Lonestar Christmas (2020 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When a widowed mother (Erin Oliver) takes her daughters to spend Christmas with her estranged dad on his Texas ranch, she unexpectedly falls in love with a local Mexican restaurant owner (Mateo Verdosa) while learning to forgive her father for the past.
Erin is a single mother; oh wait, widow, raising precocious children. That must be exhausting. She ignores calls from her dad and favors her mother. (Who is recently dating a new man!) Will Erin find time for love this holiday season? Probably.
Her daughters talk Erin into visiting her estranged father for a holiday. They pack up the car and head on out to the country singing Christmas carols. The presents strapped to the top of the car fall off on the road, and a handsome stranger named Mateo stops to help Erin pick them up. Mateo is the “Tamale king” and runs a successful restaurant in town. Her daughters ask if Mateo is their knight in shining armor, and they are damsels in distress. Erin tells them they are very capable women.
Erin and the girls show up, and it is tense with her father. He takes his granddaughters to play with baby goats. With her father taking care of the kids, Erin stops by the tamale restaurant to try Mateo’s food. She walks in on him singing “Deck the Halls” but tweaking the words to be about Tamales. Mateo is adorable. He is closing up the restaurant, and Erin stays to help him close, which is weird. (This movie wants us to think it is romantic.) Also strange, she didn’t tell anyone she was leaving or bring her cell phone with her. Then she is sassy as hell with her father, who asks where she went to without warning. I hate Erin now.
Mateo comes over for “the best fruitcake eve” (which doesn’t exist.) He brings over Pozole, and no one even eats it! He talks about his family tradition of making farolitos, and then the family immediately Americanize them with neon-colored construction paper. They look nice tho when they are lit up.
Erin kind of attempts to be nice to her father, and she continues spending more and more time with Mateo while he works at his restaurant.
Reindeer hunting happens, and kids rub cookies on their faces. The reason why Erin and her dad are so strained is ambiguous. She just feels unloved, even though he is trying. More visiting Mateo at the restaurant happens. She finally tries his tamales and invites him for a family bonfire. Then they dance to country music. This movie LOVES generic instrumental country music.
The bonfire happens, and the most notable thing here is that Mateo eats salted chocolates with his smores. Gotta try that. Then they all sing Silent Night. No comment on the singing.
Erin and her father have a heart to heart and try to work on their relationships. She can’t forgive him and storms off on Christmas Eve. Her daughters talk sense into Erin, and she agrees to stay but still storms off for “a drive.” Leaving her kids behind again. ON CHRISTMAS EVE! She goes to Mateo’s restaurant and vents to him about being jealous of her father’s relationship with her daughters. Mateo tries to talk with her, but she storms off again.
Mateo finds Erin at a church where she needs to be because she needs some guidance. They make out in the church, which is a TV movie first. I’m surprised they didn’t burst into flames. Erin forgives her father and opens presents with her kids on Christmas morning. Mateo comes over and brings gift wrapped tamales. The end!
Minority Report: Mateo, Peyton, Tessa, Deena, Pastor,
🎄 (1 Christmas Tree)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime