Reporting for Christmas (2023 Hulu Christmas Movie)


Reporting for Christmas (2023 Hulu)

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Cast: D.B. Sweeney, Tamara Feldman, Matt Trudeau

Director: Jack C. Newell

Writer: Adam Rockoff

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

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Synopsis (via Hulu)

.When idealistic reporter Mary Romero is assigned a puff piece about a Christmas toy manufacturer over the festive period, a charming toymaker inspires her to search her heart in order to find true happiness.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie begins in a Brunswick, Iowain warehouse that is giving Amazon vibes. They are packing up Christmas Frogs at Johnson Toys for the holidays. 

Mary Romero is a Chicago reporter who says in her first few lines that she “likes reporting.” She is assigned a human interest story on the 40th anniversary of the Christmas MistleToads. Mary reluctantly agrees as long as she has creative control. She packs up her stuff, leaves her friend Brianna as a house sitter, and hits the road to some Christmas tunes. 

When Mary gets to Brunswick, she checks into a Christmas lodge that is extremely decorated. Bernice, the inn owner, gives Mary directions to the factory and says that she is ready for her close-up, haha. Mary stops at Johnson Toys and is greeted by Alton Johnson, the owner. Their meeting is interrupted by a handsome salt-and-pepper-haired hunk named Blake Johnson. He is not a fan of the news story about the MistleTOADS. Mary asks Blake why he won’t be a part of the story, and he tells her that it is predictable. She wants to go deeper than the surface level with this story and tells him she needs the next in line to inherit the company.

Mary visits the town bat and joins Blake, who is meeting with the marketing director for the company, Lexi Barnes. She assumes they are dating, but they are probably not. Blake talks about how good the meatloaf is, and Mary orders it in exchange for him answering her questions. He single word answers her questions before they go for a romantic stroll around town. Blake shows Mary his Grandpa’s first home. It is dilapidated, and Blake is restoring it to be a gallery for his Grandpa’s paintings. When Mary takes some pictures, he asks her not to include them in the story. 

The videographer, Crash, arrives and seems more interested in Bernice and her home cooking than joining Mary for… you know the work they are there to do, haha. 

Mary interviews Alton and is annoyed that he is too policed and micromanaged by Lexi. Lexi wants to feature the product more, and Mary struggles to keep control. Then Mary snaps at Lexi and asks her to chill with the interruptions.  

Mary visits Blake’s house, and he answers the door in a towel. (Well, he stands on the upstairs balcony all wet… I was INTO it.) He invites Mary inside to warm up by the fire while he, unfortunately, is clothed. Mary asks if Blake and Lexi are dating, and he tells her they did in the past, but it is a small town. With that out of the way, Blake shows Mary his Grandpa’s painting, inspiring her to tell the story of the town and its history. Blake agrees to an on-camera interview. 

Blake asks if Mary will be done with Brunswick after she gets her story, and she says she has to go back to her life and job in Chicago. Blake says, “That’s too bad.” (Honey, I would be calling my job and telling them I’m staying in town with that hunk!) 

It is time for Blake’s interview, and Msry puts the mic on him, and there is sexual tension!!! Blake gets nervous on camera, and Mary asks him to just talk to her. (Like he has been doing the whole movie!) After the interview, Blake and Mary go out on a proper date, but it is interrupted because the assembly line is down. 

Lexi tells Mary about Blake’s failures, specifically that he moved to Chicago to be an artist, and the paintings aren’t his grandpa’s. They are his. Mary is annoyed and leaves. When she goes home, she can’t sleep and goes over to Blake’s place.

Mary confronts Blake about the paintings. Blake admits he adopted his grandfather’s style but not his talent. Blake admits to what Lexi said, and Mary accuses him of lying. They argue, and things are left unresolved. 

Mary leaves town and is not surprised when Crash decides to stay with Bernice.

When Mary gets back to town, she has dinner with Brianna and a few dud guys. Mary works on her story, and her boss, Hank, isn’t into it. He takes back creative control, and the story doesn’t meet Mary’s expectations and makes Blake look like a money-hungry jerk. Mary doesn’t even report or narrate her own story?!?! WTF!?

Mary heads back to town, and Alton loves the story. She is surprised that business is booming. Blake is less thrilled, and he feels used. He feels foolish for caring and trusting Mary. 

Lexi sees Mary at the coffee shop and apologizes for being such a bitch. Mary gets snowed in and spends the night. She feels terrible about Blake. Bernice fixes Mary up a room and tells her that she just needs a good night’s sleep.

Mary cries to sad music as the snowstorm rages on. Blake paints and looks out the window with a splat of paint on his face. (Haha, whoever did that is deranged.) Mary wakes up the next day, and it is Christmas! 

Her present is waiting downstairs, BLAKE! He says he is sorry for what he said and thought about her. He should have believed her and gotten a copy of Mary’s story cut. Mary offers to help him continue to fix up his Grandpa’s house.

They kiss, and Mary tells him she is considering running for town council. 

Side Note/Stray Thoughts

 I’ve driven to Iowa from Chicago, and it isn’t terrible! 

The soundtrack to his movie was getting me in the Christmas spirit! 

Lexi was such an old Lifetime Christmas movie trope; I love the mean ex-girlfriend. 

Overall rating

Pour it up

Put a Cork in It 

Christmas Feels

🎄🎄🎄🎄 (4 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

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*Photo Credit: © 2023 Hulu


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