You Light Up My Christmas (2019 Lifetime)
Cast: Kim Fields, Adrian Holmes, Ben Wilkinson
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Inspired by true events, Emma (Fields) returns to her hometown built around her family’s pioneer Christmas Light Factory two weeks before Christmas. However, upon Emma’s return, she discovers the lights have gone dim in the once-festive town, prompting her to reconnect with an old flame to set their hearts and the town ablaze with light again.
Tootie is a real estate agent in Phoenix who carries hot sauce in her bag. She gets asked out by Nate (played by my fav Lifetime hunk, Ben Wilkinson.), who proposes being partners in business because she is Em-Azing! Tootie has to go home for the holidays to sell her father’s home after he recently died.
Back home, Tootie plans on decorating her father’s house to help sell it faster. She goes to the local Christmas store and is surprised to see it has been struggling since he passed away. Her father owned a Christmas light factory, and Ben (Tootie’s ex.) has taken over the operation. Tootie walks around, looking sad, and asks Ben to take her to dinner. At dinner, Tootie learns a rival factory has moved close to town and is taking away workers for the factory.
The next morning, Tootie oversleeps. Ben offered to give her a ride and is amused that she is still in her PJs. While Tootie is getting ready, Ben complements the decorations. (Which are just bows hung on everything.) Ben is pretty excellent and remembers Tootie’s food peculiarities. They pick out a tree together and decorate it together. They have great chemistry, but TWIST, Ben is dating Tootie’s sexy real estate agent, Heather.
Tootie and her high school BFF, Lily, go ice skating. Blair Waldorf is working at the check-in and is a hippy now. Natalie is also working at the skating rink and is a lifeguard of the ice. That is it for The Facts of Life reunion?
Christmas things happen. Ben finds some old plans that belong to Tootie’s father. They are for a new type of Christmas light. Thompsons lights, the rival company, has commercials and marketing even though their lights only last one holiday season. Tootie’s father’s business is in such bad shape that it will be closed by New Years’. Tootie tells Ben that he needs to figure out how to make the new lights work. (He shorts circuits them and his relationship with Tootie.)
Even though they are actively trying NOT to fall in love, Ben and Tootie spend a lot of time together. They even have dinner with their parents. They talk about feelings, and Tootie is just sad, sad, sad. She doesn’t believe in Christmas magic or that her father’s factory can be saved. Ben’s vows to prove her wrong.
Tootie is inspired and gets the town excited about Simmon’s Christmas lights. Tootie makes the Christmas Tree lighting happen. Blair and Natalie are there; they sing “This Little Light of Mine” halfheartedly. A reporter shows up and covers the story about the new extra bright Christmas light. Then Tootie goes home and cries while looking at a picture of her father.
Ben and Heather break up, giving Tootie a chance to swoop in. (Or skate in.. they ice skate.) Natalie and Blair are back, and Jo facetimes in and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas. Nate shows up to check on Tootie and the sale of the house. (It got an offer.) Ben is very threatened and storms off.
It is Christmas Eve, and the town is gearing up for the Christmas festival where the new lights will be revealed. Tootie makes a speech and admits to abandoning the town while it was struggling and implored them to remember their inner light. She passes the speech over to Ben, who initiates a countdown and presses a button. The lights light up, and no one cares, they kind of applause.
Ben and Tootie stand by the tree and talk about feelings. They love each other and kiss. What will happen to the town, it doesn’t matter? The movie is over.
The decorations in this movie were so wack.
Minority Report: Tootie, Ben, Heather. Ben’s mom and dad.
Written and Directed by women.
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime