A California Christmas (2020 Netflix)
Synopsis (via Netflix)
With his carefree lifestyle on the line, a wealthy charmer poses as a ranch hand to get a hardworking farmer to sell her family’s land before Christmas.
Joseph is a player who rides a motorcycle. (Which should tell you all you need to know.) He leaves his one-night stand in the hotel room, and instead of a goodbye kiss, he pats her on the arm. He works for his parent’s company, and they are looking to buy farmland from a female owner who refuses to sell. His mother basically pimps him out to get her to sell the land. (She is just as bad as he is! She promises him a promotion if he can manipulate the dairy farm owner. Nepotism at it’s finest!)
On his way from San Fransisco to wine country, Joseph spills coffee on himself and has to change his clothes on the side of the road. He wants to appear more normal and down to earth. All I see is that he is shirtless. Thank you for that, Netflix.
Joseph walks up to the farm and sees Callie birthing a calf and her kid sister Hannah carrying a large water bucket. They see him and think he is the new ranch hand and forces him to help birth the baby calf. Callie shows him around the farm and what needs to be repaired. He goes along with it once he realizes that she was going to shoot the “suit” that was trying to buy her land. Joseph calls his driver, Leo, and tells him they are going to be in town longer than expected. Then he takes a shower. (Shirtless hunk alert!)
Wendy is Callie’s mother and is recovering on the ranch. She has cancer and is very ill. They keep getting eviction notices on the door of the home. A neighborhood hunk named Connor has a crush on Callie, but she puts him in the friendzone. Randomness alert. Callie was in a tragic car accident together that killed her father and fiance.
The real ranch hand, Manny, is sitting right next to Leo as he has the conversation with Joe. Leo pays him off in a comical scene. They go joyriding and rent an Air BnB together. I love Manny. Joseph finds them with a tracker on his phone and talks through his plan with Leo. Manny realizes they have money and extorts as much as he can get out of them.
The next day, Joseph wakes up to the most annoying ringtone, and surprise, surprise, he is shirtless again. He starts the generator for his trailer in underwear, boots, and a jacket. (Is he trying to be a gay icon? It is working.) He then fails at doing ranch work and calls Manny (who is playing video games and drinking wine with Leo.) for advice. Hannah catches him and helps him milk a cow. She is onto him. (Later looking him up on social media.) Callie is just annoyed with him. Thinking he is lazy, half-assing everything. (She works all day at the ranch and then bartends at night.)
At the bar, Callie talks with her friend, Jasmine. Joseph, Leo, and Manny all show up at the bar dressed up as stereotypical cowboys. Connor shows up drunk and gets handsy with Callie. (He told her fiance Liam that he would “take care of her” gross.) Joseph defends her honor and punches him in the face. The men get into a brawl, but Callie stops it with a broken beer bottle. Before he goes, Joseph tells Callie that she doesn’t deserve to be treated like that.
The next morning Joseph wakes up with calculus on his hand and no shirt on! He works, clearing out a shed and finds Callie’s dad’s old motorcycle. Callie apologizes for how she has been treating him and brings him some iced tea. She invites him to dinner.
At dinner, they pray around the table before they eat. Joseph starts to have second thoughts about what he is doing. A montage happens of all os them growing closer. A flour fight, ranch work, putting up Christmas lights, and more shirtless Josh Swickard are all included here.
Wendy tells Joseph to be careful with Callie. She isn’t as tough as she looks.
The two grow close, and Callie opens up about the car accident that killed her father and fiance. She was also in the car. With her mother dying of cancer and refusing further treatments, the ranch is the only thing she has to remind her of her parents. Callie can’t let it go. They almost kiss but are interrupted by Connor.
Wendy takes a turn for the worst and is rushed to the hospital. Mother and daughter cry when she is released. They are running out of time.
Joseph fixes up the motorcycle as a surprise for Callie. They go for a night ride together. He drops Callie off at her bar job, and then he looks at the contract and contemplates telling Callie the truth.
While Manny and Leo are lounging in bathrobes and doing face masks, they get a call from Joseph’s mother; she is coming into town to check on the progress. They rush to the bar and try to find him while arguing. Connor overhears the conversation, learning who Joseph really is and why he is on the ranch.
Callie and Joseph have sex in a field lit by moonlight. Umm, this is not a Hallmark Christmas Movie.
Callie takes up to texts from Connor with articles about Joesph. She confronts him while he is talking to his mother. It doesn’t look good. Joseph tells his mother that she can’t buy the ranch. His mother sweetens the deal and offers a lot of money. Callie takes time to think it over and kicks Joseph off of her property. Then she cries by her father and fiances graves. Connor tries to comfort her. He is gross.
Manny, Leo, and Joseph bring some wine from the ranch to an investor, and he is interested in the grapes. Callie meanwhile opens a shed that has been locked and finds equipment to start a winery that her dad had purchased before he passed away. The wine has been sitting in french oak barrels for years. She finds Joseph harvesting grapes in the middle of the night. He tells Callie about the investor, and she agrees to show him the grapes. The investor wants to lease the wine and offer her a contract that will cover her costs and make her a sales commission. The ranch is saved!
Joseph calls his mother and tells her about the ranch; she is strangely happy for him. He turns down her offer for a promotion to stay on the farm with Callie. To win her back, Joseph organizes a Christmas party in the barn. She forgives him, and they kiss in fake barn snow. (Made by Leo and Manny.) Everyone dances to Silent Night in slow motion. That is the end of the movie!
Minority Report: Leo, Manny, Derrica, Vincenzo
NOT a Christmas movie. Maybe in the last 5 mins.
Callie and Joseph are married in real life.
🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Netflix