Christmas On The Menu (2020 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Josie, a celebrated chef, heads home for the holidays and creates a special Holiday menu for her mom’s new bed and breakfast bistro, where she runs into Tanner, the famous food critic who panned her old bakery in a review. Soon, a holiday romance begins to blossom between them just in time for Christmas.
The movie starts with shots of food that looks… MEH! Not too appetizing. Josie is dumping things into a pie crust with a cute messy pony. Her taste tester/BFF, Nina, loves the new creation, but it is too decadent for the LA crowds. Nina informs Josie that her nemesis Tanner Rhodes, who also happens to be a food critic.
Tanner shows up with his lady friend, PEPPER!?!?! (Cumin and Paprika were busy.) She wins him over with the red velvet pie and loves it. (And now her.)
Josie heads home for the holidays to help her mother with a dessert menu and to set up the family bed and breakfast for Christmas. She is greeted by hunk manager Nolan and CYNTHIA GIBB!?!?? (TV Movie Legend, who looks fantastic, by the way.) They make soup together for charity because of holidays and are surprised to learn that Tanner has checked into the Bed and Breakfast to write a review. Josie strikes a deal with Tanner that he only writes a positive review or nothing at all. Tanner trashed Josie’s bakery and caused it to go out of business. YIKES!
Pepper comes to the town next and is also Tanner’s editor; she has been pushing him to write scathing reviews because it gets more views.
Josie and Tanner grow close, talking about her dead dad and his plans for the bed and breakfast. Then, they go to the greenhouse to get fresh produce and argue over green peppers. (Not a fan of them!) Then they play pool and burn a quiche? Not very Christmasy. They remake the quiche together and almost kiss in the greenhouse. Then they spend the night baking in snowflake robes. All this, while she also has a flirty thing going on with hunk Nolan.
A podcaster, TV host, and personal assistant/photographer, they are also covering the grand opening. Cue a tasting food montage. Pepper worries about a conflict of interest with Tanner falling for Josie. Pepper threatens to fire Tanner if he doesn’t write an honest review, then she eats a whole bowl of whipped cream with strawberries.
It is finally time for the Christmas dinner tasting. Everyone dresses up for a fancy dinner with CHRISTMAS SANGRIA?!?!? At the dinner, the guests share their favorite Christmas memories. Iris invites the mother and daughter on her show, and it seems like the whole thing is a huge success. Until dessert… the whipped cream is missing!!! Josie figures out it was Pepper and confronts her. She asks Pepper and Tanner to leave.
Pepper leaves the next morning and has regrets about how she acted. Stu gives her a ride back to the city, and they start their Christmas movie romance. (Can I see that movie?)
Josie puts hunk Nolan in the friend zone and confesses to her mother that she has feelings for Tanner. Then, Iris sings a sexy Christmas song while seducing everyone in the room. She just has that effect on people, I guess!
Tanner returns and apologizes with a gift. He gives her some candy, which is the way to my heart! He also gifts her some fancy-ass vanilla bean. Josie designs his food book cover to inspire him to finish his cookbook. Tanner and Josie kiss while a shooting star passes by. The end!
Minority Report: Nina, Iris, Stu,
🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime