People Presents: Once Upon A Main Street (2020 Lifetime)
Cast: Vanessa Lachey, Ryan McPartlin, Patrick Duffy
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Amelia Lewis (Vanessa Lachey) is super excited when she buys an available storefront, planning to open a year-round Christmas shop. But her celebration comes to a screeching halt when she discovers that Vic Manning (Ryan McPartlin) has also bid on the property. Amelia and Vic have the same idea, get to the seller—Elder Dubois (Patrick Duffy) in the next town—and convince him to sell his space to them. Despite the holidays, Elder is down in the dumps. It’s the first Christmas without his wife, and he’s in no mood to chair the decoration committee for the “Battle of the Main Street” yearly holiday competition with the neighboring town. Hoping to win favor with Elder, Amelia, and Vic volunteer to take over his duties. After continually bickering and trying to one-up each other, the two combatants learn to work together and even get the merchants on Main Street to put aside their differences for the greater good. Everyone, including Amelia and Vic, realizes that compromise is the key that leads to a happy—and romantic—ending.
The movie starts with Vanessa Lachey running around town while her husband, Nick Lachey’s Christmas music plays. She plays Amelia, a very excited new store owner. (She is about to close on the lease.) In a parking lot, Amelia argues with a handsome stranger over a parking spot. As she is screaming at the man, she slips on ice and breaks a package. He helps her up and tells her that the fall was instant karma. Amelia pulls out and splashes snow/slush all over the man. NOW she believes in instant karma.
The next day, Amilia is called into the realtor’s office and is surprised to hear another offer for the building. Vic, the man from the parking lot, is the other bidder and his offer is over asking. Amilia looks up the seller and drives out to meet him but hits rough weather and pulls over at a motel. The last room has been taken… by Vic. They reluctantly share a room with a double bed. They watch wrestling and argue over the thermostat, squeaky chairs, pretty much anything and everything.
The next morning they get ready together and then have breakfast at a diner with half the table blocked off due to COVID; just kidding; COVID doesn’t appear in these movies. The roof is leaking. They talk over breakfast, and Vic tricks Amilia to get a head start in seeing the seller.
The seller turns out to be PATRICK DUFFY! He is selling the building because his wife recently died, and he is retiring. Amilia shares that she wants to open a year-round Christmas store, and Vic wants to open a chocolate shop. They tell Patrick Duffy to vent about his problems, which he does. Then he invites them to stay with him while he decides.
Amilia and Vic make themselves at home and baking Christmas cookies and decorating the house. They fall all over one another, literally—nothing more romantic than colliding with a stranger. They are asked to co-chair a Christmas Main Street contest. Patrick Duffy’s town has been losing to a neighboring town. Amilia and Vic visit the town, and it is obvious why they win every year.
While making pancakes, Vic shares stories about his Christmas memories. They almost kiss but are interrupted by Patrick Duffy. He inspires Amilia to create a solution to win the Main Street Contest. Embrace the history of the town and feature it in everyone’s displays. Cue a decorating montage.
In a sleigh that is not going anywhere, Amilia and Vic almost kiss again. They are again interrupted by a store owner looking for help decorating.
It is the night of the Christmas Main Street Contest, and everyone is excited! Amilia reunites Patrick Duffy with his estranged daughter for Christmas. Vic is impressed with Amilia’s kindness. They decide to stop arguing over the store and will be fine with whatever Patrick Duffy decides. Castle creek’s main street display wins the contest.
Patrick Duff gives them both the store to run a Christmas AND Cholcate business year around. They have a grand opening, and the couple runs their business in Christmas sweaters. They kiss as the camera slowly pulls out and fades to black. The end!
Minority Report: Amilia, Billy, Alejandro, Patrick Duffy’s wife and kids, Store owners,
The leads are beautiful people, but the movie was boring and predictable. I have no idea why People Magazine was involved, it added no value.
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*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime