to build a high rise building, and Nick learns that Cem is going to need to retire soon.
Clem sends Nick on a Christmas Tree delivery, and it is Julie’s house he visits. While helping load in the tree, he is invited to stay by her son to help set it up. Nick makes Matt, Julie’s son, a little bit happier. (Matt was upset about his grandfather passing away.)
Nick doesn’t want to work at the Christmas Tree lot and jets out early to look for jobs online. He also calls one of his old associates looking for job leads, with no luck. Clem notices him being rude and tells him to cheer up. Nick overcorrects and is manically decorating and caroling with Julie and Matt. They are starting to fall in love and talk about her father (he repaired planes for the airforce.) and her son. (He was a foster child that she adopted.) It is Nick’s turn to share, and it turns out that he used to work the company that is responsible for Julie’s medical debt she has inherited from her father? They fight about it, and it is very convoluted.
Clem gets injured, and Nick comes to his aid. Nick takes him in as a guest at his swanky apartment. He calls Julie for reinforcement, and they put their argument on hold to take care of Clem and the Christmas tree lot. It seems like Clem did all this intentionally to bring Nick and Julie back together.
Nick’s dad learns about him losing his job and apologizes for pushing him too hard. The father even offers to help around the Christmas tree lot. Then Nick arranges Julie’s debt to be forgiven, with some convoluted explanation about financials and debt. Nick gets a job at a financial firm because he was successful with Julie.
Speaking of Julie, she secures a location for the Christmas tree lot to keep bringing joy to everyone at Christmas.
Julie and Nick kiss on the balcony while a shooting flies over the Chicago skyline.
Minority Report: Clem (Getting into Magical Negro Trope here. Very well acted tho.)
This movie was also bogged down with minutia and unearned sentimentality.
Who let this Eddie Munster looking fool back in a Hallmark movie?
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Crown Media United States, LLC