The Christmas Temp (2019 Lifetime)

The Christmas Temp (2019 Lifetime)

Cast: Sara CanningRobin Dunne 

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

An out of work artist discovers a special Christmas temp agency that matches her with a handful of festive jobs but falls into a creative rut while juggling holiday preparations and feelings for the agency’s HR manager.


Hazel is a struggling artist who lives on rice and catsup. Her sister gets her a holiday job interview working for a corporation Christmas event. 

Jonah is the hotel manager and up for a big promotion if his holiday even goes well. He will be the one interviewing Hazel. A mix up happens, and he thins Hazel is a furniture person, not the artist. He speaks disparagingly about the artist in general, and Hazel is defensive. Hazel calls him a square peg. (Which is a strange put-down.) Hazel’s portfolio speaks for itself, and she lands the job. 

The artistic process has got Jonah freaking out. He tells Hazel to go more towards the direction of Christmas magic. Then shows Hazel some pictures of elaborate Christmas lights. Hazel is less than inspired and sketches on a notepad with candles all around her. She retools her idea, and Jonah loves it, he screams, “THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!!” His boss, on the other hand, thinks it is trite and ugly. Hazel spins it into an artistic concept and sells the boss on her on the fly idea. (Which she doesn’t have, yet.)

Something happens with a lightbulb and making a wish? The Wishing Bulb. Haha OMG, what is happening here? These movies are officially out of ideas. Hazel’s father made it for her one Christmas, and all her Christmas wishes came true. Then he died, so it has meaning to her. Jonah is a child of divorce and doesn’t have any Christmas magic memories. Hazel tells him to do something spontaneous at a Christmas festival, and he hula-hoops with a Christmas wreath and gets in trouble with the police.  

The stakes get higher when a big-time art critic is coming to review the Christmas installation. Hazel makes a wish on the magical lightbulb. (Which is a green light bulb hanging in a picture frame.) Then she starts quoting Thomas Edison randomly. This movie is falling apart for me. 

Art-making montage happens. (With a nice R&B Christmas song.) Hazel puts up dead trees and lights them in spooky ways to create shadows. “Christmas is light, but the light is defined by darkness.” Jonah doesn’t get into it, and neither does his boss. The boss yells at Hazel and tells her she is overthinking, and she needs to feel. Jonah spouts some BS to the boss to save Hazel.

To get into the Christmas spirit, Jonah takes Hazel ice-skating, and then they dance on a piano like Tom Hanks in Big. (Tom Hanks did it better!) It is a romantic evening. The next day, Hazel thinks that he is dating his assistant and get upset and breaks the magical lightbulb. She calls Jonah and tells him to find someone else for the installation and then cries in her bed.

Hazel’s sister tells her not to quite and admits that she broke the first magical lightbulb years ago. This inspires Hazel to get the idea for the installation. She will be adding still life.

It is the night of the party and the installation is about to start but the art critic spills champagne on the electrical outlet. Jonah runs and steals a generator from some construction workers but gets stopped by the police. He appeals to the police office about him being in love with the artist and it works!

Back at the hotel with the generator, the lights are back on and Christmas movies play on screens. Everyone is impressed, except me. This is stupid and tacky. The art critic walks in front of the projections and speaks in an overly done accent. He love its it. So, good for him?

Hazel is an instant success. She didn’t wish for that though. She wished for Jonah and they kiss. He wished for her too and turned down a job opportunity to stay in New York with her and do lobby installations in the hotel with him forever. They kiss again as the music swells and camera pans to a green light bulb? A GREEN LIGHT BULB?!?!? Hahaha.

Side Note

Minority Report: Jonah’s assistant, Cop, flower delivery boy, Party goers.

I like Sara Canning. She is such a fun actress to watch, even if the material in this movie isn’t that great.

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Overall rating

🎄🎄(2 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime

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