Christmas in Vienna (2020 Hallmark)
Cast: Brennan Elliott, Sarah Drew
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Synopsis (via Hallmark)
Jess, a concert violinist whose heart isn’t in it anymore, goes to Vienna for a performance. While there, she finds the inspiration she has been missing and new love.
Jess is a concert violinist in Vienna for the holidays to perform in a large concert hall. In the town square, Jess runs into a handsome man named Mark. It turns out that Mark is cousins with Jess’ BFF, Tori. Her friend asks Jess to be Maria Von Trapp and watch her kids while she is in town.
At a fancy cocktail party, Mark and Jess run into one another again. They talk about how charming Mark is, and then they waltz! Oh, just kidding, Mark doesn’t dance, and it gets super awkward. Things get even more awkward the next day when Jess realizes that Mark is her friend’s cousin and the father of the children she will be watching.
Next, we get so many beautiful shots of Vienna. Since the movie was filmed there pre-pandemic, it is lovely to see. (Especially after being at home for months.) Jess helps Summer sing Ave Maria and encourages her to find her voice. Jess’s love for music may be dwindling, but that doesn’t stop her from appreciating other talented musicians.
Mark and Jess grow closer while doing Christmasy things like ice skating. She shares with Mark that she will be performing her last concert in Vienna. They get caught under the mistletoe, and Mark lamely kisses her gloved hand. Mark begins to see Jess through his kid’s eyes and falls in love with her. That is until Mark gets a promotion and will have to move to Zurich. Jess tells Mark that she thinks it would be a mistake to relocate his family, and that doesn’t go over well.
Jess vows to keep things professional but still strolls Vienna’s streets with Mark while sipping out of little booty mugs. Jess lands Summer a stop singing at the Vienna Opera House. That is good enough to earn Jess a Christmas stocking on the family mantel. (Woah! Things are moving fast, but in the best way possible.)
Mark takes Jess out for fancy cake, and they walk around town. Jess opens up about an ex-fiance and hiding in music. Mark admits he is fearful of being in a relationship again. They dance to “Silent Night” and feel the spark. Then they ride a Farris wheel together, and Mark asks her to stay in Vienna. Then he backtracks and accepts the job in Zurich.
Jess finds the joy of music again and is offered a spot in the Vienna Philharmonic. To take her mind off the stress of an uncertain career and relationship, Jess makes sugar cookies with the kids. The mood is ruined when Jess scolds Mark for moving his family again and inadvertently breaks the news to the children.
It is the night of the concert. Jess prepares and leaves Christmas presents for the family. Mark opens his and is touched. He rethinks about his decision and decides to stay in Vienna. The family rushes to the concert, and Mark arranges for Summer to sing Silent Night as a love note to Jess. When Summer gets stage fright, her brother comes out to sing with her. The whole family comes on stage, and it is a true Sound of Music moment.
Mark gives Jess a single rose, and for a moment, I think I’m watching The Bachelorette. They kiss, the end!
Minority Report: Musician, Lena,
Sara Drew is perfect for these types of movies. So happy for her finding a home at Hallmark after Grey’s.
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*Photo Credit: © 2020 Hallmark Crown Media