It is my duty to continue to bring cheesy Christmas films to you throughout the year. Even if you’re not interested, you should at least be in awe of my misplaced dedication and moxie. I’ll be publishing a recap of a Countdown to Christmas 2020 film every other Monday, so come along!
Today we’re watching A Nashville Christmas Carol.
A television producer is forced to work with the man who broke her heart on a country music Christmas special while being interrupted by Christmas spirits determined for her to revisit her past. Starring Jessy Schram and Wes Brown.
Yep, it’s a different spin on A Christmas Carol. However, instead of muppets, we get Wynonna Judd.
The film begins with a country lady rehearsing a song about Santa in front of a bunch of television cameras. Our Hallmark Heroine Vivienne is watching with a furrowed brow. She’s the producer of this country Christmas TV event and it’s only a few days away. Once the country lady is done singing, Vivienne begins ordering the peons to get to work. One of those peons is her sister Georgia who is going to law school soon. Presumably to get away from Vivienne.
As Vivienne storms about the set, a coiffed man named Gavin sneaks around the candy cane displays. He has some bad blood with Vivienne and is trying to avoid her. To complicate matters, he’s the manager of the Belinda (a.k.a the country music singing lady), so he needs to be on set every now and then. He chats with Belinda while Vivienne is distracted elsewhere.
The next day, Georgia and Vivienne do some work at home. Vivienne lets out that she might nab a big job in LA. Georgia is not pleased with the idea of Vivienne leaving Nashville but she’s leaving town for law school herself, so she doesn’t really have a leg to stand on.
As our heroine looks upon Judd’s glorious poster-sized face, Gavin sneaks up on Vivienne to ask that she put a dog in the opening number. The confused and annoyed TV producer makes no promises and coldly walks away.
She spies a mysterious red package on her director’s chair and quickly opens it. That seems…ill-advised? Luckily for her, it just contains a music box that plays a tune only Vivienne can hear.
The enchantment is interrupted by a surprise visit from the network’s head honcho. He’ll decide whether or not she’ll get the big LA job. This puts her in a mood which she takes out on her crew.
After a weird little outburst, Vivienne steps out of the main stage and enters a peculiar room.
Vivienne is terrified of the most festive bar in the world and tries to escape but can’t. To make matters more unnerving, a dead woman appears from behind.
Wynonna Judd tells Vivienne that she needs to rethink her life. To help her explore her past, Wynonna has enlisted the help of country superstar Kix Brooks (of Brooks & Dunn fame)!
The TV producer is teleported to her childhood home and is forced to watch her childhood self, her sister, and Gavin do kid things. We come to learn that Gavin was her childhood best friend. According to Pat (a.k.a. Kix), this was her last Christmas with the whole family. Mom just kinda leaves for no reason. Not a DEAD MOTHER™ but might as well be.
Vivienne is back on set, partially changed from the experience. She even smiles when she sees Gavin. However, the tenderness dissipates when the head honcho tells her that there’s going to be a dog in the opening number thanks to Gavin. Vivienne angrily pulls her former friend aside to chew him out for going over her head. They come to a compromise. Vivienne will add a dog if Gavin plans the crew Christmas party. What is the deal with this dog storyline??
Gavin agrees and heads off but forgets his scarf. Vivienne runs after him to return it but finds herself in a new yet familiar location with Pat by her side.
Our stand-in Ebenezer watches herself flirt with a younger Gavin. Present day-Vivienne thinks this is great and all but tells Pat that they should watch the scene that broke up their friendship. I guess she likes reliving bad memories. Long story short, Gavin got a big break managing Belinda, told Vivienne that she would direct the first music video, but then reneged on that promise.
The next evening, Georgia invites Gavin to drinks without Vivienne’s knowledge. The angry TV producer tries to leave but gets bamboozled into talking about the good ol’ days. We get some big time bonding scenes.
Pat sticks his nose into it and shows Vivienne that Gavin didn’t back out of his promise. His boss forced him to hire someone else for the music video. Also, Gavin was gonna tell Vivienne that he liked her that night but that didn’t happen.
Vivienne’s cold heart melts ever so slightly. This melting leads to loads more bonding scenes between our Hallmark Heroine and Hallmark Hunk. No montages though which is a bummer.
After having one of the biggest flirting sessions this side of Appalachia, Vivienne returns home to find Kimberley Williams-Paisley (Nashville star, New York Times Best Selling Author, and wife of country singer Brad Paisley)!
Christmas Present (a.k.a. Kimberley) whisks Vivienne away to spy on Georgia. Big sister has a minor meltdown when she discovers that Georgia has been dating the cameraman for six months. Looks like the Spirit of Christmas Present is into spilling hot tea. Vivienne returns home to give Georgia her blessing because that’s normal.
Back at work, the head honcho pops in again to instruct Vivienne to replace Belinda with a younger singer named Alexis. Her budding relationship with Gavin is once again at risk. She breaks the bad news to her former-former best friend who takes it surprisingly well. He just wants to tell Belinda first.
At the crew Christmas party, Vivienne mistakenly tells Belinda the bad news first. The distraught singer disappears into the night. Upon learning that Vivienne can’t shut her trap, Gavin takes off to console his client. Georgia drops by to say that Alexis is also missing. The head honcho overhears the drama and stirs the pot even more. Dramatic music plays.
To make matters even stupider, Christmas Present takes Vivienne away to watch her production team complain about her.
Seeing that she’s depressed poor Vivienne, Christmas Present decides to take to her where the two missing singers are. Before she can drag them back to the stage, Vivienne has one last chat with her mentor Wynonna Judd. Wynonna Judd tells the young producer that there is no Spirit of Christmas Future because most of the budget was spent on casting Wynonna Judd.
Vivienne finds her two singers and is able to get them BOTH to do the opening number which makes everyone happy. It really wasn’t an actual problem.
The head honcho is so impressed with Vivienne’s ability to get two singers to sing that he offers her the LA job. She refuses but is then told that she can commute from Nashville. She accepts. Georgia decides not to do law school. Gavin and Vivienne properly make up and make out.
So that was interesting. I have to say this is probably the best one I’ve watched if only for the singing. There was actually singing by professional singers! This feels like a first which goes to show how often Hallmark hires singers who don’t sing.
Anyway, Vivienne wasn’t too Scrooge-ish. She was just stressed and annoyed. Very little made her seem like a curmudgeon. Gavin was fine. I harbor no real ill will towards him. Overall, this was very tolerable.
Rating: 4 out of 5 dead country singers.
- I don’t know any country singers. Just Wynonna Judd.
- Child Vivienne records her littler sister singing a Christmas song. They dub the kid’s voice with a professional child singer’s pipes. There was no reason to do this.
- There’s a side story about how Gavin’s dad doesn’t approve of Gavin’s line of work. It’s a really weird story that rears its head randomly throughout the film.
- Are Pat and Christmas Present dead people?
- Why didn’t Christmas Present get a name? Hold on….was the guy’s name actually Past and I misheard it the whole time?!
- I gotta say I’m happy to have heard singing in this.