Three Very Popular and Attractive Actors and a Baby
This was cute with some good lines and good physical comedy. Three bickering brothers all live with their Mom, Margaret Colin, who was in the original Three Men and a Baby and Independence Day. She was a welcome surprise. Luke, the well-adjusted and responsible fireman (Andrew Walker) is there just temporarily while his house is being built. The immature tech guy and gamer (Tyler Hynes) unsurprisingly lives in the basement and the shy pet therapist (Paul Campbell) in a small house in the backyard. These actors are three of the most popular Hallmark actors, and the script gave each of them an opportunity to shine and show off their appeal. I’m sure this will be very highly rated.
In the familiar plot, a baby is left at the firehouse with a note addressed to Luke to take care of him until Christmas Eve, when she will be back. Luke takes the baby home for his mom to take care of but Mom has to leave for a family emergency, which leaves the unemployed Taylor (fired for being a loudmouthed jerk) to bear the brunt of the babysitting. Paul who is self-employed pitches in and predictable shenanigans follow predictably if amusingly.
Penned by the multitalented Paul Campbell and Kimberley Sustad (who makes a brief cameo appearance, along with Preston Van der Slice), this one had some good lines of which curmudgeonly Taylor got the majority. There was some contrived physical comedy consisting of dressing up in elf costumes for no discernable reason, and the re-creation of a Christmas dance performance the boys made up as kids. Taking care of the baby helps the brothers reconcile and work together. In a dramatic scene after a scare at the hospital, they each admit their share of the blame for their estrangement. Taylor in particular comes forth with a much-needed apology for his past behavior. They also realize and appreciate what an awesome mom they have. They have trouble enough with a baby, while their mother raised three rambunctious boys, damaged by their father’s desertion, by herself. They decide to enter the neighborhood Christmas light decorating contest. Both to win a cruise for their mother as a special Christmas gift and to beat the former school bully who lives across the street and has been taunting them throughout the picture. Unpredictably, they don’t win due to a last-minute technological malfunction. They compensate with an off-the-cuff no-tech retelling of the Christmas story which, although only vaguely resembles the gospel version, is much more authentic to the true spirit of Christmas. Even though they lose, Mom is more than compensated by the joy of seeing her boys being close friends again.
Oh, and there’s some romance too. After the human “wrecking ball”, Taylor, makes up for his behavior at work he is reconciled with his workmate and former girlfriend, Ali Liebert, who has been popping up throughout the movie. Stephan, the reclusive brother, gets together with a single dog-mom who has pursued him relentlessly throughout the movie. It was a bit of surprise when she turns from a man-hungry cliche into a nice woman. Still, his declaration at the end That he is “enraptured” by her was very much over the top and came out of nowhere. We see in the “One Year Later” epilogue that Luke has gotten together with the down-on-her-luck young mother of the baby. It turns out he helped deliver her which was why she left it with him while she found a job. Even their former nemesis, Mark the neighbor, is included in the festivities.