Where are you, Christmas? (2023 Hallmark Movie)

What in the Pleasantville is this?

Where are you, Christmas? (2023 Hallmark)

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Cast: Michael Rady, Julie Warner, Jim O’Heir, Lyndsy Fonseca

Director: Dustin Rikert

Writer: Timothy Kuryak, Michael Reisz

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Christmas at the Chalet Lifetime Movie 2023, Teri Hatcher, and Chalet Girl? Lifetime Uncorked

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When Addy (Fonseca) wishes for a year without Christmas, she wakes up in a world of black and white. She must work together with the town mechanic (Rady) to restore Christmas.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

Addy loves technology, cocktails, and QR codes. Her job is creating Christmas campaigns, and she is losing the holiday spirit. Addy spends the holidays in the Maldives; it is her tradition. Her BFF doctor friend prescribes Addy being in the moment. She gets a call from her brother Conner, who is SEXY AF and getting engaged. He asks Addy to come home for Christmas; it is the first time she will return in six years.

Hot Cop Brother!

On her drive home, Addy plans to spend a few days with her family and then hightail it to her vacation. Her relationship with her father is strained; he isn’t home when she arrives. Addy’s mother is annoyed that her daughter is more focused on work emails and sends her out to run errands in town. She runs into some old friends from school, her creepy childhood doctor (who fights with his daughter over Lasagna?) and Mayor Matt. (Who is a cool Mayor and wants to turn the town into a Christmas town. #ChrismasVille) She runs into car trouble and stops by a local mechanic shop, his name is Hunter and he recently has taken over his grandfather’s auto body shop. He offers to fix the car the next day so Addy can take her vacation.

Love at first sight?

Addy had dinner with her family and her father, Jim O’Heir, is REALLY RUDE TO HIS DAUGHTER. He slyly makes digs at his daughter for not being in town often enough. He insists that his family participate in Operation Smile. Addy’s father is BRUTAL .

He dragged his daughter to hell

I missed it running down to get my dinner, but Addy gets into a car accident after her phone dies on the way to get a Christmas tree. The world turns black and white and she is VERY weirded out. Hunter picks her up and she asks if everything looks different to him. He says it might be foggy. (Oh and all the Christmas decorations are gone from the town.) No one knows what Christmas is anymore, like literally.

We aren’t in Kansas anymore!

Black-and-white movies are kind of boring, so I am struggling to keep my focus. Addy looks in the mirror and slaps her face. She has Christmas nightmares and wakes up unrefreshed. She comes downstairs and is surprised to see her parents acting strangely. (Her father is still RUDE!) They are excited about the New Year’s Movie Marathon. (Holiday movies don’t exist.) Connor also is also NOT going to get engaged. When she asks them about the whole Black and White thing, they tell her that everything looks like it always does.

No Christmas, but she has Christmas movies in her room? Hmmm….

The mayor is not as jolly, Abby’s friends Daina isn’t putting on the Christmas pagent, and the doctor has written off his daughter over the lasagna. No one in the town in happy or in the Christmas spirit. Addy searches for answers and for Hunter. Addy talks to him and he doesn’t remember Christmas. Then a memory comes to Hunter of a special memory with his Pops. (Who gave him a ring when he was first deployed at Christmas.) The memory sparks Hunter’s Christmas memory and he BURSTS into color.

Christmas brings the color to their lives!

Hunter freaks out and doesn’t want to stand out from everyone else. Addy wants to bring Christmas joy back to the people of the town. They talk about Occam’s Razor. If you have two competing ideas to explain the same phenomenon, you should prefer the simpler one. Addy runs around town shouting Christmas carols at them and causing a scene. Her brother is concerned and brings Addy home. (She has gone viral for being a crazy person.)

Jingle Bells is pretty great!

Addy searches the attic for decorations; she only finds the 4th of July decorations. Then she checks her journal and sees that her Christmas entries have disappeared. Addy remembers that she wished that Christmas would disappear, and it came true. She seeks out Hunter to let people see him in color. She is convinced they will make a great team.

The following day, Hunter has second thoughts. He tries to cover up with black and white. Addy asks what he is feeling. He shared how he was overwhelmed by feelings post-service. He never forgave himself for abandoning his pops.

Haha, good visual gag

Their first stop is the high school to see Addy’s friend Diana. Addy gives her a Christmas sweater from the school Christmas pageant. It sparks a memory of sewing with her mother, and Diana bursts into color, too! She rushes off to prep for the pageant.

I see your true colors shiiinnning through!

Hunter tells Addy some hard truths about her life in the city and being on the “hamster wheel” of city life. He learns that Addy feels disconnected from her family and tries to spark the same Christmas joy by getting Addy to talk about Christmas memories. She is frustrated and doesn’t want to take her parents for granted. Addy works on her mother next by talking

Wooooah! I’m in color!?

Random people start turning randomly. Addy begins to worry that she hasn’t changed back. Mayor Matt and The Lasagna Doctor are not happy about people changing in the town. Addy’s father thinks that color people has changed. He wants nothing to do with his daughter or his wife since she changed. Connor is upset with Addy and tells her that she isn’t listening. He says she is hurting people and Addy explains that Christmas is to help the community.

Seems like their convincing hasn’t been working well

Conner is grumpy AF; he chills out after remembering one Christmas when he met his fiance at the Christmas Pagent. He bursts into color next, and the engagement is back on. Addy promises to get their parents to the Christmas pageant to for the proposal.

He is hot in Black or White

Addy talks to her. Father, and he shares that he feels left behind. He worries that there is no room in Addy’s life for him anymore. Addy assures him that she will always have room for him. They hug, and you think they are about to change, but they don’t.

At the Christmas Pageant, Connor makes his proposal to his fiance who is still in Black and White. She turns in color in front of the crowd and they cheer for the happy couple. Addy and her father are still unchanged.

Why isn’t he changing?

Hunter makes an announcment after the proposal and he has a tough act to follow. He talks about how Addy’s father has always helped veterans with Operation Christmas Smile. The speech and a bunk of kidswith presents taking the stage turns him into color, finally! Addy is the only one who is in Black and White. She is worried that she will be stuck that way forever.

Hunter takes Addy for a Christmas eve walk downtown and thanks Addy for showing him himself again. Oh, he also fixes her car and tells her that no matter what color she is, she is beautiful. She kisses him for that magical Christmas moment and is frustrated that it doesn’t turn her. Addy jumps in her car and realizes that she can’t leave town. She throws her phone out the window and is done!

Did Addy kiss him just to get Christmas back or is it something more?

Addy talks to her father, and he gives her fatherly advice, which is kind of a 180 from where he was for most of the film. He speaks in cliches, but Addy feels happy to have a relationship with her dad, She promises to visit home more and keep up relationships with her family.

Hunter shows up at operation Christmas smile and talks to Addy. He makes a Christmas wish that Addy would come back to him after his kiss scared her out of town. Addy apologizes for stopping and appreciating the moment. They kiss and Faith Hill’s “Where Are You Christmas” plays while Addy turns back into color.

Everyone cheers for them and Addy offers to show Hunter around Chicago. They kiss some more! The end!

Side Note

Faith Hill’s “Where are you Christmas” was original recorded for 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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Overall rating

Christmas Feels

🎄🎄🎄🎄 (4 Christmas Trees)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 glasses of wine.)

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

*Photo Credit: © 2023 Hallmark


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