Gather round my babies because I have some important info to share with you. Hallmark, home of bland Christmas movies and sometimes greeting cards, has gifted us a festive film starring none other than Bruce Campbell himself! So, this isn’t part of the regular Hallmark Channel’s line up. It’s part of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, but I couldn’t resist watching a film with Ash.
Two music managers must put their history aside to oversee the televised reunion performance of their rock star fathers with a fractured past. Starring Peter Gallagher, Bruce Campbell, Eloise Mumford and Brett Dalton.
Even if it’s as generic as the title, Bruce (and Peter Gallagher, of course) is always enjoyable to watch.
We begin with an excellent montage made up of real-life old images of Peter (Sullivan) and Bruce (Bedford) photoshopped together to make them look like they were part of a famous music duo. It very very briefly takes us through their history as Bedford and Sullivan and their acrimonious breakup.
We cut to a young woman named Quinn who is on the phone trying to make some sort of business deal. She’s not doing a great job at it because the person hangs up on her. Quinn represents a young musician named Addison and is working to make her into a star. But so far, no one cares.
At the office, Quinn’s boss takes her employee outside to talk some Bedford and Sullivan. She reveals that the duo is set to reunite on Christmas. Quinn is puzzled as their company doesn’t represent either musician, so why would they care? Unfortunately for her, Quinn is Sullivan’s daughter and the boss wants to use her to convince Sullivan to stop being difficult and do the show. I believe the boss owes someone a favor.
Quinn agrees to lend a hand on the condition that the company agrees to do something with Addison. The boss says she’ll let Addison open the Bedford & Sullivan show if this all works. You can see why nepotism is a key ingredient to a successful career.
In her effort to peaceably unite the two feuding musicians, Quinn finds Bedford’s manager who happens to be Bedford’s son, Jason. They go to a diner and after a little argument, the two managers decide to handle their own fathers to ensure that the event resembles something of a success.
Quinn’s next stop is to her dad’s house where they have a very strained conversation.
The next day, Bedford and Sullivan are meant to do a promo shoot, but Sullivan is a no-show. After this setback, Quinn realizes she and Jason should swap dads because Bedford and/or Sullivan can’t be mean to the other person’s kid. It’s not a wholly dumb idea.
Quinn drops Jason off at Sullivan’s house to do some male bonding and maybe get the reluctant musician to actually do something for the event. Instead of convincing him to do the photoshoot, Jason tells Sullivan that he’s drifting from his dad due to all the music work. Bedford is insanely rude to his kid (and not in the charming Bruce Campbell way). With mission unaccomplished, Jason decides to hit the ol’ dusty trail. But surprise! Sullivan decides to do the promo photos and follows the young manager out the door.
The next day, Sullivan takes Jason ice fishing. Someone’s son is getting stolen away if he doesn’t watch out! Quinn uses her dad’s time away to set up a caroling video shoot with some kids and Bedford on the steps of Sullivan’s house. Upon his return, Sullivan expresses his displeasure at having a bunch of people trespassing.
Full of Christmas cheer, the old bandmates run into the house to play the piano while their two kids flirt on the porch.
Things appear to be going well for everyone. So well in fact that we’re treated to a montage of the preparation of the Christmas concert. This is being built up as some huge event, so I’m a little confused as to why only the duo and their two kids are prepping the thing.
But there’s a blip. Sullivan has an issue with the set list and refuses to 1) sing lead and 2) play their hit song One December Night. Bedford alludes to some incident in Alberta and Sullivan’s DEAD WIFETM which causes half of the duo to storm out.
After a heartwarming chat with his son, Bedford visits Sullivan to make up. They do so very quickly and we are treated to another flirting sequence between Jason and Quinn, this time at the town’s Christmas tree ceremony.
High on tree lighting vibes, the couple takes it upon themselves to break into Sullivan’s house and put a tree in his living room. Unable to contain themselves, the two managers kiss.
After leaving Sullivan’s house, Quinn unloads on Jason regarding her DEAD MOTHERTM and her dad’s alcoholism. Good thing he got that kiss in before this.
The next day, Jason and Bedford tell Quinn that the TV network won’t air the special if they don’t play One December Night. However, they’ve come up with a backup plan where Bedford sings the song by himself. Quinn requests that they hold off with that plan until she can talk to her dad about it.
At the house, Dad and daughter bake cookies and discuss how Sullivan wasn’t there for Quinn during his DEAD WIFE’STM illness. You know, because of the booze. He apologizes and they make up.
Meanwhile, Jason discovers that his dad is recording the backup plan in spite of Quinn’s wishes. He intimates that this may be his last show, much to the bewilderment of his son. Throughout the film, Bedford has been acting oddly, repeating activities when he doesn’t need to. And it is here that Bedford reveals that he has ALZHEIMER’S. Christ! He tells his son that he needs stuff to focus on as it helps with this new condition. On the verge of tears, he says he doesn’t want to be a burden. Christ.
After that extremely heavy night, we have another fallout. One of the producers tells Sullivan and Quinn of Bedford’s betrayal regarding his backup recording of One December Night. Quinn angrily asks Jason if he knew about this to which he dejectedly replies, “Yes.”
After another emotional chat with his daughter, Sullivan decides to visit Bedford and discovers his friend’s ailment. They make up again and agree to do both the show and song.
With no more hitches left to solve, the TV crew and our heroes head back to the house to eat cookies and celebrate. Jason and Quinn kiss. The dads are ok with it. FIN.
Well, Bruce and Peter were stand outs, of course. They’re always good to watch and did well with the heavy portions.
Overall, it was a nice film (but, whew! alcoholism, a disappointed DEAD WIFETM, and Alzheimer’s is tough going). The film did kind of get slow at sections, but I can forgive it. A Christmas miracle!
Rating: 3.5 of 5 boomsticks
- The girl that Quinn represents really has a set of pipes on her.
- They use the phrase quid pro quo a lot in this film.
- Someone needs to tell me where that Bruce cowboy image at the top of the recap is from.
- And here are a few of my favorite snaps of the first montage.