Writing Around the Christmas Tree (2021 Lifetime)

Writing Around the Christmas Tree (2021 Lifetime)

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Cast: Krystal Joy Brown, Curtis Hamilton, James Black, Max Emerson, René Ashton

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Mikaela (Brown) a successful romance novelist who has had bad luck in love, visits a quaint bed and breakfast for a Christmas writer’s retreat near a snowy lake town each year. Upon arriving, she meets dashing writer Levi (Hamilton), who soon convinces Mikaela that she shouldn’t be writing about love, if she doesn’t allow herself to get out and actually experience it. (2021)

Recap/Wine Thoughts

Mikaela Leighton is a successful author who hosts writing lectures. A handsome attendee in the back row, Levi askes Mikaela if she is single like the protagonist in her books, Maya. He also asks her what the hold-up with the book is. Mikaela’s agent, Gigi, and assistant Keifer come to her rescue. He isn’t wrong; Mikaela is struggling with writer’s block.

Mikaela calls her dad, Irving, to cancel on Christmas to write. He instead talks her into reviving her late mother’s FREE Holiday Writing Retreat. She recruits Keifer to help her plan the event. They select the writers.

  • Sharon Samuels- A Cookbook Author
  • Olive Olsen- A Musical Libretto Writer
  • Mitchell- A Hunk/Aspiring Screenplay Writer

AND Levi, a non-fiction writer, who spawned the whole idea with his questions at the lecture. (His agent, played by Lifetime VIP René Ashton, pressures him to get a spot in the retreat and write a story about Mikaela’s mother.) Levi does this by pressuring Mikaela at her book signings and joining her for dinner at the Chalet, where she is hosting the retreat.

Levi goes shopping with Mikaela, and then they have some lunch at her mother’s favorite restaurant. Levi opens up about his parent’s death and his grandpa raising him. 

Levi turns out to be a true fan of Mikaela’s mother’s writing. 

The other guests arrive, and Olivia is a lot. Sharon is very generous with compliments, and Mitchell is an old friend of Mikaela’s from childhood who is just getting into writing.

It’s about time for a writing montage, so that happens as Mikaela gives the writer’s prompts. Then she works on her own book and talks things through with Levi. Mikaela still prints her pages because it reminds her of her mother. They almost kiss but are interrupted by Olivia, who finished her assignment. (She is looking for some extra credit from Levi!)

Olivia makes sure that EVERYONE knows she is single. Levi doesn’t take the bake. It seems like Sharon and Irving might be condoling, as well as Mitchell and Keifer. 

Levi asks Mikaela if he can write a bio tributing her mother. Then he calls his boss to cancel his contract, and the gays overhear, misconstruing what he said. 

Levi offers to help edit Mikaela’s manuscript since her Editor has retired. He takes Mikaela to a spot that her mother used to write, and he restores the garden to how it was when Mikaela was a child. She is touched by his generosity. They almost kiss, but Olivia jealously interrupts and gives Levi’s journal to Mikaela. She feels betrayed that he would write the story about her mother without her approval. Levi leaves in the middle of the night, but signs the guest book before going.

Olivia sings her hit song for everyone on Christmas Eve after dinner. Mitchell decides to move to LA and co-write his script with Keifer. 

Mikaela reads Levi’s essay about her mother and realizes she misjudged him. He returns to apologize, and Mikaela forgives him and thanks him for bringing her back to life and inspiring her to finish her manuscript. The protagonist finally found love with a man who challenged her, just like Levi. They kiss and plan to write their story together.

Side Note

Minority Report:  The cast featured pre-dominantly POC actors. (In leading roles! Yay!) Oh, and LGBTQ+ representation. 

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Christmas Trees represent the Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is 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

🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine.)

What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments or on social media @LifetimeUncorked

*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime

Live tweet along with @LifetimeUncork using the hashtag #WritingAroundtheChristmasTree #ItsAWonderfulLifetime

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