Hallmark Countdown to Christmas: A Christmas Duet Recap/Review

Happy Thanksgiving, you filthy Americans. No one will be on the internet, so why not upload a Hallmark film recap? Today’s movie is called A Christmas Duet, featuring people who can supposedly sing. It also features some other things.

Synopsis:

Well-loved music duo Averie and Jesse, famous for their duet “Wouldn’t Be Christmas,” haven’t played together since they went their separate ways years ago. Averie gave up music and opened a beautiful lodge in a snowy Vermont town – while Jesse still tours, struggling to find the same kind of success they had as a duo. When fate brings them together over the holidays at Averie’s lodge just in time for the annual Yuletide Festival, can the magic of Christmas help reunite them once again? Starring Chaley Rose, Rome Flynn and Teryl Rothery.

RECAP

The film begins with a look into the Blue Spruce Inn, a quaint little lodge run by two ladies. One is our Hallmark Heroine Averie while the other (Susie) is quirky and pregnant. Averie personally greets all of her guests because she is perfect.

Speaking of perfect, this is the male lead. He wears a leather jacket, plays music, and owns a fat yellow Labrador.

A man who looks like he got his fashion advice from Mr. Belvedere rushes into the Blue Spruce Inn to share some bad news about the town’s big Yuletide Festival. The usual location is underwater, so he begs Averie to have her hotel become the venue. The two owners shout “Yes!” in unison.

TFW your Yuletide Festival is saved and you’ve narrowly avoided a tarring & feathering by the townsfolk.

The fun doesn’t stop there for the plucky inn. A critic from a hotel magazine arrives to review the lodge and put it in the running for the Top Winter Lodge Award. There are so many awards in the world that I don’t doubt this exists. I was once at a black-tie affair for a Refrigeration Gala.

The quirky friend chooses to eavesdrop on Averie’s conversation with the critic by putting her ear next to an open door.

We catch up with our male lead Jesse who is embarking on a small-town tour to drum up interest in his music. He had a hit song with his partner, but once she left, his star fell a bit.

Back with at inn central, Susie is told by the doctor that she needs to relax since she’s stupid pregnant. This leaves Averie alone to deal with the festival and magazine lady. Susie adds onto the poor woman’s load by trying to convince her to sing live at the event. Averie had a number one holiday hit a few years back, but gave the whole singing thing up.

Meanwhile, Jesse and his teeth sing an acoustic version of This Christmas at one of his small town gigs.

The next day, Jesse arrives at the next small town tour stop and checks into his hotel: The Blue Spruce Inn. Averie is shocked to see her old partner. Jesse is puzzled that Averie owns a hotel in Podunk, USA. They awkwardly reconnect. He then gets bamboozled into picking up a dozen Christmas trees because Susie is lazy (and heavily pregnant, I guess).

While in the middle of an interview with the magazine lady, Averie is pulled away by the festival guy who is panicking once again. Turns out the town has no money to pay for the event, so they’re probably going to cancel the thing.

Meanwhile, Jesse is struggling to come up with a new song. His manager tells him to take a walk and visit the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Somebody walk this chonky boi.

At the ceremony, the panicky festival coordinator thinks this is the best time to tell everyone that the festival is canceled. Thankfully, Averie steals the mic from him to inspire everyone to donate their decorations and time to make the event a success. Everyone happily pitches in.

Even this guy.

Things are a bit topsy turvy. The festival is only four days away and there’s loads of work to do. However, poor Averie keeps getting pulled away by the snooty critic. Not only that, but a storm has hit the region, stopping Averie’s parents from arriving and halting Jesse’s touring schedule.

As Jesse is stuck in town, Susie makes him and Averie buy spices for her as the hotel has run out. The magazine lady overhears this little problem and gives them some condescending unsolicited advice. She’s a right pill. I actually kind of hate her.

Jesse and Averie do some general bonding. Thanks to a mini snow flurry, they get trapped in a café listening to their holiday hit which is Averie’s version of hell.

The key players in the film participate in a cookie baking montage and then sit around the fireplace sharing their favorite Christmas memories. The person who shares the best story wins the mystery prize that’s inside of a tiny treasure chest.

It’s a baggie of weed!

The rest of the group leaves to smoke a doobie, leaving the young couple alone. They get so alone that they almost kiss. The mouth stuff is interrupted by Averie’s parents.

One member of the married couple is happy that their daughter isn’t a spinster after all. The other doesn’t know where he is.

Averie tries to keep her feelings for Jesse under control, but Susie tells her to just like, you know, go for it! As she approaches Jesse to talk, she overhears him speaking to his manager about leaving for his next gig. Averie walks off, dejected.

After having a heart to heart with the magazine lady who informs Averie that she has a DEAD HUSBAND™, Jesse and Averie speak. Jesse explains that he wants to spend Christmas in town. They almost kiss again. This time, it’s interrupted by a phone call from the frantic festival man who tells them that the carolers are all ill. Jesse suggests that they bring back the duo and sing together at the event. There’s some back and forth, but in the end, Averie goes for it.

Susie’s baby decides to move the film along and come early.

A new issue presents itself: a big singer guy has invited Jesse to open for him on the same day as the festival. If it goes well, he’ll be able to tour with the guy for the rest of his shows. Jesse is torn. He tells Averie the situation. She’s a bit cold but tells him to go for it. She also decides to perform at the festival by herself.

Then about five minutes later, Jesse comes back to sing with her.

They finally suck face.

The happy couple sings their one hit wonder song.

With a the festival a complete success, the whole group gets more good news. The baby was born with the appropriate amount of legs. Additionally, the inn has won the brand-new “Home Away from Home” prize. I guess that means they didn’t win the other one. Either way, it comes with money, so that’s nice. Jesse and Averie kiss.

Everyone ignores the kissing.

REVIEW

There’s not much to say. Most of these films are pretty beat-by-beat in terms of story and this one was no different. We even got a big original song at the end. Averie and Jesse played attractive people well.

Rating: 2 out of 5 fat yellow labs.

STRAY THOUGHTS

  • This is probably the most attractive couple Hallmark has been able to muster up.
  • Averie calls her co-owner Susie a “whirling dervish of culinary delights.” Never thought I’d hear the term “whirling dervish” in a Hallmark film.
  • Susie does an impressive mockup of what the festival can look like at the inn. I love how everyone in Hallmark is a professional illustrator.
  • Is it normal to have a fully decorated tree in your bedroom?
  • Averie explains that she picked living in this small town because it was pretty.
  • Susie met her husband at a baking seminar. Is this a thing?
  • Gonna write a Hallmark movie called Failing Upward.
  • Jesse’s manager tried to hook up with the magazine lady. In the end, she invites him to bang around Europe with her.

NEXT UP

Check Inn to Christmas. I guess this is about another inn.