Charles (Tom Cavanagh) is a writer trying to finish his latest novel. Emily (Faith Ford) is a second-grade-teacher-single-mom-widow (the trifecta!) who has never been away from her daughter for Christmas. Daughter Heather (Emma Lahana) is in college across the country and wants, for the first time at age 21, to do her own thing for the holidays… In no small part because of her handsome new boyfriend, Jason (Andrew Francis). And ooooh, Jason / Andrew is handsome. This is years ago, so he’s a bit older now, but seriously he has aged like a fine wine. Very well. Very handsome.
Hopefully his character doesn’t turn out to be a total butthole.
LET’S FIND OUT, SHALL WE?
Anyway, Emily decides that she should trade homes with someone since she doesn’t have any plans – and she wants to surprise her poor, unsuspecting daughter, Jesus Christ, lady, cut the cord – and Charles is that person. So off she goes to Boston, and straight to small town America goes he. “To get some writing done.” I guess this is when people did house shares? So think The Holiday, but not as good of a movie and without all that starpower. Don’t get me wrong though, the acting in this movie is actually pretty good! These are not the bottom of the barrel holiday movie people.
Anyway, Charles is overwhelmed by the kind overtures of the small townsfolk who Emily tells to check in on him. Emily, meanwhile, finds that her daughter is actually in Phoenix with her beau.
Emily: Jason, that’s the young man you’ve been seeing, right?
Emily: O… K…
Heather: Don’t start.
Emily: I’m not starting.
She’s totally starting. I fucking hate over-bearing mother characters. 110% not entertaining and I guess one of my pet peeves.
Another thread of complication is added by Charles’ brother, Ray (Gil Bellows), and Emily’s friend, Faith (Gabrielle Miller). Blah blah blah, people are getting set up to fall in love. Faith + Charles, Ray + Emily, Heather + Jason. Are you keeping track of all these names? Me neither. It’s easier when you’re watching them in real life. No one tells anyone anything. Misunderstandings ensue. Sparks fly. New traditions are made, old traditions are shared. Heart warming scenes abound. Charles is a misogynist. The feminist in me needs you to know that. Faith is a fool to fall for him, he’s not “a good guy under all of that societally-imposed bullshit.” He’s just an ass.
But… all in all, not a terrible movie! You should watch this one if you can get over Charles!