Day Four - The Mistletoe Inn
The Mistletoe Inn (2017) - Hallmark
Just like Santa Clause, snow capped fir trees, festive decorations and wrapped presents, we have another staple of the season… The Alicia Witt Hallmark Christmas movie. Between her and Lacey Chabert, we’re not sure which one does more of these things.
This time around Ms. Witt plays a quirky redhead named Kim who is attempting to be a romance writer. Unfortunately she doesn’t seem to be taking her writing serious enough which causes her long time ‘serious’ writer boyfriend Garth (Casey Manderson) to dump her. Gotta be honest… Garth didn’t seem to be all that into girls so I’m thinking homeboy did the girl a favor.
Kim is about to show Garth though, because she’s enrolled herself in a ‘serious’ writers seminar at this place called The Mistletoe Inn, which is highlighted by the seminar's final keynote speaker being Kim’s favorite author, H.T. Cowell… who nobody has ever seen… hmm….
No sooner than Kim gets out of the cab to the inn does she literally run into the dashing Zeke (David Alpay), his manual typewriter and his writers block. These two are NOT getting along. Worse still is that Garth is also at the seminar throwing shade at Kim like dollar bills at a gentlemen’s club. Garth is the worst. Things only get more problematic for Kim when Zeke becomes her writing partner forcing these two who are NOT getting along to interact with one another. Meanwhile, Kim’s new bestie Samantha (Lucie Guest) is trying to figure out who in the seminar is the mysterious H.T. Cowell. Hmmm….
Eventually… Surprise… Kim and Zeke start to warm to each other. A lot. I mean in the middle of this seminar Zeke flies Kim to NYC first class to a five star hotel… he has a lot of frequent flier miles and bonus points… and while their friendship is still quite platonic, you don’t just do that for somebody you’re not warm to.
Other stuff happens which fans the flames of love, such as Zeke critiquing Kim’s draft with expert precision, but then something happens which challenges the love. Something so painfully obvious that it literally caused me chest pains. Until the love comes back. At Christmas time. Had to throw that in there because Christmas was not really a focus with this one.
“Wait… I have something to tell you”… words often uttered in these movies as one character is keeping a secret from another character, but invariably this character simply has no time to hear this critical info, only to have this info pop up at the worst possible time and ruins the relationship for the next five minutes. This happens in ‘The Mistletoe Inn’ and I hereby, therefore, demand that the creators of these movie stop doing this. I have spoken.
Regardless, ‘The Mistletoe Inn’ is pretty mundane and run of the mill, but not terribly so. Admittedly it does lack a lot of the vomit worthy Christmassy things we require in our Hallmark style Christmas movies, such as a central Christmas theme, incessant Christmas music, at least one cute kid and an old wise person. There was Kim’s dad, who was certainly old, but not sure he was dispensing the wisdom. There were a lot of Christmas styled appointments and decorations in the background, including a Christmas Tree shopping scene… but not between our romantic leads… but they kind of made up for that by having an impromptu snowball fight.
What does keep ‘The Mistletoe Inn’ from being a complete groaner are the solid performances of Alicia Witt who can do awkwardly quirky in her sleep, David Alpay bringing the charming handsome and especially Lucie Guest as the bestie who will probably be headlining a few of these in a couple of years.
Painfully predictable, lacking on the Christmas, Garth is the worst, but some solid performances to keep it all above water.