Less talking, more kissing! Or something! Also, I love that this dude doesn’t even get a FACE in the poster.
Beth (Sarah Lancaster) is an aspiring Broadway actress in New York City, where dreams get crushed underfoot like pizza and condoms! I’m guessing! I’ve only been once and I spent the whole week in different baseball stadiums! Beth’s off-off Broadway though, but is lucky enough to share a MASSIVE CONDO with a real Broadway actress friend, Nicole. This place is fucking ridiculous and I love that Hallmark has basically given up on any realism at this point. God bless you, Hallmark. You make my job too easy.
Anyway, Beth exposits that she’s just auditioned for the new David Mamet play, which she really wants. Nicole is encouraging, but then explains she’s leaving for the Hamptons over Christmas, so Beth will be alone for the holidays. Except her friend is like, the richest person in New York because she reveals her Christmas gift to Beth: a free round trip to go home for the holidays! Nicole also makes highly questionable makeup and hair choices, which means I LOVE HER.
Beth flies into town and gets to arrive in style because Nicole arranged for a goddamn limo! She spots some preppy dude downtown and hides, even though limo windows are tinted. Who is this guy? She shows up at her mom’s house (widow) to surprise her. Then, we head directly into commercials.
Wait, no, actually that’s just a very well-shot scene of FOLGERS™ CLASSIC ROAST COFFEE. Anyway, her mom is like, the weakest link in this whole movie and ruins every scene that she’s in with this weirdly manic quirky presence. Sorry, lady. She is also a mega creep that kept Beth’s room in pristine condition (why do parents do this? It’s weird when it’s been more than 10 years!), including the most hilarious photo of downtown yuppie from the scene of yore, revealed to be Beth’s high school boyfriend. Who most heinously decided to stay in Kern rather than move to NYC to be with Beth. Beth is still not over it, BTW.
Can you blame her? That coif! Those steely teen boy eyes and that cool tank top! Beth’s mom insist that they head down to go get a Christmas tree and see Santa. The mom is fucking obsessed with Santa. Beth reluctantly agrees, although she’s nervous to see people from high school because they’ll find out she is a crappy off-off Broadway actress.
MOM YOU’RE LITERALLY A LEECH. They go to the tree lot. And who does she run into but downtown yuppie, Barry (on the right), and his way cuter brother, Dean (Brendan Penny).
Beth is shocked to find out that Barry not only moved on from her, but married a cute lady named Eileen (who was friends with Beth in HS) and has a cute daughter. Also, Dean married his high school sweetheart, Melinda, until Melinda slept with other dudes. So basically, he’s single and ready to mingle! They invite her out for drinks, which is super nice, but she’s terrified that they’re gonna realize she’s a fraud because her career sucks.
Before they leave, she runs into Santa at the tree lot (is that a thing?) and makes her wish: she wants to get the Mamet play. Santa’s like…yeah, okay, but what if you don’t. This alarms her, but she insists that that’s her wish. Santa’s like, you’re not getting it, but okay.
The foursome drink at a pub and chat about where their lives have taken them: Barry now runs his dad’s pharmacy, Eileen took over the town newspaper (“The Kernel”), and Dean is the fire chief. Oh, Hallmark. Some waitress that recognizes Beth exposits that the school is in desperate need of a drama teacher. HMM.
Weirdly, she gets a moment alone with Barry and shows her hand that she’s still bitter he stayed when he was supposed to leave with her. He’s like, umm that was like 10 years ago so I’m over it??? They end on a nice note though.
She plays pool with Dean a bit later, and he’s already clued in that something’s up with her. Just then, her agent calls to tell her she didn’t get the Mamet audition AND she’s been dropped as his client. Oooh, sucks to be Beth. Dean walks her home when she sees Santa in the tree lot and interrupts him to demand how he knew she wouldn’t get the part.
Santa gives her this and tells her it’s the key to the answers she’s seeking. Santa, by the way, is played by crazy prolific voice actor Garry Chalke. Is Santa magical? Is this a magic key? We’ll find out!
When they get to her house, her mom (who owns a bakery) forces them to bake like, 300 gingerbread men for some reason. This is a perfect flirting opportunity, and they take advantage.
Flirting! Touching and flirting! Baking!
She tells Dean she feels like she’s herself when she’s home, which prompts him to suggest that she stay. She gets furtive about it.
Later that night, she has a powerful dream in which she’s the mother to twin boys and also owns an impossibly clean bedroom. BUT WHO’S THE FATHER???
She wakes up and goes to harass Santa; he tells her that she has the answers, not him. In other words, leave him alone.
Okay, so Dean makes up a reason to be around Beth and asks her to run the children’s Christmas pageant for the Kern Christmas Festival. The planning committee is meeting at Barry and Eileen’s house, and seeing their beautiful family photos and this whole scene leaves her a bit bummed.
Even their daughter doesn’t wanna be seeing that!
Also, the school principal asks her, not for the last time, to take the drama teacher job.
Dean and Beth shirk their duties at the meeting and sneak off to eat burgers at the fire station. They have the most boring talk about careers and passions and blah blah, he’s into her and always have been (except when he was with Melinda).
That night, she has ANOTHER dream where she’s the drama teacher and about to see who she’s married to, but wakes up right before. If you’re in suspense about this, you’re not very good at Hallmark movies.
Dean, Barry, Eileen and Beth inspire the stupid pageant kids by putting on a play of their own and then go out for drinks. Everyone has full-time jobs here except Beth! Ugh. Eileen quickly taps into the flirting between Dean and Beth, and coordinates it so that Dean will help Beth and her mom with their Christmas lights.
Beth’s mom ruins any chance of sexiness when she spends the whole time reminiscing about her dead husband (no disrespect). Beth reveals her favourite Christmas memory was skating at the Rink-o-Rama, so what does Dean organize for her…
Ooh, ahh. They skate and she tells him, “This feels right. You feel right,” and then they kiss a bit and it’s cute.
Her dream is almost complete: her dream husband is DEAN! Beth wakes up psyched about this, and goes to give her magical key back to Santa, who’s like, yeah that’s just some dumb key I found in a thrift store. She had the answers all along!
Barry confides to Dean that he’s worried about Beth’s indecisiveness, and doesn’t want to see his brother get hurt if she leaves for NY again. When Dean sees Beth get shifty (again) when the principal asks her about the job, he starts to let the doubts seep in.
Beth goes to her mom’s bakery and asks if she’d make a good mom, AKA she’s terrified of staying in Kern and being a failure there too? Beth continues on her marathon of conversations, and goes to see Dean at work. He tells her honestly that he’s worried he’ll fall for her and that it’ll all end if she goes back to NY. Out loud, she ponders what he’d think if she stayed in Kern, which just gets his hopes up.
He’s, um, pretty cool about it:
I’m sorry, this movie was just SO MUCH TALKING.
Beth finds out her mom is banging the principal on the sly, but that she’s too self-involved to have asked about her mom’s love life at all. She is determined to change that!
Her agent calls. The understudy broke something or other, and she’s up! Rehearsals start TOMORROW. She tells her mom that she’s torn, and her mom is like, fiercely adamant to not apologize for her dreams (yay Beth’s mom!) but to examine whether NY is really what she still wants.
OH MY GOD JUST MAKE. A. DECISION.
She tells Dean and he’s not too happy. The rehearsals last four weeks and the show would run for six months. Not great, Bob! He doesn’t want a Skype girlfriend, Beth! He thinks that she could channel her passion and find greatness in Kern, teaching the flair of DRAMA to the kids!
Well, she goes back to New York and feels bad that she let everyone down. Nicole’s like, okay but you’re the understudy of a MAMET PLAY, so…they’ll get over it. That night, Beth has a dream about what everyone’s Christmas Day will be like without her (lol that’s so self-centredly smug). Basically, her mom has given her a pendant necklace that reads “Home is where the heart is” (what a dagger, Mom!) and is spending the day alone.
And poor lonesome Dean is at work, just watching all the firefighter dads with their kids.
BUT IT WAS JUST A DREAM, BETH.
The next day, the pageant kids won’t listen to Barry or Dean because Beth’s gone. Beth, by the way, is realizing that being an understudy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: the lead actress tells her that she’s never missed a single show, but have fun learning her lines anyway!
She goes back to the condo and tells Nicole it was a waste of her time, and that she belongs in Kern.
This is the face of someone thinking WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK BETH (and seriously channeling Ali Larter in Drive Me Crazy). Seriously though, I get that Beth’s going through a crisis of career and whatnot; totally normal and relatable, YET you’ve been sleeping on this woman’s goddamn couch for an undetermined amount of time and pounding the pavement for THIS VERY OPPORTUNITY. And the first day, when you realize you’re not going to be the STAR, you just bail? Ooooh, the nerve!
One final note: it looks like Nicole’s lower half has disappeared into her cabinetry.
She flies back to Kern (on Nicole’s dime?) and visits Eileen, who tells her that the festival is off because the inside of town hall got ruined by sprinklers. Inside botch job by Dean? Beth won’t let that the festival be cancelled. She’s got a plan! She rounds up the troops and organizes a gang of people to strip her mom’s lawn decorations (and the neighbours’ too, with their consent of course) to decorate the outside of town hall inside. She somehow rents a huge ass tent for the play AND writes up a corny-ass Never Been Kissed wannabe article about her love of Kern all for Christmas Eve.
The article, by the way, throws so much shade on Barry about how he runs the pharmacy on “nothing but intuition.” Love it.
She runs into Dean (the day before the article will run) and tells him she’ll explain everything to him tomorrow, but read the paper. And read the paper he does:
Yes, I’m sure your fellow firefighters are just riveted by your dumb crush’s thoughts on their hometown.
Anyway, the next day arrives and the pageant goes off without a hitch. Dean and Beth take a moment to wander around the deserted tree lot (sure) and then wish aloud for snow. She tells him she accepted the teaching job, and that she’ll pick up work at the bakery. When they start macking, it snows all over their stupid faces! What a Christmas miracle!
Dreams really do come true. They have their twin boys and celebrate Christmas as a family, blah blah.
It wasn’t terrible, but my GOD, was it repetitive. I don’t need to watch five iterations of the same conversation take place! This movie should’ve been about how Nicole fucking bankrolled that sweet ass New York City condo as a single lady, because that is way more intriguing!
One thought on “Recap: ‘Tis the Season for Love (2015)”
The language is not needed!! Grow up and be a legitimate blogger. If you can’t find appropriate language, you are in the wrong business.