8:45pm – I’m cold and tired. It’s like this never ends. So many smiling faces, so hollow. I’m stuck in an endless loop. Maybe if I just close my eyes, it’ll all end…
A Majestic Christmas is about…
Christmas in the charming town of Briar Falls will be bittersweet this year when architect Nell goes back to her hometown having been given the job of turning the historic Majestic Playhouse into a modern multiplex, much to the town’s objections. This job is Nell’s first promotion, and one she wishes she hadn’t been chosen for, especially when she meets the new owner of the theater, Connor, whose vision and ideas clash with Nell’s. Since Connor hasn’t had much experience celebrating Christmas, Nell hopes that if she can give him a crash course in Christmas during the town’s Twelve Day Festival, that he might just change his mind about modernizing the Majestic. Starring Jerrika Hinton and Christian Vincent.
What is delightful about this particular film is that it’s got African American leads! Finally, some color on my screen. POCs deserve bland love too.
Our films kicks off in New York, but let me just tell you we won’t be staying here for long. It’s likely that we’re off to some small town in Ohio or Indiana or Montana. Heroine Nell arrives at her architect office and begins to happily decorate her desk until her boss approaches to tell her that she should get rid of her decorations. I guess it’s against employee regulations.
After visiting a brownstone project, Nell walks back to the office. She drops some coins into the Salvation Army Santa’s chamber pot, but mistakenly also drops her bracelet. As she digs into the pot to retrieve it, a man angrily comes up to scold her for trying to steal from Santa. They get into a disagreement until Santa arrives to settle the dispute. Santa’s on Nell’s side which leaves egg on the man’s face.
In the office, Nell is summoned by her boss. He’s taking her off the brownstone project and sending her back home to work on closing down the beloved playhouse, the Majestic. The new owner is planning on converting it into a multiplex theater. Nell bores her boss with reasons why the Majestic is so great, including telling him about plays put on by kids. As her boss rightfully shuts her down, the new owner walks in. It was the dude that reprimanded her earlier! He apologizes to Nell and introduces himself as Connor. He has inherited the Majestic from his dead aunt and has big plans.
Nell surprises her parents in Briar Falls. They seem like a family that likes each other which is a relief after the family from Mingle All the Way. Mom and Dad are the annual pageant organizers and they’re a little bummed out that it’ll be the last one. Because once the Majestic closes, pageants will be apparently banned from town.
Nell visits her friends at an antique shop. She sees the first one and they pretend to be on the phone to each other which is just a tad too cutesy. By the way, cord phones are antiques now. Go cry over that.
She meets friend, Hannah, outside who tells her that the town isn’t all that keen over Nell’s involvement in the Majestic. Nell then runs into the town idiot who is wearing a “Save the Majestic” Hat (on sale now on the Hallmark website*). He’s not pleased that she’s working to end the playhouse.
Nell enters the empty Majestic, turns on the lights, and is startled by Connor sitting in the dark.
Connor is sad that people aren’t happy that he’s closing down a beloved institution. He wants to help the town by creating a proper cinema that will create more jobs and revitalize main street. Nell’s retort is that the Majestic is used once a year to put on the Christmas pageant. So that’s why the town should keep it. Unless this play brings investor money from out-of-state, the playhouse should close its doors.
Nell tries to explore why Connor doesn’t like Christmas. Maybe he’s from another religion or something, Nell! Let the man have his feelings. Basically, the reason he doesn’t care much about Christmas is that his family traveled a lot so it’s not really a big deal to him. Nell aims to change him. No greater start to a relationship than with a woman declaring that she will change the man.
Her plan for changing his mind? Ambushing him with decorations and telling him she’s going to decorate his house. He’s not interested and closes the door on her. That’s a fair enough reaction. Also, let’s remember that Connor is her client. Harassing him at his house is not normal. She also tells her friend that he’s cute. Again, he’s the CLIENT.
At Nell’s house, Dad is distressed from news that a couple of pipes burst at the Majestic. The family acts like it’s some medical emergency. They rush to the playhouse and are told that lots of stuff has been ruined. The guy wearing the “Save the Majestic” hat heckles Connor and Nell’s family.
There’s an emergency meeting at the diner to save the pageant. The group finds that they can’t save it and toast to its demise. Giving up is much easier.
Back at the playhouse, Connor and Nell discuss what they can do with the place. They leave to attend the start of the 12 day Christmas festival. Everyone at the event is wearing those dumb hats and giving Connor the stink eye.
Nell invites him to the house for some mac ‘n’ cheese with the family. At dinner, the family concocts a plan to save the Christmas pageant. Apparently, the group decision to give up wasn’t binding. Connor contributes. “Operation Change Connor So That I Can Date Him” is working.
Connor meets with a real estate agent to sell his dead aunt’s house. He plans to use the money to do another property flipping project in another town. He’s so heartless. The agent suggests adding Christmas decorations to the place. Connor agrees, but seems bothered by the idea. Whatever can shift the house off the market, eh?
At the Majestic, Connor and Nell disagree about the remodeling plans. Nell wants to put an exhibit that showcases the outfits and playbills from their rinky-dink plays. Connor wants a modern cinema. A clashing of ideals. They’re interrupted by caroling next door. Instead of doing actual work, they go to the caroling event. Nell’s not a great project manager.
Connor and Nell bond as they walk to Connor’s dead aunt’s house. He says he’s going to spend Christmas working. What is the point in living if you can’t celebrate Christmas?! I presume that’s what this film wants me to shout.
Nell struggles to make the Majestic into her vision (and maybe her client’s vision too but who cares about that?). Hannah sees her stressed friend and invites her to the snowman competition. Nell uses this opportunity to drag Connor to another festive event.
Connor and Nell win the competition. To be fair, the snowman is much better than the one in Road to Christmas. Nell subtly says the snowman reminds her of her ex-boyfriend. Smooth piece of info to slip in.
At home, Nell gets a bolt of inspiration and architects all night. However, she’s not going to turn in her vision to Connor so the all-nighter she pulled is a total waste of time. I hope she’s billing for these hours.
While the townsfolk set the stage for the Christmas pageant, Connor finds some old trinkets and photos at the Majestic. This gets both him and Nell hot and bothered. They almost kiss, but some Christmas pageant crap collapses. It’ll take them all night to get back on track. Nell offers to help. Once again, wasting time. Connor also offers to help.
We get a fake-out montage because the network can’t afford any more full-length ones.
Connor and Nell have a late diner dinner.
Connor and Nell dance in the street after gorging on a meal. They kiss.
We see them get closer. The relationship gets serious enough that they create their own Balsam Hill Christmas tree together. The even go ice skating! This film is just one Santa shy of Hallmark bingo.
The next day, Nell quits her job. She wants to finish the Majestic work before she’s done though. Her boss is pretty chill with her decision.
While she’s in the midst of quitting, Connor visits Nell’s family. He takes Nell’s architect planning papers, including the ones that aren’t meant for him. His next stop is Hannah’s antique shop. He’s in the market for a gift for Nell. As he speaks with Hannah’s husband, Hannah barges in to say that Nell has quit the firm. This shocks Connor to the point that he doesn’t buy a gift.
A happy Nell arrives at Connor’s place, but Connor is in no mood. He berates her for quitting the firm. He thinks her resignation means she’s not finishing the Majestic job. Oh, why didn’t Nell think of Connor when she quit, potentially jeopardizing her career!? Oh wait, she sort of did because one of the key trade-offs with her boss was that she finish the Majestic job. She tells Connor that his predilection towards jumping to conclusions has put the kibosh on their relationship. He tries to apologize, but Nell takes off. This is a ham-fisted attempt to cause a rift between our two leads.
Nell’s mother says Nell is probably overreacting and not giving Connor a chance. This upsets me for many reasons. But, hey, have to get the couple back together since there’s only ten minutes left in the film.
It’s the night of the Christmas pageant. Nell’s family is panicking as usual. Nell runs into Connor. He hands her a Christmas present. It’s her own fantasy architecture plans. Nice way of saving money on a gift, guy. Connor has chosen this option to redo the Majestic. The movie theater multiplex is dying across America. Connor’s plan to revitalize the town is probably not going to work anyway so he might as well try Nell’s plan.
Connor also tells Nell that he’s not leaving Briar Falls. Nell says the same. They’re going to spend Christmas together. During this lovely scene, the dude that wore the hat manages to sprain his foot. Connor offers to take his place in the pageant tableau. (A tableau is a group of models or motionless figures representing a scene from a story or from history. I didn’t know this because I don’t go to small town plays all that often.)
Nell and Connor break the first rule of tableauing so that they can kiss under the mistletoe. The audience cheers. FIN.
There’s a recurring theme in this Hallmark films of men being absolute babies when they don’t get what they want. The most minor disruption happens and all the toys come flying out of the pram. Connor was no exception. Nell was a fine lead. Nothing overly great about this film, but just it got the job done.
Join us next time for A Homegrown Christmas.
- The boss’s beard was weird.
- I bet you they called her Nell because they couldn’t use Noelle as Candance Cameron Bure already took that name in A Shoe Addict’s Christmas.
- The crux of the issue is modern = bad, old = good.
- I think I’ve heard the same knock-off Hallmark Christmas song ten times already.
- Find the rest of the recap/reviews here.