The Santa Summit (2023 Hallmark Movie)


The Santa Summit (2023 Hallmark)

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Cast: Benjamin Hollingsworth, Hunter King,

Director: Jeff Beesley

Writer: Russell Hainline

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)

It’s time for the annual Santa Summit, in which revelers put on Santa suits and hop around designated locations in town to eat, drink, and be merry. Three best friends decide to go together: Jordin, a recently dumped art teacher looking to cut loose; Ava, a shy woman hoping to run into her crush; and Stella, a Christmas cynic with no interest in the Santa Summit whatsoever. At the start of the night, Jordin meets and bonds with Liam, but doesn’t get his name before getting separated and lost in a sea of Santas. As the night progresses and hijinks ensue, amidst the chaos, celebration, and a sea of Santas, they all find what they’re looking for: Christmas spirit, potential romance, and a strengthened bond of friendship. Starring Hunter King and Benjamin Hollingsworth.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

Jordin and her friends Ava and Stella work at a high school. Jordin teaches art, and Ava wears glasses, so she probably teaches something nerdy life Science. Ava has a crush on another glasses-wearing nerd named Ben. He invites her to the Santa Summit, and she agrees to go. Jordin wants to go too after seeing her ex-boyfriend Nico is dating someone new. Stella just sleeps at her desk and is depressed since being moved from the music department to English. 

Brothers Liam and Mac are super jazzed from the Santa Summit. Mac owns a local construction business and has hired his brother to help. The Santa Summit is a marketing opportunity for his businesses to find potential clients. Oh, it is also a BAR CRAWL?!?!?!

Everyone at the start of a bar crawl!

Everyone stands around chanting, “Santa Summit,” and Jordin gets so into it that she drops her wallet. She rushes out of the bar and runs right into Liam, who has just happened to find her purse. Liam gives her back her purse, and they talk about him being a house fixer. He works with wood and all that. Liam tells her that he has been focusing on making time for people he loves. Jordin admires him for taking a leap of faith and notices a Pine Tree tattoo on his wrist. He tells her that vulnerability doesn’t mean sacrificing durability. Then, they play a game where they say their favorite things simultaneously. Food is Tacos and Movie is Casablanca?!?! (If I had to play, I would say Spaghetti and Miss Congeniality.) 

It’s like a masquerade with Santa Suits

Stella also meets a guy who loves Christmas, and he is surprised that she is such a Grinch. Then they have a slurp off. Haha! Jordin and Stella find one another, but she loses Santa and doesn’t even know his name! But he has that tattoo! Ava can’t find Ben either. They go to the next bar, hoping to find their romantic connections. 

The next few bars have REALLY fun drinks that are probably unsafe. (Don’t drink dry ice, people!) They also have cookies based on the 12 Days of Christmas. They have no luck, but Stella does find her Grinch Guy. He negs Stella some more and introduces himself as Freddie. Ave and Jordin talk up their friend and how good of a singer Stella is. Freddie tells her to sing some Christmas carols with him later. 

The friends get a ride to the next bar by a reindeer rickshaw. They look around town for the mystery guy. The cart is called Dasher, and the friends tell him to go faster. He gives Ava romantic advice and tells her to tell Ben how she feels. (That ride would NOT be $4; I think I spent at least $80 on one of those things leaving Lady Gaga at Wrigley Field. Totally worth it though!)

$4 rides? How did this guy make any money!

Liam and Mac keep looking for Jordin. As they are talking, Freddie overhears the conversation and tells them that the girls just left. 

At Nashville, a lasso contest happens! The Christmas tree costume guy wins it! The teacher ditch their beards and do some line dancing. So do Liam and Mac, who continue to talk shop to the bartenders. Then they hit the dance floor. Liam stays at the bar and talks with Stella, and she is unimpressed with him. Mac sees the girl with the purse and knows who they are looking for. 

So many moments like this in this movie

The teacher/friends stop for a pizza break and have a heart-to-heart. Jordin thinks that their going out is a good thing because it opens them up to possibility and gets them out of their ruts. Then they run into Ben! Ava and Ben have awkward banter. He tells her to meet him at the silent disco later. Freddie finds Stella again and invites them to race in a sled race. If Stella wins, he will leave her alone for the rest of the day. If Freddie wins, she has to sing Karaoke. He, of course, wins!

Drunk people sledding seems like a bad idea

Stella opens up and tells Freddie that she worked at the school with her best friends. It surprised her when they cut the music program, and she has been down ever since. Freddie tells her that she doesn’t have to teach English. They almost have a romantic moment, but Stella tells him to “Dream on.”

Freddie hears Jordin talking about her missed connection and tells her about running into Liam a few bars ago. He promises to help them find him. 

At the Karaoke, Ava runs into Liam, and he gives her a pep talk and tells her to go for it with Ben. Then, it is time for Stella to sing on stage. Everyone before her has been absolutely terrible, so she can’t NOT kill it! The song starts off rocky, but then Stella nails a jazzy version of Jingle Bells. 

They didn’t have the lyrics on the screen, so is it Karaoke?

(At REAL Karaoke, this wouldn’t hit as hard because drunk people like to just sing along, not watch good singers riff.) 

At the silent disco, everyone dances to Cher! Ave and Ben see one another, and she tells him how she feels. He feels the same way and even finishes her Lord of the Rings quote. Ben is added to the search for Liam, and he even falls off the Rickshaw. 

I could see Amy Groening becoming a Hallmark Leading Lady soon!

They all meet at the Christmas tree lighting, and Jordin looks around for her Santa. They find one another, and she tells him that he is gorgeous and kind. They kiss, and all their friend cheer. You’d think this is the end of the movie, but then FREDDIE TAKES THE STAGE!

He is part of a Christmas Music Cover Band. Stella is so into it and jumps on the stage like Courtney Cox at a Bruce Springsteen concert. They all take the stage and dance around. The end!

So fun!

Side Note/Stray Thoughts

Never in my life did I think I would see a bar crawl Hallmark Movie! Remember the days when they only drank hot cocoa. 

Overall rating

Pour it up

Put a Cork in It 

Christmas Feels

🎄🎄 (2 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

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*Photo Credit: © 2023 Hallmark


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