Well, it’s Thanksgiving time in America and you know what that means: my impending doom. This is the week that Hallmark decides to drop a film EVERYDAY. So, I’ll have to drip feed the recaps/reviews over the next few weeks for what I like to call Hallmark’s Thanksgiving Bomb.
Today’s film is a mouthful. I think someone had a difficult time choosing what words they would like to feature in the title, so they just crammed in every keyword possible. (Unfortunately, they left out “Electric Boogaloo” but we can’t all win.) Here’s what our film is about:
A year after Darcy ran over Aiden, his amnesia is gone but not their love. Now she’s gotten him a first edition signed copy of his favorite book, Patricia Highsmith’s Found in the Street, for Christmas, perfect since that’s where she found him – under her bicycle! Aiden’s also creating a wonderful gift for Darcy, a carved replica of her hometown, just like the one her dad carved for her mother. But Aiden’s gift, which includes a carving of Darcy’s beloved rec center, which is in jeopardy of closing, holds another big surprise, which might just sweep her off her feet. Starring: Ali Liebert, Peter Porte and Tina Lifford.
I’m now disappointed that I missed the first one because someone got amnesia after being run over by his love interest. Hallmark better keep the crazy train going with this second installment!
We catch up with our Hallmark Heroine Darcy, her dog, and her whole bike parked in front of the till at a bookstore. The rules don’t apply to the owner.
Darcy is headed to meet her boyfriend Aiden at the local rec center so that they can read stories to the kids. When there, the rec center kids get all up in the couple’s sexual business by asking if they’re in a relationship and if they’re gonna get married. Standard 10 year old stuff.
The evening rolls around and Darcy and Aiden discuss his upcoming check up with the neurologist because, you know, that whole amnesia storyline from the previous film. They also happily decorate Darcy’s tree. Aiden pulls out an old box labeled “Christmas Village” which makes Darcy sad and fidgety. I suppose it’s one of those “cherished memories” alluded to in the film’s title. She tells Aiden that the box is filled with homemade gifts from her DEAD DAD™ to her DEAD MOM™. She doesn’t really tell this story to people.
After the neurology appointment, Aiden cooks dinner with one of Darcy’s old friends and her nephew. He brings up the Christmas Village and the friend had no idea the story behind it. Good job, Aiden. Tell everyone the story that Darcy has kept a secret for a reason. Maybe you can fake some amnesia when she confronts you about it. The old friend’s nephew suggests that Aiden make another village as Darcy’s Christmas present.
Darcy arrives back home and somberly informs the group that the rec center is shutting down. They decide they’re going to visit (read: harass) the owner to get him to change his mind.
In the middle of all the Christmas hubbub, Aiden tries to make Darcy’s new Christmas village. He sucks at it because he’s not a woodworker; he’s just a plain ol’ art teacher. Aiden is about to give up, but the nephew kid pushes him to get his head out of his ass and just get it done.
The couple finally visits the owner of the rec center. They propose that he keep the place and make no money. The owner is obviously skeptical of their harebrained suggestion. Darcy and Aiden give an impassioned plea, but dude won’t budge. It makes fiduciary sense.
The next day, Darcy and Aiden visit a lady who can declare locations as “historic.” That’s the plan now: make the rec center historic behind the owner’s back. Not only that, but Darcy gets the rec center kids to make and send decorations to him.
Aiden fumbles throughout the film trying to hide Darcy’s Christmas village. It’s not very funny and happens too often.
At the rec center, the couple receives some good news from the center’s director: the place might become an historical location! This means that it can’t be sold while under review. It also means that the owner is pissed.
So pissed, in fact, that he storms into Darcy’s bookshop to give her what for. Darcy plays innocent.
Meanwhile, Aiden visits Darcy’s childhood home and takes pictures…
Thanks to the cute kid, the lady who lives in the house calms down and lets them in the house. Aiden explains that his girlfriend’s father used to make houses until he got murked. Unfortunately, DEAD DAD™ died before he could make a miniature of the family home. The lady mentions that she has it. Aiden doesn’t have to make a bad wooden house now.
Aiden and Darcy head to the rec center Christmas party. The couple, who has only been going out for a year, receives advice from two people who have been married for 53 years.
The speeches begin and the owner interrupts to announce that he’s gonna renovate the place, not sell it. Everyone applauds. The reason he changed his mind is because Darcy gave his nephew, a budding author, a chance to sell his books at her store. Nepotism saves the day.
Speaking of which, Darcy has the nephew do a reading of his book ABOUT HOW THE INTERNET GOT STARTED to an audience on Christmas Eve. The main reason he was given this slot was because Darcy’s rival bookstore took her original author-speaker; one whose book was actually Christmas themed.
Aiden finally gets a moment alone with his lady love. He takes her to the back of her shop to show her Christmas Village 2.0.
Darcy cries because her gift to him is just a crappy book. He then trumps his Christmas Village gift by proposing to Darcy. He just wasted two gifts. Eventually, one year, he’s going to struggle coming up with a gift for her and kick himself for this big blowout year. Anyway, they kiss while the bookstore watches and claps. FIN.
This definitely felt like a sequel. The characters had their stories established, so there was less exposition compared to the usual Hallmark film. And it wasn’t insane like the first one sounded which is a true disappointment.
Darcy and Aiden were love robots. Not in the creepy way but in the saccharine way. There was no issue between them and every scene between them screamed “We’re just so in love!” I’d be pretty irritated if my boyfriend kept telling anyone who’d listen about my sad Christmas Village story. Once the honeymoon period is over, there’s gonna be some serious fireworks.
Anyway, 2.5 out of 5 store-bought Christmas houses.
- I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving anymore because it takes too much effort to coordinate it. A shame as I haven’t had a proper one in 10 years.
- There’s a storyline where the nephew is sad because his dad and mom aren’t home for Christmas. Dad is deployed. He pops by at the end. The military is great for letting people go home when they feel like it.
- There’s an Italian character named Luigi which almost feels like a stereotype.
- This film is irritatingly sappy.
- Darcy’s parents died in an accident. Dear God, these films need to chill.
- Who the hell talks about their “parents’ love story”???
- The rival bookshop is run by the woman who was Chad Michael Murray’s blind date.
- The book about the internet sells out. A lot of people forgot to buy gifts for Christmas it seems.
A Christmas Duet. The actors better be good singers.