Christmas for Keeps (2021 Hallmark)

Christmas for Keeps (2021 Hallmark)

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Cast: Christa B. Allen, Ashley Newbrough, Ryan Rottman, Marielle Scott, Cardi Wong

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)

At Christmastime, a close-knit group of childhood friends return home after 10 years to take part in the celebration of life of their beloved high school teacher.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie starts with a play rehearsal, where the director, Mr. Massey, lets the actors talk back. (This would NEVER happen in a real theater.) Also, the costumes are terrible.

12 years later, Avery is a TA/aspiring therapist is heading back home for Mr. Massey’s funeral. (YIKES!) She works on getting her high school friends Ben, Mia, Sarah, and Noah to help plan Christmas festivities. They all are too busy. 

At the funeral, Avery guilts everyone into staying in town and helping plan Christmas Karokee among other things. Karokee is the weirdest of them all.

Mia feels ashamed because she didn’t contact Mr. Massey the last time she called. Then we flashback to Mia struggling on stage and Mr. Massey encouraging her. 

Ben has his memory of Mr. Massey teaching him life’s lessons. Back in the present day, Ben helps Avery with the toy drive and makes large wooden boxes to collect the gifts for children. 

Stay-at-home dad Noah and his overworked wife Sarah argue about finding a work-life balance. Noah also has a side hustle baking cookies, his true passion. He also volunteers to be Santa at the toy drive.

It’s Noah’s turn for a flashback. He suffers from extreme stage fright, and Mr. Massey helped him overcome that. He sings “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” at Christmas Karaoke. 

Ben storms off, but he just can’t have fun ever since his parents died. Avery chases after him and tells him that he is incredible and she will help him find happiness again. 

Mia starts to help out with the school play production. She is faced with a big decision to stay in town and direct the show or audition for a role in the city. Ben and Noah help with the set build and design and bury some old aggression with an apology and a hug. 

Ben and Avery, of course, realize that they are falling for one another and rekindle old feelings. Avery asks Ben to promise that he will never shut her out of his life again. 

Avery honors Mr. Massey at the school play with a speech about life not being a “dress rehearsal.” (Eye roll.) Avery invites her friends up on stage, and they rename the theater Mr. Massey Theater. Then the play happens, but we don’t see any of it.

After the show, the students in the play beg Mia to stay, and she is offered the full-time Drama teacher position. Mia excitedly accepts the position. 

The friends have one 

Side Note

Minority Report: Mia, Noah, Mr. Massey, Mrs. Massey

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Christmas Trees represent the Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is my overall enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know if they should watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend). 

Overall rating

Christmas Feels

🎄 (1 Christmas Tree) 

Enjoyment Level: 🍷 (1 glass of wine.)

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*Photo Credit: © 2021 Hallmark Crown Media

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