With Bethany Joy Lenz and Andrew Walker taking the lead, how can it not be at least good? The popular duo play 2 journalist colleagues sent to Aspen to compete for top spot at their magazine. They both are “off” Christmas. Andrew, because he can’t bear to go home to his lovely family since his Dad died. Bethany, because her boyfriend just dumped her after looking forward to spending it with him and his family. They get stranded in Santa Claus, Indiana, at a B & B run by Mr. And Mrs. Winter with both trying to find a Christmas story there that will save their jobs. Rivalry leads to mutual appreciation, liking, then love, even though they are so different from each other.
Andrew’s character seems a little sneaky at first. But when he finds out Bethany was an unadopted orphan who made up her happy Christmas tradition stories, he takes her to his nearby home so she can have the family Christmas she has always dreamed of. It was sweet and touching and embodied the true spirit of Christmas.
Bethany realizes right away that there is something magical and mysterious going on with the B & B and the Winters. The fantasy is handled with wonder and without silliness thanks to Belinda Montgomery and John B. Lowe who play the couple and the excellent script. When she finds a photograph of the Winters dated 1842…Well. I will say no more, but she knows she has her story. If only she can find a certificate designating the Inn as a property of historical significance that will prevent its demolition. Yes, there is that going on as well.
The only quibble I had was when bad boyfriend showed up, she took way too long to dump him. The actors all shine in this one, with a special shout-out to Tasha Scott, a former Tyler Perry stand-out, who made the small part of their boss entertaining and special. The last short scene with “The Winters” is worth an extra star all by itself.
November 22, 2020