In the last episode, two people in their late 20s/early 30s fell in love after overcoming seemingly unsurmountable obstacles. Will today’s couple experience a similar outcome or meet a different fate?
Yes, it’s a new Hallmark and, yes, we can assume the two folks in this will fall in love. So, let’s get going, shall we?
Margot, a world-renowned pianist, returns to Chateau Neuhaus to spend the holidays with her family and rediscover her passion for music. While there, her ex-boyfriend and former bandmate Jackson, convinces her to headline the annual Christmas Concert and working together brings back all their old feelings. Starring Merritt Patterson and Luke Macfarlane.
I don’t know why, but the actress looks like a “Margot” to me.
Hallmark Heroine Margot is on the phone with her sister, discussing Christmas plans. Unfortunately, she is unable to attend celebrations at the family chateau as she has a big piano recital on Christmas day. Pianos don’t play themselves after all!
Not only that but Margot needs to step up her game when it comes to music playing. Apparently, a top critic gave a poor review of her last performance. Understandably, this has caused the professional musician to experience a crisis of self.
Margot heads into the venue to practice.
We cut to a new character who just so happens to be our male lead, Jackson. He speaks with an old college friend named Adam who is trying to coordinate a sold-out Christmas concert. However, everything has gone wrong for the poor guy as a number of his performers have fallen ill or experienced some sort of disaster. It’s at this point that Adam bamboozles Jackson into filling in as the concert coordinator.
The deal sealed, they have lunch and discuss Jackson’s love life.
With those wheels set in motion, we’re back with Margot who surprises her family for lunch. She’s happy to inform them that her show was canceled due to the venue being a death trap. Margot can finally celebrate Christmas! The family rejoices.
Margot is then invited to play the piano at the bar and happily obliges. And wouldn’t you know that this is the same place Jackson and his friend are! They catch Margot’s impromptu concert and are rather impressed with her sweet tunes. Jackson even heads over to say hello to the mystery piano player.
And wouldn’t you know that they know each other and actually used to date! Jackson has laughably terrible eyesight if he couldn’t see her from five yards away. He awkwardly invites Margot and the whole family to watch his concert.
The next day, Jackson heads to rehearsals to check out what he’s got to work with. It’s worse than he figured seeing as another key player has fallen ill. So basically, the concert has no performer, no musicians, and no featured artists. Jackson and Adam decide to rope Margot into this mess.
Poor Margot is hoodwinked into a coffee with Jackson and sniffs out that he wants her to be in the concert. A concert which takes place nine days from now.
Later, Margot informs the whole family that she has turned down Jackson’s offer. Bit weird. Margot’s mother doesn’t approve and tells her the reason she isn’t doing it is because of her history with Jackson. What if Jackson emotionally abused her? Stick your nose out of this, ma.
Anyway, Margot says yes after the guilt trip.
The former couple meets up to begin rehearsing. It is here that Margot discovers she’s the only musician playing at this “concert.” Jesus, this whole thing is stupid.
While getting an instrument fixed, they stumble into a man named Sam that used to be a member of a famous classical quartet. He’s “salty” at first, but warms up when he learns that Margot is taking part in the concert. They convince him to join the show but only on the condition that they get the rest of the baaaaaand together.
One of the guys is dead, so he’s out. It’s up to our plucky duo and their scaredy cat dog to solve this problem! My story is better than the scene I’m currently watching where Margot and Jackson talk about their differing views of success.
They race over to their first victim: Sarah, the quartet’s violinist and Sam’s former lady love. Blah blah blah Sarah decides to join only IF the couple can find the last living member of the quartet, Len. Blah blah blah Len says yes only IF Sam says yes. It’s a hell of a rigamarole this thing.
Margot and Jackson get Sam and Sarah to meet once again after so many years. Sam immediately hits on the woman which is pretty funny considering he thinks she’s still married (note: she’s single). The younger couple sneaks away to have a cocoa by the fire. They even touch each other’s hands! It’s gonna be a bang-y Christmas for everyone!
With the band back together, the group can finally rehearse for this concert that takes place in four days. The band complains that their dead friend is dead and can’t play anymore. Thankfully, Jackson plays cello, so he fills in. So far, so good.
All throughout this process, Margot keeps coming up with ideas to make the concert more delightful. Things like putting the performers in the audience or something about giving “Christmas Keepsakes” to attendees. If you’ve ever had to plan an event, new ideas three days before an event are completely unwelcome.
We’re treated to another montage where Jackson and Margot (and her family) have some bonding moments featuring snowball fights, decorations, and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies.
However, the most minor of disasters rears its head. Jackson learns that the critic who gave Margot a crap review is coming to the concert. Should he tell her or say nothing?
Who cares because Margot finds out that the critic is in attendance in the next scene. It ends up being a huge non-issue.
Fast forward to the night of the concert, Margot decides to change up her song which is an absolutely ok thing to do. She doesn’t look it, but this woman is all over the shop. In spite of this, everything goes well. Jackson gets the director role at his school and Margot gets an apology from the critic.
With everything wrapped up, Margot and Jackson say they love each other and kiss. FIN.
This was a very play by numbers film, making it pretty underwhelming. I wouldn’t even call the problems that happen in the third act problems. I didn’t even realize one issue was meant to be a “big time problem” because it was resolved so quickly.
One thing to say is that Jackson is handsome. To be honest, most everything was pretty (apart from the decorations).
Rating: 1 out 5 missing quartet players
- I feel awful for the older sister. The hair people on set didn’t even attempt to do anything with her in the first scene.
- By the way, there’s another Christmas film in the Hallmark canon that features a chateau. It’s called Christmas at the Chateau. The internet tells me it’s a different film.
- Speaking of chateaus, I always pictured them as big second homes that rich families would go to on holiday in the alps. The one in this film looks like a 3-star hotel.
- Hallmark is obsessed with putting fairy lights on everything. Every room is unnaturally lit.
- Margot has a DEAD FATHER™ who had a love of music. He doesn’t really play much of a role in this.
- There is soooooooooooo much talking in this film.