Cooking with Love (2018 Hallmark Channel)

p15006180_p_v8_aa.jpg


Cooking with Love

Stars: Ali Liebert & Brett Dalton

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Hardworking and optimistic television producer, Kelly, doesn’t have time for love. Along with her mentor Amanda, Kelly dives into another season of The Little Gourmet, a kids cooking show, when hot-headed Chef Stephen drops into Kelly’s life as a last-minute replacement host. As the two struggle to make peace and a successful show, they realize they have a lot more in common than they thought—a love of food, the kids they encounter, and each other.

 

Thoughts

Kelly is a reality show producer (we know this because she wears airport headphones) with a heart of gold. Oxymoron much? She is a people-pleaser and just the nicest person. I mean she works with kids on a kid cooking show, The Little Gourmet. When Chef Betty slips a disk in her back the production team is tasked with a finding a replacement. Instead of going with the sweet red-headed Canadian chef, they go with hot-headed Stephen Harris. Stephen throws spaghetti on a food critic at his restaurant, but he would be good for social media engagement!  

Stephen’s manager, Adam, comes to the restaurant to convince him to do the kids’ cooking show. It will improve his image because his book tour has been cancelled and restaurant is less popular than ever. This is his opportunity to show the world he isn’t such a bad guy!

On set, Stephen and Kelly don’t hit it off. He is a total diva and refuses to wear the chef Boyardee hat (A Toque!), only cooks with copper pans, and won’t talk with the kids off camera. Since things aren’t going so well, Kelly is assigned to babysit Stephen by Amanda, her lady boss (who is moving on to an executive position and this will be her last season on The Little Gourmet). It is also revealed that Jeremy, the new guy, is up for the lady boss’s job, superseding Kelly’s rank/experience.

At a farmers market, Stephen tries convince Kelly to elevate the menu with things like radicchio. She tells him he needs to connect with the kids, because they are chefs… just like him! So they make hamburgers and sloppy joes! He gets what he wants and radicchio is added to the show! Too bad, his personality isn’t. Kelly tells him to try smiling, but it is terrifying. He won’t even let the kids make mistakes (it is a reality show); he just takes over for them.

Stephen is creeply listening to Kelly as she talks to a kid contestant and then later reads her idea notebook. He tries to talk her into pitching an idea. Later, In a production meeting, Kelly pitches the dea of doing Hometowns… just like The Bachelor. Basically, they would film on location with the kid’s families. Jeremy doesn’t like it (he is a hater), but Amanda does and greenlights the idea!

On set at the firehouse, Kelly is HEAVILY being flirted with by a fireman (Rick) while Stephen jealously, watches on. Right before filming the big chili cook off, Cody (one of the kid contestants) decides he wants to quit the show. He is worried he will let his dad down. Stephen talks him down by sharing a personal story about the time her cooked a burnt turkey for his dad. Kelly is impressed and maybe even falling in love??? After a successful day of filming they call a truce.

Out of the kindness of his own heart, Stephen takes Kelly to the kitchen to cook. She admits she doesn’t really cook, I mean she DOES make a “mean tray of ice.” They cook a sexy pizza together, somehow without getting into a flour fight! While they’re cooking, we learn that Stephen was an army brat who moved around a lot growing up. Jeremy totally interrupts just as things are getting hot and heavy (and by hot and heavy I mean Stephen touches Kelly’s face). Then Jeremy steals Kelly’s idea notebook!!!!!!!!

In case you forgot, this is a Valentine’s Day movie. Stephen and Kelly both realize they don’t have plans and awkwardly agree to meet at Stephen’s restaurant on Valentine’s Day. It is not a date though, it is a work thing. Kelly’s co-worker helps her get ready, she was going to wear jeans and a sweater!!! (We do NOT get a getting ready montage, so that was disappointing.)

At Stephen’s restaurant, Kelly is in red dress. (I’d say it was sexy, but it was pretty conservative.) Over dinner, Stephen and Kelly share more about each other. We learn that Kelly’s mom passed away four years ago and worked with kids too. That is why Kelly is so good with kids, but she wants to do more—make a real difference. Later, on a stroll through the city, they eat chocolates that the kids made, Stephen buys her flowers (Yellow for friendship…), and they talk about relationships and love finding you when your ready for it. Stephen walks Kelly to her door and tells her that he is glad he is working with her on the show—instead of kissing her.     

Kelly makes a home cooked meal! (Spaghetti with meatballs and chocolate chip cookies.) This time we get a montage. Kelly calls Stephen to tell him the good news. They have witty banter and after hanging up Stephen receives a call from his manager. Chef Betty is back and Chef Stephen is out.

Kelly immediately goes to the restaurant to invite Stephen to the taping of the grand finale, but he is flying out to LA for a new show he got to cross promote his new cookbook. He thanks her for everything because none of these new opportunities would be happening if it wasn’t for her.

Back at work, Kelly walks into a meeting where Jeremy is successfully pitching her ideas from the idea notebook. Kelly confronts Jeremy in the hallway; he denies everything and tells her that if she had the same ideas that she should have shared them sooner. Defeated and alone, Kelly receives a thank you card (A Hallmark Card, of course) from Tommy the first winner of The Little Gourmet.

At the grand finale, Stephen stops by (I thought he had a flight to LA??) to tell Kelly that he is offering an apprenticeship at his restaurant to the winner. While filming the LIVE episode, Chef Betty throws her back out picking up some peppers. (Seriously!) Kelly chases after Stephen to get him to host the show. Chef Becca wins! (Rightly so, because she shared her chocolate with Cody, who forgot to grab his.)

Jeremy’s sneaky notebook stealing gets found out and Kelly gets the rightful credit and the promotion! Kelly tells Stephen about her promotion and he tells her that he is turning down the LA gig to stay in town. He could say goodbye to New York, but not Kelly. He gives her a single rose and they kiss.

Side Note

Ali Liebert’s first starring Hallmark role was A Gift to Remember. (She has played the best friend role in MANY MANY TV Movies.)

Cooking Fact? “A julienne cut is ⅛ inch cut no more, no less!”

I didn’t hate the kids in this one, I guess child actors are better when they aren’t obsessed with Santa and snow.

First Hallmark movie I’ve seen where the girl gets the guy, promotion, AND he changes HIS plans to fit into her life.

Overall rating

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️  (4 Hearts)

🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

Very, Very, Valentine (2018 Hallmark Channel)

p15006309_p_v8_aa.jpg


Very, Very, Valentine

Stars: Danica McKellar, Cameron Mathison, and Damon Runyan

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When Helen, a kind-hearted and shy florist, meets the perfect man at a Valentine’s Masquerade Ball she enlists the help of her best friend Henry to track him down only to find that her perfect man may already be right in front of her.

Thoughts

Helen loves to creepily watch weddings she’s arranged flowers for. She works in a flower shop (All in Bloom) with her pushy Aunt Carol, whose first line is, “Any eligible handsome young groomsmen?” We aren’t even two minutes into the movie and we get a flower arranging montage to the tune of a generic pop song about what a beautiful day it is.

Henry Heart (handsome friend, who likes to nag her) stops by the flower shop to let Helen know he has entered her into the super bowl of flower breeding, the International Flower Competition. (Apparently, she breeds hybrid roses? The mystery rose.) Helen calls it “The Mystery Rose” because she hasn’t thought of a name for it yet.

Helen meets up with Henry for coffee and he invites her to the Annual Black & White Gala at the New York Botanical Gardens. It is a masquerade too! Helen declines his offer because she couldn’t possibly get ready for a gala the night of. Henry gives her the invitation anyway—in case she changes her mind. Pushy Aunt Carol and Beth, the new hire at the flower shop, won’t let Helen not go to the gala. They pull some strings to get her a dress and all ready for the ball. (No fairy godmother needed!) Helen wears her mother’s necklace to make the ensemble extra special. (Her mom is dead, of course. Died when she was 10.)

Backstory on Helen and Henry, they never dated and are just friends. They met in college in the botany program, and they were reunited by a flower shop mix up near Valentine’s Day. Helen accidentally delivered a “It’s A Boy” flower arrangement to Henry’s first day of work. They still laugh about it to this day.   

At the gala, Hallmark really puts the recycled Christmas lights to use and even splurged to throw in a few red candelabras. (Because it’s Valentine’s Day, people!) Helen starts babbling to a man who she assumes in Henry but isn’t; it’s hard to tell since Hallmark only hires white extras. Eventually they find each other and marvel at the spectacle of it all. They have “romantic,” but not really, banter. Then they put on their masks and hit the dance floor. Later, Helen is checking out the silent auction and runs into the white guy in a mask again who encourages her to bid on a painting that she is eyeing. (It is a painting of mother and daughter in a flower field.) Just as the stranger is about to introduce himself, Helen cuts him off to talk about the mystery rose he is wearing in his lapel. As they walk through the garden, Helen overshares her life story. Her mom was an artist, and  her father passed away before she was born and was in the Navy. She also talks about flowers having a language all their own. Yellow roses mean friendship, white flowers means purity or sympathy, and lavender represent love at first sight.

Later, Helen and the mystery man dance, but only for a moment before he has to leave suddenly, leaving behind his mystery rose boutonniere. Henry shows up just as the mystery man is leaving and Helen tells him all about her evening and how magical it was. If only she knew what his name was… Henry walks her home (to her door even) and they just say goodnight, like they aren’t going to get together in the end.

The next day, Beth comes up with the bright idea to look through the week’s receipts to see who would have purchased a mystery rose from the store. They narrow it down to Charles Bradfield. Helen goes on a delivery and then stops by to see if Henry can help her find the mystery man. Helen’s strategy is to chase down handsome men, shouting “Charles? Charles?!” Henry’s strategy is to Google it.

Just as Helen is about to give up on the whole thing and admit that she loves Henry, Henry finds Charles! Turns out Charles was looking for her, too. Charles is a world-traveling lawyer, rides horses, and speaks three languages. (Four if you count the language of flowers!) In order to pay back Henry for doing her a solid, Helen agrees to complete the submission for the competition and name her mystery rose.

Meanwhile, Henry is losing his job because the New York Botanical Garden is losing its funding and closing. He bumps into Charles and pull a Cyrano de Bergerac and helps him plan the perfect date with Helen. On the date, Henry shows up to give Helen a pep talk??? She gushes to Henry about how perfect the date setting is and how weird it is that Henry had been talking about wanting to go there. Charles eventually shows up and Henry leaves.  

Inspired by her new love Helen comes up with a name. Cupid Rose? Heartbeat Rose? Red Rose? Nope. She names it after a place she and Henry went in college, Crystal Quarry, where they took a leap of faith into a quarry… Crystal Valentine Rose is the stupid name.

Back to the Cyrano de Bergerac thing. Henry gives Charles advice for talking points for a family dinner that Helen is planning. Henry even gives him a first edition of Emily Dickinson poems, to give to Helen as a gift. Charles is kind of like, this is weird but… thanks bro!

At Helen’s dinner, Charles is being introduced to Beth and Aunt Carol. Things get awkward when everyone realizes that Helen has been changing herself to be more appealing to Charles. She pretends to like poker and carrot cake. Thankfully, they all just drink more wine. At the end of the night, Charles gives Helen the gift. She is touched and he totally lies and says he found it in a bookstore and thought of her (and reiterates that it is a first edition).

Beth mentions that she might be interested in Henry and then has chat with him in a coffee shop. She realizes that Henry loves Helen and tells him he is a good guy for putting Helen’s happiness before his own.

Turns out Charles works for the company that is closing down the Botanical Gardens. (He is building evil condos.) When Helen finds out she runs to Henry to see if he is okay. Henry tells her it is true and that he will be moving to Arizona for a new job in less than a week. Helen storms off into the flowers and he chases after her, with hot chocolate to make her not mad!

We get a Grey’s Anatomy emotional montage where Henry is packing and Helen is arranging flowers sullenly. I guess it is signifying the week passing? It is very random.

After saying goodbye, Helen is sad and looking for a sign that she made the right choice. She gets that sign immediately, when she receives the mother/daughter painting as a gift. Helen assumes that it was Charles and thanks him for it. He is all like “Ummm you’re welcome?”

Helen then learns that a big investor is at the wedding she is doing the flowers for and speaks the language of flowers to him and convinces him to save to the Botanical Gardens. Screw Charles and his condo development! He takes it in side and is maybe the right choice if he can forgive her for ruining his big deal. Helen calls Henry and realizes that he is the one that got her painting and that he is the one! She asks him to say, but he is like “nawwww, I’m getting on the plane.”

After crying to Aunt Carol in the flower shop, Helen receives one last Valentine’s Day bouquet to deliver to the botanical gardens. When she arrives it is empty, except for a single candelabra and HENRY! Who proposes! They take the leap together.

Side Note

“A flower takes time to bloom.” Aunt Carol wisdom.

Stop and smell the roses was actually said in this movie.

Overall rating

❤️ (1 Heart)

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷(5 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

My Secret Valentine (2018 Hallmark Channel)

p15006296_p_v8_aa.jpg


My Secret Valentine

Stars: Lacey Chabert & Andrew Walker

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Chloe is upset her dad might sell their winery and “stress snacks” with a cute guy who turns out to be Seth, the wine rep. They spar until she goes to the cabin, rundown since her mom died. There she finds a note offering help from Handyman and she thanks him, signing In Need of Repairs. Meanwhile, Seth tries to win her over, but it’s Handyman she’s crushing on, so she asks that they meet. Walking into the Tavern together, Seth and Chloe have no clue they’re meeting each other until he figures it out, keeping her entertained when Handyman fails to show. The day of the festival, Chloe and Seth win a contest and seal their victory with a kiss. But their joy is short-lived when her dad admits he’s decided to sell. Racing to the cabin to talk to Handyman, Chloe sees the torn contract and realizes Seth was her secret crush all along.

Thoughts

Lacey Chabert (Chloe, but really it’s just Lacey at Valentine’s Day.) gets a mysterious phone call from her dad, he wants her come home. Lacey (Chloe) doesn’t seem too concerned. She get offered a job to manage a new restaurant that her POC boss is starting. She has to think about it, because she wants to start her own restaurant and can’t be a restaurant manager forever.

Next we meet Seth (Andrew Walker) who works for a wine company. His POC boss is trying to a upgrade their image to be more respectable beverage company and want Grange Family Wine to be that for them. Seth volunteers to be the sales rep for the company and go out to the winery, if he nails the deal he could be up for a promotion to VP!

At the winery, we realize that Lacey’s (Chloe) family owns Grange Family Winery and is back in town for the Valentine’s Day Winefest! Her redheaded Canadian best friend fills Lacey (Chloe) in on the things happening in the town and reveals that she has taken over managing the winery. We learn that Lacey’s (Chloe) mom died and her favorite cabin is available for rent as a perk of the winery. Before she leaves, Lacey (Chloe) writes a message on a chalkboard, welcoming the guest and apologizing for the repairs that still need to be done.

In honor of Lacey’s (Chloe) homecoming, her dad hosts a dinner and promptly announces that he will be retiring from the winery business and he has taken a meeting with Stratosphere (the big company). Lacey won’t have it, and insists on being at the meetings.

At the store, Lacey (Chloe) meets a handsome stranger. (He helps her get something off the top shelf, because he is so dreamy and tall.) They both love snacking! She stress snacks and he hungry snacks. The store rudely closes, by turning off the lights on them while they are in the store. Later, at the meeting Lacey (Chloe) realizes that “snack guy” is the sales rep from Stratosphere, Seth. She tells him what is what and is pretty sassy about not wanting to sell the winery. Angry and upset, Lacey (Chloe) goes to the cabin and sees that the current guest has left her a note on the chalkboard. Out of boredom, he fixed the repairs and signed the chalkboard, “Handyman :)” Lacey (Chloe) gets him some tools and leave him another note. (In pretty cursive!) “You’re my hero handyman.” Turns out Seth is handyman and he is staying at the cabin.

Seth makes his sale pitch to Lacey (Chloe) and her Redheaded Canadian friend. Lacey (Chloe) isn’t having it. Then Seth gets a call from his POC boss, who is on her work elliptical, who is angry that he hasn’t closed the deal yet… it’s been less than 24 hours. In an effort to win over Lacey (Chloe), Seth starts to learn about the business from the ground up. He works in the vineyard picking grapes (they are sour and he eats them, Lacey is amused), he stacks boxes, and even drives a tractor with Lacey’s (Chloe) dad. It has the opposite effect and Lacey (Chloe) is more annoyed than ever!

There is a leak in the cabin, so Lacey (Chloe) goes to let the repair man in. Another note is on the chalkboard.

“There is something comforting about a creaky house, it’s like you’re never alone.” Lacey is thrilled and exclaims. “It’s like you’re in my head!” Before she leaves she writes another message…

“Any chance you know how to make a sentimental coo coo clock, coo coo again.” (Very Random, but okay.)

The next day, Seth and Lacey (Chloe) go on deliveries together. (In a weird looking truck.) Seth pretends to be french and then later country to charm the customers. It works and Seth’s southern charm sell TWO CASES for the winery with a upscale restaurant in town. None of this whole section really makes any sense. It is just an opportunity to see Andrew Walker be adorable. To celebrate they go to the waterfront (?) and eat cheese and hate on boxed wine (I will fight you, Hallmark. Back off trash talking boxed wine.) We also learn that Seth’s Dad died when he was 15 and he became a “city boy” after that. As the sun sets, they talk about what fulfillment is to each of them.

Next we get a little montage of Chalkboard writing.

Him: “Your bill is racking up.”

Her: “Does your handyman experience cover advice for dealing with a jerk at work?”

Him: “ I find the best Jerk repellent is doing the unexpected instead of fighting back smile 🙂 A jerk is only a jerk if you let them get to you!

Her “ I smiled until my cheeks hurt”

Lacey (Chloe) admits to her redheaded Canadian friend that she has a crush on her Handyman and asks if she knows the name. (She doesn’t.) Then they start sleuthing! Looking at the online booking site for the cabin, they don’t find out much. Lacey (Chloe) is no Nancy Drew and invites her handyman to meet IRL. When Seth and Lacey (Chloe) both arrive at the same restaurant they are confused. Seth figure it out before Lacey does and he sits with her and messes with her. He is her wingman and makes her feel better about “being stood up” by her handyman. It is a pretty cute scene, but how will Seth make things right once she finds out he was lying.

Seth gets another call from his POC boss. (She is off the elliptical now.) She is angry because it has been two days and he hasn’t closed the deal. Lacey (Chloe) also gets a call from her boss, she has reconsidered her offer and wants to promote her to restaurant partner instead of manager.

Finally, it is the Valentine’s Day Winefest! (With sooooo many heart decorations.)  There is a wine tasting competition, and of course Lacey (Chloe) and Seth enter. They feed each other blindfolded and drink wine. (Sounds kind of sexy, but it wasn’t depicted that way at all.) They, of course, win. Lacey (Chloe) goes to tell her dad that she wants to run the winery. She is too late though, her dad signed the contracts. Seth landed the deal and Lacey (Chloe) is so upset that she cries and runs off.

Instead of Seth comforting her or chasing after her, Lacey (Chloe) is comforted by her dad. He tells her that finding what makes you happy isn’t always easy.” She goes to the cabin to recollect herself and accidentally spills wine on the TORN CONTRACT! She realizes that Handyman is Seth and chases after him. He tells her that she should run the winery because it knows it better than anyone else. She tells him that she was secretly hoping it was him all along. They kiss, while the redheaded Canadian friend looks on awkwardly in the background.

Side Note

If this town was only an afternoon drive away, WHY DID SHE NOT VISIT SOONER?!?

Andrew Walker is soooo dreamy. His is my ideal man.

For a movie about wine, they sure didn’t drink enough of it.

Overall rating

❤️ ❤️ ❤️  (3 Hearts)

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷(5 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

February TV Movie Guide (Hallmark & Lifetime)

Get ready for THREE Valentine’s Day offerings from Hallmark this year. Plus Lifetime is offering up a Simon Biles bio pic, just in time for the Olympics!

We will be covering them all in Season 2 of the podcast! (Starting Feb 8th.)

My Secret Valentine (Hallmark Channel)

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.15.56 AM.png


Premieres: Saturday, February 3 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Lacey Chabert and Andrew Walker

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

A young woman takes advice from the chalkboard notes that her mysterious house rental tenant leaves when a slick sales rep arrives with plans to buy her family’s prized winery!

Thoughts

Two of my FAVORITE Hallmark actors together in one movie?!?! Also, they are in a winery?!?!?  “Pour it Up”

 


Simone Biles: Courage to Soar (Lifetime)

SIMONEBILES_60_FEB_3RD_8_7c_SocialMedia_16x9_HD_1104x622-16x9.jpg


Premieres: Saturday, February 3 8/7c (on Lifetime)

Stars: Jeanté Godlock, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and Julius Tennon

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Based on her book, Courage To Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, the biopic follows Simone Biles through her sacrifices and hard work that lead her to win 19 Olympic and World Championship medals and cemented her stake as one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time. Biles’ journey from foster care to the Olympic podium is full of life experiences that serve as an inspiration for every little girl with a dream.

Thoughts

I was extremely excited for a gymnastics Lifetime Movie, especially if it is about Olympic GOLD medalist, Simone Biles. (Who is currently training for Tokyo 2020.)  However, with the Larry Nasser scandal I’m not sure Lifetime will handle the topic with tact or even at all. “Let it Breathe”


Very, Very, Valentine (Hallmark Channel)

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.34.22 AM.png


Premieres: Saturday, February 10 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Danica McKellar, Cameron Mathison, and Damon Runyan

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When Helen, a kind hearted and shy florist, meets the perfect man at a Valentine’s Masquerade Ball she enlists the help of her best friend Henry to track him down only to find that her perfect man may already be right in front of her.

Thoughts

So, this is reverse Cinderella? I’m here for that! That candelabra in this picture is gaudy as hell! (And is that repurposed Christmas decorations? No, Hallmark!) I’m going to have to “Put a cork in it.”


Cooking with Love (Hallmark Channel)

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.41.55 AM.pngPremieres: Sunday February 11 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Ali Liebert & Brett Dalton

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Optimistic and cheerful TV producer, Kelly, doesn’t have time for love. Bad boy celebrity chef, Stephen, doesn’t have time for anything besides cooking. Fun with a side of love ensues as Kelly and Stephen are paired on a children’s cooking show.

Thoughts

I liked Ali Liebert in A Gift to Remember. Will I like her is she is not playing the Sandra Bullock role in While You Were Sleeping? “Let it Breathe”


*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime

Rocky Mountain Christmas (2017 Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

MV5BYWIyMDgxZGMtMjJmZi00NGM0LWJiOTAtODNkZThiODRlOTZlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTYwODk0Ng@@._V1_.jpg


Rocky Mountain Christmas 

Stars: Lindy Booth & Kristoffer Polaha 

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Sarah Davis heads to her uncle’s struggling ranch to escape New York and the spotlight from a recent breakup. Returning home for the first time since her aunt passed, complications arise when Graham, an entitled Hollywood star, arrives at the ranch to prepare for his next film. As Sarah and Graham start to bond, Sarah may get more for Christmas than she bargained for.

Thoughts

Sarah is throwing herself into work to get over a break up. (She is an interior designer at a hotel, and up for a promotion for the whole chain of hotels!) Unfortunately, for Sarah the city of New York won’t let her get over it. Paparazzi and trash celebrity news channels are following the break up. (Her ex is a tech guy who created a Goggleish website and is is now dating a famous actress.)

To get away from it all, Sarah heads to Colorado for a Christmas just like she always remembered growing up. She stays with her little brother (who is hot AF) and uncle who inform her that the town Christmas parade and tree lighting are canceled because her Aunt Beth died. Her friend (Not Lesbian lover, they “joke”.) quickly talks her into planning the parade.

Then a handsome Hollywood actor rolls into town, to study a role. Graham is on a mission to learn everything about ranch life, and asks Sarah to help him. She refuses because Christmas is about family. Unable to accept no for an answer, ARROGANT Graham follows Sarah to a bar and drinks eggnog while attempting to talk her into it. She agrees on one condition, he has to help her decorate for the Christmas parade.

While unpacking Christmas decorations in the barn, we get an interesting back story for Sarah. She doesn’t like actors because her Mom IS (not was, as in not dead.) an actor. While Sarah was growing up she and her little brother were carted around all over the country while their mother chased her dream. After a while Sarah’s Mom just left them with their Uncle Roy and Aunt Beth. SHE ABANDONED THEM!!!! (The Dad was never in the picture.) I cannot remember a backstory so complicated and dramatic as this one. (Plus no one is dead! Well, Aunt Beth died… but who cares, right?)

While cutting down a tree, we get an interesting back story for Graham. He isn’t filming a film as quickly as he said. He lied to spend Christmas with a real family. His parents died when he was in High School and he has been alone ever since. “The more he works, the less it hurts.” Another complicated and dramatic storyline.

While laying on the ground (for some reason) Nicole (a famous actress) shows up and is also staying on the ranch, putting a wrench between Sarah and Graham’s budding romance. While making peppermint bark, Graham confesses his relationship with Nicole is a publicity stunt and he has true feelings for Sarah. For some reason she doesn’t believe him.

Again, not one to take no for an answer. Graham invites himself to go with Sarah to a radio station to promote the Christmas Parade, despite her protest. Good thing he goes with, because Sarah chokes on air and he saves the day and the Christmas Parade is properly promoted. (and Graham is the self appointed grand Marshall.)

Graham and Nicole get called back to Hollywood by the studio head to do some promotion on their movie, that has yet to even be filmed. Of course, Nicole tells Sarah before Graham can even talk to her. They fight. (in the snow.)

Uncle Roy (who owns the ranch, but is selling it) brings them back together!

Then we finally get the anti-climatic Christmas parade, set to a really dumb Christmas song by Alan Jackson.

Somehow, they both end up deciding to quit their jobs and stay at the ranch. SHE QUITS A HIGH PAYING NYC JOB AND HE QUITS ACTING IN A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE TO LIVE ON A RANCH. (A ranch by the way, that I’m not sure isn’t being sold.)

Merry Christmas, WHATEVER!

 

Side Note

Hmmmm, we get a gay joke in this one….. Yippie?

It took THREE WRITERS to come up with this…

Leads were ok, I’m never not into Kristoffer Polaha 

The B-Storylines were very random. Little brother and Nicole end up together & something with Roy and the neighbor-lady.

 

Overall rating

🎄  (1 Christmas Tree)

🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2017 Crown Media United States, LLC

Romance at Reindeer Lodge

MV5BNzdkOWZkZTEtN2JiNS00MGM0LTk2YzEtZDY4NGIzMDBmNDNkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjkwMjY1MjI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,651,1000_AL_.jpg


Romance at Reindeer Lodge

Listen to the Podcast Episode about this movie! 

Stars: Nicky Whelan and Josh Kelly

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

A group of adults from different parts of the country have sworn off partaking in holiday events. Two of those people are Molly and Jared. Upon arriving at their destination, they discover it’s a Christmas themed ranch. With no flight out until after Christmas, the group ends up staying. The Christmas activities eventually melt everyone’s cynical hearts and Molly and Jared’s love blossoms.

Thoughts

Molly is all about work, but what is she to do when her POC boss closes the office for two weeks to celebrate their new app reaching half a million downloads! Jared on the other hand has to get a place off the books at his job despite being heartbroken over a recent break up. They are both on a flight to Jamaica (she won a contest.) What she doesn’t know is it is Jamaica, Vermont. Dun Dun Dun!

After landing in Jamaica, Vermont with a dead phone and no flights out (the airport is closing) Molly meets the Reindeer Lodge owner who has a suite for her booked. She goes to the car and who is there? Jared, the jerk from her flight. They will both be guests at the lodge.

The Reindeer Lodge owner (Beth Broderick) LOVES Christmas and she told the radio DJ to say Jamaica, Vermont. Oh, Well! She also tells them that the lodge has no wifi, but they DO have flannel PJs and a Christmas question of the day. This lodge is sooooooo annoying.

Out on the town, Molly goes shopping and runs into Jared. They go grab rum punch and take a horse drawn carriage back to Reindeer Lodge. On the way we find out that they are both from single family homes (Her dad died and her mom now lives in Florida with her new husband and he just sent Christmas with his Dad, Mom is dead????) They both aren’t the biggest fans of Christmas, which is funny they are staying in a lodge where Christmas exploded.  

Turns out the Reindeer Lodge, has no reindeer. They just wandered off and never came back. The lodge is in foreclosure. Molly reads the owners mail and tells Jared that they have to do something. Not before she does to comfort another guest (who is having a difficult time with her husband who was working on a reindeer picture book, which is now ruined).

Next, we have a decorating scene….

Molly and Jared decided to cook a fancy dinner and find some Reindeer from Canada. (Delivered from Northern Quebec, to be exact.) They decided to hold an auction to raise money to ship the reindeer to Reindeer Lodge.

When Jared’s dad arrives it turns out that he owns the deed to the Reindeer Lodge!!!! Molly is angry that Jared lied to her and she tells him off. Just in time, she gets a flight back to Chicago. Before she leaves, she stays to make sure the auction goes off without a hitch, too bad literally no one shows up, well Jared’s Dad does. Whoops, spoke too soon! There was a cow blocking the road and the whole town had to walk up instead. The auction is a HIT!

Jared and his Dad have a conversation about why they aren’t that close. They agree to work on their relationship and vow to not let another year go by without making time for family.

Molly heads to the airport and makes a work call, where her client asks if she has a life. When reaching into her bag for her ID, she pulls out a reindeer ornament that Jared carved out of wood, just like she always wanted. She heads back to The Reindeer Lodge to find Jared outside by a big tree.

“Sounds like the whole world is taking a rest,” she sasses.

They apologize and admit they were both afraid to take a chance on love. They embrace and the reindeer come back to Reindeer Lodge! There are eight of them in the forest and are the symbol of true love. Must have been some Christmas magic.

They run out to see them and then Kiss, while looking at the Reindeer at Reindeer Lodge.

Side Note

They said “reindeer” in this movie, at least 100 times.

POC Alert: The boss in the beginning and also an actual young couple who are in love and guests at the lodge.

Jamaica, Vermont is a real place. Population 1035…

Overall rating

🎄 (1 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷(5 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2017 Crown Media United States, LLC

Sharing Christmas (2017 Hallmark Channel)

cdn.crownmediadev.jpg


Sharing Christmas

Listen to the Podcast Episode about this movie! 

Stars: Ellen Hollman, Bobby Campo, and Dave Koz.

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

A real estate developer is given the opportunity of his career to transform an old shopping complex into a prime location. Unfortunately, there is one tenant who is holding out—the Christmas shop owner he met by happenstance just days ago.

Thoughts

Stephanie’s parents are retiring and giving her their Christmas Shop they have owned for 40 years in Trolley Square, New York! (Which looks like a store in the mall, rather than a NYC boutique.)

Michael, a real estate developer, is tasked to take over the downtown project that will put The Christmas Shop out of business. He works too much and doesn’t decorate his office. Even his lady-boss makes fun of him and how he will be forever alone.

On his way home from a dinner, Michael stops by the very store he has a hand in shutting down. He introduces himself to Stephanie and tells her he needs a Christmas decoration. The conversation veers to the business closing and he offers his professional advice to help keep her up and running. (I guess not realizing that HE is redeveloping that area?)

When his lady-boss takes him on a tour of the new area for development. Michael realizes his big mistake and so does Stephanie. She tells him she is still willing to fight to save her store and he is willing to ask his boss if there is another option. The two strike up a deal and Michael agrees to work in the store.

Stephanie shows him the magic of her year-round Christmas store… in a mall… with no website and an old school cash register. She even has a catch phrase:

“Thank you for shopping at The Christmas Shop, have a MERRY day!”

A reporter at the New York Centennial, writes a story about the shop and how quaint it is (despite being in a mall!) and the story goes viral! Sales are through the roof and the real estate development firm is painted in a bad light.  

Michael and Stephanie go on a not-date to see Dave Koz (a famous saxophone player?)the musician even got a banner across the screen. The cameo is soooooo random and unnecessary. Apparently, he shops at The Christmas Store, because it is so special… Turns out that was a good place to take Michael because he used to want to be a music teacher. Keeping with the music theme, they go to a record store and he buys her a Christmas album from her childhood that her grandma used to play.

Back at the store, Michael starts to make upgrades to the tech and he even knows where the cookie cutters are. He invites Steph (they are on abbreviated names now) to his brother’s party; she declines because she has to get ready for the annual Christmas block party.

Before the block party they have to decorate an ornament for Mr. Cranston, something Stephanie and her family have been doing for their customers for years. Michael helps make the ornament and delivers it to Mr. and Mrs. Cranston. He realizes that the shop is something special and pitches to his boss that the shop should stay. The lady boss says no, so he resigns from the position. Leaving him jobless and the store still closing.

At the block party, Stephanie sees her parents! They moved back to the city and give her some words of wisdom. At another reading of The Night Before Christmas, lady boss (Helen) arrives upon Michael’s request. He found a loophole in the original lease. It states that the if the building is sold, the Christmas Shop has the option to buy it at fair market value. They can’t afford it, but Michael’s Dad can. He agrees to buy the building and, finally, get to be a part of his son’s life again! (Because apparently they were estranged and I missed it.)  

We get a good Christmas kiss, because Bobby Campos is very hot.

One year later, the store is booming and maybe they will franchise?!?!

Side Note

Overall rating

🎄 🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

 

*Photo Credit: © 2017 Crown Media United States, LLC