A Class Act
The movie starts with the Winter Prom of 2007 featuring 6 stereotypical teen “types.” The smart and popular achiever, both male and female versions, the class clown, the in-love inseparable couple, the popular jock, and the class nerd. The mean girl is missing. They are part of the class deemed “cursed” due to disasters at prom, graduation, and other class events. They used the same early 30-something-year-old actors to play themselves as teens. And may I just say that as much as Botox, collagen injections and fillers do not work for 30-somethings, that goes double if they are playing teens. I speak of one of the secondary actors in particular.
Cut to 15 years later and the “achiever”, Elle, short for Noelle, played by Aimee Teagarden is in charge of planning the class reunion. We know that she is the focus mainly because her name is Christmassy. She indeed has fulfilled her potential, having made quite a name for herself as the Chief Technology Officer of a successful and important company. She leaves Silicon Valley for Hartford CT, looking forward to seeing her old friends again, particularly Kam the male version of herself whom she had a crush on when she was in high school. We next meet Devin the class clown, very appealingly played by Tanner Novlan. At the 2007 prom, he flooded both Aimee and the school gym with his malfunctioning snow machine. Tanner is the male lead and his chemistry with Aimee was amazing.
She is very wary of him because he was her complete opposite in high school and always getting into trouble. She is surprised that the irresponsible screw-up is now the loving father of a 13-year-old tech prodigy and running a successful event supply business. He has always had a crush on her though. The young actress that played his daughter was a star and a scene-stealer, by the way. As father and daughter, the two actors have an easy and natural rapport. She is very impressed that her tech-phobic Dad knows the famous Elle Chamberlain.
As the reunion plans come into shape we also reconnect with the inseparable couple whose marriage is falling apart even as their real estate agency is booming. The Nerd Girl is now an attractive and successful TV host up for a big promotion to a national morning show. She still lacks self-confidence despite her success and is inseparable from her best friend who is also her very flamboyant stylist. When the popular jock makes an appearance we think we spy a love interest for our likable TV host, but sadly he is attracted to her gay best friend instead! Aimee is very happy when her old unrequited crush, Kam, shows up. He is just like her: career and success-focused and very very busy. Too busy and important to help with the reunion, so she finds herself partnering with her old nemesis, Devin.
Of course, the inevitable catastrophes start to happen with a fire breaking out at their fancy venue and Aimee’s company being the target of a federal investigation putting her whole career in jeopardy. As she works with Devin in finding a new venue and tackling all of the challenges, she realizes that her worth is not what she does for a living, but what she is inside. She and all of her friends’ lives are happily sorted, which we learn in one of my beloved “one year later” epilogues. Hallmark is delighting fans by casting other popular Hallmark stars in cameo roles. This time was Chris McNally’s turn in a cute performance as an Elf-garbed photographer. I tend to like movies using ensemble casts and this one was no exception.