Five Star Christmas (2020 Hallmark)
Synopsis (via Hallmark)
When a travel writer shows up unexpectedly at their dad’s Bed and Breakfast, the Ralston family all pretend to be guests in hopes of a good review. Lucy (Bethany Joy Lenz) falls for the guest, Jake (Victor Webster), but can’t share her secret.
Lucy works at Apex Advertising and is very popular in her office. She buys her assistant a round trip to Phoenix and sets off on a road trip to Connecticut. Lucy and a large man named Jake argue over a sassafrass candy cane at a local candy store. (Lucy wins because it seems things usually go her way.) When she arrives home, she is surprised to see her home has been turned into an inn, removing the home history.
Lucy’s little sister Amber is picked up from the bus station by their grandfather, Walter. Her other sister and husband come home too. Or maybe he is her brother? The storytelling here is a bit chaotic and confusing. Poor writing. Ted confesses that he decided to start the inn without telling anyone and has been open for a month. It isn’t going well. That could all change when a high profile blogger. B Tuner could potentially be stopping by as a secret shopper. Then a woman named Beth Thompson stops by with a “flat tire.” Coincidence?
Lucy and her family pretend to be guests and staff at the inn. They all turn on the charm and obsessively watch B take pictures throughout B&B. Lucy checks in another guest who happens to be the large man from the candy story; his name is Jake Finnley. They are way less attentive to him.
As dessert is being served, Grandma Margo shows up and almost blow everyone’s cover. She talks to Lucy outside and adopts a ridiculous accent relishing in the Christmas con.
The next day, they do Christmas things like building a snowman together. Lucy falls over, breaking a twig, and is rescued by Jake. They bond over a firepit talk about starburst and Lucy’s life growing up. They talk all night.
The sisters get some time in this movie. Amber watches videos of her mother, who passed away, and cries in a stairwell. While the sister-in-law takes a pregnancy test and learns she is pregnant. Lucy is the first person she tells, but she is hesitant to tell her husband.
More Hallmark movie staples happen, like a Christmas tree farm, drink eggnog, and set up Santa’s village. The holiday festivities are interrupted when Jake gets a call from his boss at Bea Tuner about his review of the inn!!!!
At the Christmas festival, Lucy bans her family from going and blowing their cover again. Jake overhears Lucy talking to Will and Suzanne and asks her why she is lying. Lucy comes clean about the hoax and asks Jake not to tells the family he knows and play along for B-Turner’s sake. It is an opportunity for Jake to come clean also, but he doesn’t. Then they sing Christmas carols and kiss by the Christmas tree in the town square.
The other couple working through things is Will and Suzanne. She tells him that she is pregnant and then throws up. Beth and Ted hit it off too. When she announces that she is leaves, he is disappointed. Before she goes, everyone is forced to do taffy pulling while listening to Christmas music. The fuse blows, and Lucy flips the circuit breaker in Jake’s rooms, seeing the article on his laptop.
Lucy argues with Jake about not being honest with her and kissing her under false pretenses. He apologizes but has a job to do. Jake leaves to finish his article.
Beth learns about the farce and is happy to learn that they are a family. Ted asks Beth to stay for Christmas as his date, not a guest. He wants to get to know her more, which is sweet.
Jake ends up staying at a local hotel to write another review. Lucy rushes to the hotel but stops to grab candy canes for him. Outside of the shop, Jake is there singing “Blue Christmas” terribly. Lucy helps him by singing beautifully. They apologize and kiss. Jake’s review comes out, and it is a FIVE STAR REVIEW. (I’m thinking this is unethical.)
The new family opens Christmas presents, and Abby makes Christmas ham. Her mother’s cookbook inspires her. They toast to family old and new.
Fun direction with this movie. So much comedic flair with the choices Christie Will Wolf made.
Minority Report: Carlos, Mr. Donahoue, Blogger, Mr. Bishop,
🎄🎄🎄(3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Hallmark Crown Media
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