Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas (2019 Freeform)
Cast: Aisha Dee, Kimiko Glenn, Kendrick Sampson
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Synopsis (via Freeform)
Jess goes on the greatest first date of her life, but inadvertently “ghosts” Ben when she tragically dies in a car accident on the way home.
Last Christmas movie of the season! (Or at least the last one that we will be covering.) Thank you all for reading/watching along. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours. XOXO!
Jess is an LA barista who loves to decorate female Santa cookies because she is a feminist. It gets her fired from work, and Jess decides to spend her time before her date with her hippie friend, Kara. (Kimiko Glenn from Orange is the New Black.) They drink “saffron Jess tea” and pick out the perfect date outfit.
One the date, Jess meets Ben (Who is played gorgeous and talented, Kendrick Sampson.), and they play trivia together. The date goes well, and Ben suggests they see It’s A Wonderful Life for a second date. Then they have an awkward goodbye where he says, “I’ll text you,” and she thinks he says, “I’ll kiss you.” Then they kiss, and it is adorable.
On her way home, Jess calls her Kara and recaps the whole date. Ben texts her, and she reads the text while in an intersection and is killed in a fatal car crash. A sad version of “White Christmas” plays while the police go to the door of Jess’s parent’s house, and Ben looks at his phone the next morning, disappointed that he didn’t hear back from Jess… BECAUSE SHE DIED!
The funeral happens, and Kara gives a eulogy. People look at Jess’s body in the casket while crying. (It is pretty dark for a Christmas movie, and I’m here for it.) Ghost Jess also looks at her body and is like, “WTF?!?”
Later, Kara is meditating in her metal conducting triangle and accidentally summons Jess. They are both freaked out but quickly jump back into being BFF’s. Kara promises to figure out why Jess is back. They first visit Jess’s parents and find out that her phone is still active and getting notifications. (Maybe from, Ben!) Kara goes through her phone and sees Ben’s text. They are sad that Jess ghosted him.
We get a cute montage of Jess and Kara (but just Kara) doing all the things Jess never got to do when she was alive. (Ride a bike, surf, knit, and make amends the those she has wronged.) Kara is tired and says goodbye forever to Jess before she falls to sleep. Then they wake up and scream because Jess is still there. They wonder why Jess hasn’t passed over, and Kara resorts to her expert friend, Chrissy. (Played by Missi Pyle.) Missy tells them that Jess needs to find “big love” to ascend.
Ben talks to his sister, Mae, about not hearing back from Jess. She tells him that she is probably dead, and they laugh about it. Then they do a quick google search and find Jess’s memorial page. At a Christmas cafe, Jess and Kara run into Ben and Mae. Ben can see Jess, and he thinks she faked her death until he realizes no one else can see her. Jess says, “I’m just a ghost asking a boy to go on a second date.” (LOL, perfect.) He is freaked out and leaves.
Jess hears an ad for It’s a Wonderful Life playing in the cemetery and make Kara go with her. Ben is there, of course, and they watch the movie together. (We get actual movie clips, which is cool.) It is essentially their second date, which is weird because Jess is a ghost. Kara and Mae give them some alone time and walkabout the cemetery; their relationship is also starting to spark. (They are lesbian characters and the movie doesn’t make a big deal about it. It is just a fact, like in real life.)
Jess and Ben spend time getting to know one another. So do Kara and Mae.
Jess tells Ben about what Chrissy told her about “big love,” and Ben asks her not to ascend. He wants to make their time together unique, and they go to Chrissy to see how they can get physical. Chrissy tells them that since it is the Winter Soloists if they aline their desires and speak their total truths.
Ben lights a lot of candles, and they get it on in a glowing yellow sparkly light. The next morning, Ben wakes up alone. Jess has accended. Ben and Mae tell Kara, who cries because her friend is gone. More sad Christmas music plays. To memorialize Jess, they make a spaghetti pie.
The ascension doesn’t happen. Jess just didn’t want to keep her loved ones in pain. Jess goes to her grave and makes a speech about self-love. Her parents show up and leave flowers for her. As they do, Jess asks them for help. She doesn’t know what to do. Instead of saying something meaningful about Jess, they talk about missing the way she chewed “chewing like a monster.” (Jess is horrified, she never realized she ate weird.) It is in that specificity that the touching, yet funny, the moment effectively happens. Jess also learns that Kara entered a tea making contest. The winner gets a trip to Morocco.
The friends argue. Kara wins the argument because she pulls the “at least I’m still alive card.” (I mean, she has a point.) The fight drives Kara to face hard truths about herself. Mae confronts Kara about being stuck in her ways and not taking risks.
Realizing that Kara is the “big love,” not Ben, Jess comes up with a plan. She will need Ben to help her, but he is mad because she ghosted him. Ben comes around and recruits Mae to help. Mae apologizes to Kara for being over-analytical. Then, at Ben’s art show, Jess tries to apologize too. Kara ignores her until she sees an apology portrait Ben made. It is a painting of Jess and Kara in the snow. Kara and Jess had a big love already. Their friendship. They hug goodbye.
Mae and Ben submit the “saffron Jess tea” to the competition. Jess wins the contest, and all the hippies cheer. Jess watches on from the window and fades away while saying, “Merry Christmas.” Kara goes off on her journey and sets up a date with Mae for when she returns.
One year later, Jess is in a heaven (or hell?) bar, and Ben walks in. He died from a cardiac embolism and is super dead. It is trivia night, and Ben wants to play with Kara, but she brushes him off because she was something to do.
Back on Earth, Kara has opened a cafe (with Santa woman cookies.) Jess visits and remains unseen but supportive of her BFF.
Minority Report: Jess, Ben, and Kara. (ALL the lead actors.) Jess and Ben’s family.
Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky (From HBO’s The Comeback.) serve as Executive Producers, so you know I’m on board.
Written and directed by women. Laura Donney & Theresa Bennett did a great job.
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Freeform