Christmas Town (2019 Hallmark)
Synopsis (via Hallmark)
Lauren Gabriel (Bure) leaves everything behind in Boston to embark on a new chapter in her life and career. But an unforeseen detour to the charming town of Grandon Falls has her discover unexpected new chapters – of the heart and of family – helping her to embrace, once again, the magic of Christmas.
Little Candace gets a Christmas angel tree topper from her father. As he gets on the ladder, the father gets dizzy and loses his balance. He breaks the wing of the angel and sends it off for repair. Also, he dies right after Christmas.
In the present day, Candace is a substitute teacher who is relocating to the suburbs. Since God is closing a door, he will definitely be opening a window. She is leaving behind her boyfriend Eric and breaks up with him in a letter. He tells her that it is a rash decision, and she says he should have been paying attention.
On her way out of the city, Candace’s train stops in Grandon Falls (AKA Christmas Town.) and is given a hotel voucher. She asks a handsome man standing by the taxi sign for a ride and makes him carry her seven suitcases. (and a cat named Sassy in a purse.) When she sees the man’s truck, she decides not to take the ride because it would be creepy. When the conductor also gets a ride with him, she agrees to go. The man’s name is Travis.
Travis tells Candace about the town’s many many Christmas events, and he also mentions that he is a foster parent to a kid named Dillion. There is no space at the inn, and Candace stays in the spare room at an antique store. The owner appears to have the same angel decoration from the beginning of the movie.
Beth Broderick owns a bakery in the town and lures customers with free samples. Candace looks at old photos and sees a picture of her dad on the wall with the Christmas angel. Beth Broderick (Doing her best Hallmark happy.) recommends that Candace ask the antique owner about it. As she is leaving town, she asks the owner who tells her she is free to look through his disorganized store. (Throughout this scene, Candace’s costume changes multiple times.)
Candace decides to stay in Christmas Town, and Beth Broderick hires her to work in the store for the day in exchange for cookies. Candace talks to the patrons in the store and tells a family that she, too, was a foster kid. Meanwhile, Beth Broderick looks through a box of ornaments that her teacher friend Gloria drops off. She sees the angel decoration and throws it in the trash because it is missing a wing. (Dillion, the foster kid, finds the one-winged ornament and wants to fix it.)
Candace has an idea for a charity drive in town for a neighboring village affected by a fire; they are going to rebuild Rockland with help from the Salvation Army. Her bonding time with Travis keeps getting interrupted by Eric, continually calling and texting. They talk on the phone, and he asks her to let him send her letters. (Like her father left for her when he died. He wrote her letters for her birthday for the years he wouldn’t be with her.)
Candace, Travis, and Dillion do Christmas things: a candlelight caroling session, decorating the house while talking about GOD, make snowmen, and ice skating. Travis admits that he will miss Dillion once he is adopted, but he deserves a forever family. While she is out, Beth Broderick and Gloria decorate Candace’s room for her.
Candace babysits Dilion, and they share experiences for what it is like to be in foster care. She tells him to have hope. The kid prays for Candace to stay in Christmas Town, and she overhears him. Candace starts asking Gloria if any teaching jobs will be opening up in town. (Gloria retires early and gives her career to Candace.) Then she goes back to the letters her father wrote to her. It inspires her to ask the caseworker about adopting Dillion.
At the Christmas dance, Candace dances with Dillion as they talk about memories of her parents and his. She tells him that she got a teaching position and will be staying in town. He is thrilled. Next, she dances with Travis and tells him that she is going to adopt Dillion, and he is decidedly not thrilled. They argue because he is worried that she is going to change her mind and hurt Dillion. Candice is insulted that he thinks she would take something like this lightly, and maybe I just witnessed Candace Cameron Bure truly solidly acting for the first time.
In the next scene, Travis apologizes for overreacting. When he learns that Candace is staying in time and teaching he is very relieved. They almost kiss but are interrupted. Now a happy family, Travis, Dillion, and Candace have a snowball right, and Eric shows up, and she feels obligated to be with him for some reason? Then Eric breaks up with her!?!?! Candace is understanding because that is what she wanted in the first place.
Candace gets approved to adopted Dillion and finds Travis to tell him. He says she is not going anywhere, and neither is she. They kiss at the town Christmas tree lighting, and Candace is selected to pull the switch. It is an impressive Christmas tree!
Later, Candace and Travis tell Dillion about his adoption, and they might even raise him together. Dillion gives Candace her Christmas present early. It is the Christmas angel tree topper. Travis puts it on top of the tree and doesn’t die. The angel lights up, and the camera pans out on the new happy family as snowfalls.
Minority Report: Caseworker Karen and Some strategically placed extras.
The movie was trending on Twitter during the premiere.
Learn more about Foster Care and Adoption here.
Beth Broderick was underused here but delivered on the Hallmark brand. Love her.
🎄🎄🎄🎄(4 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Crown Media United States, LLC