A Christmas Winter Song (2019 Lifetime)
Cast: Ashanti, Stan Shaw, Sashani Nichole
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Clio befriends Fred, a homeless former jazz singer down on his luck. They form a special bond over music, and Clio, having just lost her own father, helps Fred reconnect with his own daughter, just in time for Christmas.
Ashanti owns a shop, and she used to sing. She loses the locket that her dad gave her. Her husband is a goofball and is worried about her dropping out of the Christmas show. It is the first
Christmas show since Ashanti’s dad died. (Her mother has been cooking vegan to cope with the loss, Ashanti has just been ignoring it.)
Outside her shop, Ashanti sees a man named Fred, who she thinks is homeless. She gives him a coffee and a cookie, but it turns out he isn’t homeless, just new in town. Later while at the store, Ashanti hears Fred singing in the town square. His singing reminds her of her father, and I’m thinking an unhealthy relationship is starting to form.
Fred starts working at the show, which is him basically singing in a Santa suit for tips. Ashanti tells her co-worker that she lost her locket and asks them to help her keep an eye out. The search is interrupted by Gail, who annoyingly begs Ashanti to do the Christmas show. (Gail is a little too much.) Ashanti says no, but encourages Fred to do the show.
Fred is sick, and he has been living in his car instead of with his daughter. Ashanti finds out that he is sleeping in his car and that he is sick. She is getting way too involved in his life and moves him into the attic of the store. Then she starts having flashbacks of herself as a little girl with her father. Ashanti then sings “O Holy Night,” which starts rocky and breathy as hell but eventually gets decent. As they finish singing, Fred’s daughter walks in and is surprised to see him. He chases after her but grows tired from running. He has throat cancer and hasn’t told his daughter.
Ashanti tells Fred that her father was sick and urges him to tell his daughter, Mia. Then she goes to her mother’s house and grills her. They have an “emotional moment” in the kitchen between mother and daughter. The acting here is stilted and stiff — lots of “crying” with no tears.
Fred decides to join the Christmas show and sings to his granddaughters who are there for rehearsal too? Fred talks to Mia, who is confused as to why he cares about her now. She is disappointed in her father and lets him know by staying, “This is a look of disappointment” and then making a disappointed face. (HAHA!)
Sad Christmas montage happens where everyone being sad.
Mia and Fred start working on their relationship. They talk over pie, and she asks him if she is to let him back into her life, he has to promise to stay. Fred cries and agrees but does not divulge his throat cancer diagnosis. He uses some homeopathic remedies provided by Ashanti’s mother and is hoping to avoid surgery.
Ashanti and Fred sing “Auld lang syne.” Then she asks him to tell his daughter about his cancer. He says she can say to him whatever she wants; it doesn’t mean he has to listen to her. They laugh. She thanks him for helping her forget about her broken heart and they decide that they will do the Christmas show together.
It is the night of the Christmas show, and Ashanti is backstage waiting on Fred. He collapsed in the store and is found by Ashanti’s mother. They rush him to the hospital, and Ashanti leaves the Christmas show. Fred has given up and feels like he missed his opportunity to sing for his daughter. Ashanti’s husband figures out a way to video conference them into the Christmas show. He sings from his hospital bed with Ashanti. (Mia passively watches on as her dad is in the hospital. Basically tapping her toe to the song.)
Eventually, Mia makes it to the hospital and tells her dad that she will be there for him. Ashanti makes up with her mother too. (I guess they were fighting, but I forgot.) Ashanti and her husband are pregnant! Fred finds the locket and then the doctor come in to tell him about a new trial to shrink the tumor. They all sing “Joy to the World” in the hospital.
Ashanti is a bad actress. I still love her, though.
It was nice to see a non-romantic Christmas movie.
Minority Report: Man and his daughter, Ashanti, Fred, Gail, Fred’s daughter (Mia), and adorable granddaughters.
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime