Christmas Ever After (2020 Lifetime)
Cast: Daniel di Tomasso, Ali Stroker, Ellen David
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Popular romance novelist Izzi Simmons (Tony® winner Ali Stroker) spends every Christmas at her favorite snowy bed & breakfast, but this year, she’s faced with an impending deadline and a severe case of writer’s block. Luckily, inspiration strikes in the unlikely form of the B&B’s new owner Matt (Daniel di Tomasso), who bears an uncanny resemblance to Izzi’s novels’ handsome hero. As both partake in the lodge’s annual itinerary of Christmas activities, Izzi’s writer’s block is cured, and the first pages of her and Matt’s own love story may just be beginning.
Izzi is a romance writer novel who is giving me serious Carrie Bradshaw vibes working on a deadline. She submits her latest manuscript but needs to rework the ending. Izzi typically goes to a lodge for the holiday’s but the owner of the B&B is retiring. Antler Lodge is a place Izzi has been going to, and she drives up to finish her book. As she pulls into town, she almost runs over a handsome man who looks remarkably like the man from the cover of her best-selling novels.
When Izzi arrives at the inn, she notices some changes (like the name and the squeak floors are gone!) and complains to Bob. Bob introduces Izzi to the new owner, who happens to also be his son, Matt. Izzi can’t handle it and comically freaks out that he looks so much like Desmond Reigns, her book’s protagonist. Izzi asks a kid named Casey about Matt, and she turns out to be his daughter. AWKWARD!
Izzi isn’t the gal in town with the hots for Matt. (I mean, have you seen this guy? How could you not?) Jennifer has had a crush on him since high school. Izzi and Matt run into one another at the town cafe and debate oatmeal raisin cookies. They are already starting to hit it off genuinely. The hunk is helpful for keeping things interesting, but he isn’t helping with the writer’s block.
Over cider and stories, Izzi sings “The wassail song” with some townsfolks. It is great. Matt watches her sing and loves her beautiful voice. He compliments her later awkwardly and then knocks some stuff over as he sets up for a Christmas laser show.
Casey, Matt’s daughter, is an aspiring writer and asks Izzi to help. Izzi suggests moving their bodies to get the creative juices flowing and goes bowling with Matt and Casey. Izzi schools them both and is a fantastic bowler. (She even gives Matt some tips.) The outing inspires Izzi to write more than one sentence at a time.
While making repairs on the rooms, Matt and Izzi get locked in her room together. It is there when they really get to know one another trapped together. Matt is widowed, and he is raising her daughter on his own. This is why he is taking over the inn. He wants his happily ever after, just like the characters in her stories. Izzi mentions that Matt looks just like the cover boy on her novels and shows him the picture. He realizes that his wife Emily painted the covers. She was an artist before she died.
Bob injures himself but manages to free them from the locked room. Then a baking montage happens because this IS a Christmas movie, after all. I kind of forgot because this writing romance so enthralls me.
Matt and Izzi go for “a push” around town. It is the same romantic feel that is always is in a Christmas movie. They have hot cocoa and even hold hands, which is sweet. Matt gets down on one knee, and Izzi makes a joke about proposing. He says he is just enjoying his time with her. “The view is better from down here.” (Aww!) I thought they were going to kiss, but no such luck yet. Izzi is inspired again, and as she writes, magic words swirl around her.
The guests of the inn band together to help decorate the inn for the holidays. (There is a Christmas decoration competition, of course!) Jennifer announces the inn as the unanimous winner. Izzi and Matt grow even closer. Matt comes clean about the book cover and his wife being the original artist. She is shocked at the odds of that and is sympathetic to him and what he might be going through.
Izzi sees Jennifer and Matt talking and gets the wrong idea when she sees them embrace. Rejected, Izzi goes home and finishes her book, and sends it to her editor. Matt meanwhile looks at old photos of him and his wife together. Then the lounges shirtless. He has a great body.
The next morning, Christmas Day, Izzi leaves before saying goodbye to Matt. Matt and Casey are heartbroken. Casey even wrote a book about Izzi and Matt getting together. On a call with her editor, Mila tells Izzi to take her own advice and shoot her shot. Izzi turns the car back around.
Izzi tells Matt that he is perfect for her. Being open to love is being open to all of it, even the hard parts. He gifts her the wobbly doorknob from the old hotel room. They kiss.
Flash to one year later and the book is a success. Casey get her own book deal? The end!
Minority Report: Mila, Jennifer,
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