A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas

Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas aired on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries on November 7, 2019. It stars MY GIRL Rachel Leigh Cook. I don’t remember whether she’s been in any other Hallmark Christmas movies but I hope she’s here to stay. I just want to say up top here that Rachel’s character, Willow is a beautiful snowflake and incapable of wrongdoing in this film. And yes, you better believe I’m calling this a film.

The movie begins at the Christmas party at Willow’s place of employment. Lots of people wearing red suit jackets so she either works at a movie theatre or a hotel or is a Shriner. Oh, she is an assistant (to the regional?) manager of a hotel and they move her to a new one every two years. She’s about to go home for A MONTH though to help get ready for her little sister’s wedding. She asks a friend/coworker to water her plants while she’s away and the friend requests two dozen cookies for the favor. I find that excessive. But two dozen cookies or not, I’d definitely forget to water her plants. It is important to note right out the gate that Willow is a city girl going BACK to her small town. But she LOVES Christmas. Unusual trope!

Back home, Willow reunites with her little sister, Juni. They seem like nice sisters and have a nice chat. Juni practices saying her new name and finally settles on the modernish hyphenated name. Willow is ready to do anything and everything wedding related for her little sister. They walk in to the diner owned by their mother. The mother announces that her BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER IS HERE! Oh and she also has another daughter who is fine. Mom and Juni share the horrible news that due to ALL that SNOW on the roof of their venue, they have to find a new place to hold the wedding. They’ve tried to call every other venue in town but they’re all booked up. Willow promises to try herself.

Willow seems to be striking out too. Where are they gonna hold this gd wedding right before Christmas? In the landing at the top of the stairs they are calling Willow’s bedroom, Willow looks at an old picture. She has an idea!! What about the Eagle Ridge Inn!! The place her family used to own and the place where the girls grew up. Oh, that sounds like a great idea. Well, it turns out that the owner of the Inn is the BEST MAN for the wedding. But they’ve already asked him and there’s no place to host the ceremony. So that’s it. Willow doesn’t want to give up on the idea. And who would?

It’s morning at the Inn and David is scurrying about and his parents are there and his very adorable daughter is making a Christmas card. She can’t find her stuffed Reindeer, Henry. SHE hid it. But she hid it so well that she can’t find it now. David has to go to work. He’s about to be PARTNER at his law firm. An Inn owner AND a lawyer? GET IT, GIRL.

David is also trying to sell the Inn. Because well, working full time at a law firm AND running a small hotel is truly not possible. I’m not really sure how he is doing it. He may be a small town boy but he has NO TIME for Christmas.

A potential buyer is sniffing around the Inn. He wonders if they ever host events? David says, oh sure things like luncheons, receptions but DEFINITELY NOT WEDDINGS SO DON’T EVEN ASK. When he walks out he realizes someone is out at the big barn. He walks over and discovers Willow.

He and Willow have a mildly awkward exchange until they realize who each other is. Willow pitches her idea about holding the wedding in the barn. Dave is like, dude that’s way too much work and I’m a busy and important lawyer and man about town. I don’t have time to do that. Willow is like, no my family will pay for everything. My mom is a small business owner in this small town so you know we are just Rolling in dough. And money. David is not interested in any of that.

At the law firm, Austin, Juni’s fiance is saying what we’re ALL thinking. Is that garland around his office door too low? Is there too much Christmas in this place of business? No. But actually yes the garland is too low. Also, the door frame is too low. They then make a bunch of lawyer jokes that are again, too painful for me to bear.

Oh great, back at the Peterson manor, they are building a gingerbread house. Look, it’s not going well. But they’re having a great time. I guess that’s all that matters. Poor Juni has her heart set on the Inn now. What are they going to do! They’re just having some great girl time.

It’s bedtime and the reindeer is nowhere to be found. It’s really special to her because Natalie’s mom gave him to her. Natalie is not super thrilled about moving and selling the Inn. This sweet little cherub offers to help out more at the Inn. David decides she can start doing the bookkeeping and tax filings.

David is so busy working two beyond full time jobs but still has time for a leisurely lunch with his parents. Well, what a coincidence. Willow is out and about on the street. David, do you have a minute to talk about the Inn real quick? Willow is WORKING. And by the way the town is OBSCENELY decorated for Christmas. That’s right. Obscenely. Willow commits to doing EVERYTHING. Christmas decor, wedding, and repairs. Oh, well actually he can figure that out. She’ll do everything else. She finally talks him into it. Hooray!

Willow has slightly bigger plans for the Inn and the wedding than she let on to David. David overhears her telling Garrett, Inn Handy Man and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin look alike, that the interior walls need a new coat of paint. No big deal, David! But we do need to look at some paint swatches real quick. KTHANKS, GIRL. And Willow basically keeps steamrolling him at every turn. MORE CHRISTMAS HERE! MORE CHRISTMAS THERE! MORE PAINT SWATCHES HERE! And it’s too late because David already agreed and this Christmas Inn train has LEFT THE STATION.

That evening, Willow meets Natalie who is still looking for Henry. She tells Natalie and David that she’s about to go to the tree lot to pick up some trees. They’re gonna need like all of them. Natalie is like, Dad let’s go too! And David is like, it’s the middle of the night, can we go on the weekend? And then Willow kind of teams up with Natalie and they convince poor, tired, working 100 hours a week David to go tree shopping on a weeknight so all the trees match. Willow talks about how much she loves Christmas and David is just SO BUSY. This is kind of an interesting mix of our typical tropes. Busy+small town+no time for Christmas and city+not working in dream job+loves Christmas.

At the tree lot David is like, hey I thought I wasn’t supposed to do anything and Willow is like, yep you’re so right that definitely won’t happen anymore…well not after Friday for SURE. And then she pats him on the head.

When Willow shows up to the Inn the next day, Robert, the prospective buyer is there scoping things out. He just wishes there were MORE CHRISTMAS decorations on the Inn’s exterior. Willow helps him picture it. Also, there is this weird rocky thing across from the Inn and it kind of looks like they just threw batting over it for the snow. Later, Willow still definitely doesn’t need David’s help to get more decorations so she drags him around town looking for decorations. They kind of bond about their lives-David shares that the Inn was his wife’s thing but she’s since passed away. Willow shares that she kind of has bigger things in mind but not yet because Today is scary. And well, that is kind of profound. David selects a big, plain fake wreath and Willow couldn’t be more proud.

Back at the Inn, we are about to have a Clark Griswold, Christmas Vacation moment. All the exterior lights are up and now it’s time to turn them all on. There are snow men on that rocky feature and Natalie names them all after reindeer. All the adults take turns patting her on the head. Natalie asks Willow whether she misses the inn and Willow, back on team Adult, tells her yes she misses it, but in a good way. She talks about how great memories can be. They all drink hot chocolate out of open containers.

The next morning, they do a walk through of the barn. Time’s a wasting! All the adults are still looking for that darn Henry. Willow reveals that she’s acquired a horse and carriage for the wedding. David’s dad is like, you should bring those back to the Inn for Christmas! Smoke comes out of David’s ears. Also, is his hair higher than it was in the previous scene? But then they realize the horse and carriage might be enough to distract Natalie from her missing reindeer.

Willow is just sassing David at every turn. But that ol busy heart of David’s is growing as big as his hair. They take turns sharing their favorite Santa experience as a kid. David says he wanted to watch Santa eat a Christmas cookie. I don’t know. That seems weird. Watching him eat a cookie? Natalie is all in on the horse and asks to take a picture and of course, Willow needs to be in it. They take a lovely ride around.

Willow is at home staring at the pic of her and David. And I am staring at all her great Hunter green sweaters. Juni shares how much she appreciates her for all the work planning her wedding. Still waiting on that thank you from MY sister eight years later. Juni is like, don’t get too emotionally invested…in the INN. Also, I hope you don’t get too sad when you have to go back to New York where you live all by yourself and don’t have any friends or family around.

Another Hallmark tree lighting. David’s dad shows up in a great tie and David makes it in time from work. They all drink hot chocolate out of regular mugs. Where are they getting these? And WHY? The environment? But like, did they all bring these mugs from home? I don’t understand what it happening. Natalie gets to push the button. Why? They are all so happy to see the tree light they all start hugging each other. David and Willow…HUG. Ohhhhhh, dang. Sparks are flying now.

That night, David reads three books to Natalie before bed which is fine, but I do think she’s probably a little old for that? She should be reading on her own maybe? But then she asks Willow for one more story and David has to pay her back for forcing him to go Christmas tree shopping on a weeknight. So, he says, well I don’t have a problem with it… So Willow is like, no I definitely don’t have anything better to do than read to a 10 year old so cool, yeah I’ll do that.

After Natalie is in bed, Willow and David have another moment before he puts her coat on for her and she leaves.

The next day, there is a Christmas party at the diner and it actually looks really fun. They play a fun game that I want to replicate. It’s like a three legged race but unwrapping a Christmas present. Two people’s arms get tied up and they put the other behind their back and they have to unwrap a Christmas present. Willow and David are paired up. Austin and Natalie win.

Back at the Inn, David is really warming up to staying there. Willow asks him if he really wants to sell the Inn. He’s like yeah I’d way rather bill hours in 6 minute increments and Hustle 24/7 looking for clients than run this Inn. So excited to be PARTNER!

The next day, the girls-Willow and Natalie are making Christmas cookies. David says they smell wonderful. Do they? Like these are cold Christmas cookies that are ready to be decorated. Do they smell wonderful? Willow is crushing adult communication with a child. She finds Natalie in the barn looking for Henry and redirects her to the cookies and also politely explains why the horse has to go back to where he lives. David is so relieved across the board.

Outside, Robert is sniffing around again and he seems ready to put an offer in. He also makes a comment about how the single cookie in David’s hand smells and I just feel really uncomfortable about that.

David still hasn’t decided to sell the Inn but he can’t think about him or Willow or any of it. He’s just got to stay on his path to partner. Meanwhile, Willow and her mom have a nice chat in the diner. Maybe Willow could buy the inn on her assistant manager at a hotel chain salary! Maybe her mom could borrow from her retirement. Do people not know what things cost? Willow seems to know. But Willow also seems afraid to take the risk, which is obviously the takeaway from that conversation. But it does get Willow thinking.

She starts cooking up a pitch to her hotel management about investing in the Inn and letting her run it. This is a great idea, girlfriend! Willow wants to make the pitch to David along a very beautifully lit path outside but David speaks up first. He feels that this whole experience has gotten him to “closure” on this whole “Inn Chapter” of his life. So that kind of puts a damper on Willow’s big pitch.

Willow comes home to find that things could actually be worse. Her sister has turned into a straight up lunatic and is eating fruitcake right out of the pan. Where did it even come from? She says she’s stressed so she is eating comfort food. Willow slowly takes the pan out of Juni’s hands and calls 911 and informs them that her sister has had a psychotic breakdown. Once Juni’s head is back on straight, they have a nice conversation about Willow’s idea. Juni thinks it’s a great idea and that she should make the pitch to whoever needs to see it. Also, Juni seems to have no concept of money either because she suggests that Willow just take out a loan. Willow pats her on the head. Oh and Willow DEFINITELY doesn’t have feels for David so just forget about that.

Guess what guys? It’s Christmas decorating montage time! Cute folksy music, fantastic sweaters, snow melting in the hot August sun, and that big wreath David picked out. It is ALL ready to go.

It’s wedding day and Juni is real nervous. The girls get in cute Christmas jammies and eat sugar cookies. That seems really fun. Why couldn’t my sister have planned a lovely activity like that for me on my wedding day?

Austin and David have a lovely best man moment where Austin calls David super old. David’s hair grows a few inches taller with pride.

Garrett shows Willow the finished product. It is really lovely. David shows up and Willow gets the courage to make her pitch to him. He shoots it down. He does not want to run the Inn. He really just wants to be a lawyer. Also, at this point, her pitch is sort of an unspoken, let’s be together and I’ll run the Inn. And he’s like, well my dead wife used to run this place so it would be super weird for me if we started dating and you were literally doing her exact same old job.

It’s wedding time! The girls all walk up the aisle together and Natalie is the flower girl. Again, I do think she is probably too old for this job. Okay, are puffy sleeve wedding dresses back in? Why is it working on Juni?

They are having a lovely reception. Also, at this point in the program I must point out that I made my husband watch the last twenty minutes of this before we could watch something he wanted to watch, and when he got up, he asked me to pause it because he was invested. Willow has a great conversation with David’s mom.

Back in the barn, Natalie is sad and picking up petals. David comes in and sits next to her, AC Slater style. They have a sweet father daughter moment. They talk about memories and making room for more memories. Natalie says she wishes she could have been at their wedding and he says she was there in their dreams that day. And well, that is just a really lovely sentiment, okay?!

Back at the reception, Willow sees a familiar book on the shelf. It is her dad’s copy of A Christmas Carol! She thought it was lost. And, what do you know, but HENRY IS BEHIND THE BOOKCASE.

David calls Robert and tells him HE’S KEEPING THE INN! Sorry SUCKER! David realizes we’re creating new memories all the time! Yes! That’s how brains work! He tells Willow he is looking for a manager for the Inn. He says the job posting will close in thirty days and then there will be a round or two of interviews for top candidates. But she should definitely apply! She says she’s inn-terested if she can paint. And then they KISS. Of course.

Alright, how did this movie stack up?

  1. Small town person
  2. Workaholic too busy for Christmas
  3. Single parent
  4. Christmas Tree Lighting
  5. Christmas Baking
  6. Christmas Puns
  7. Someone working in a nondescript corporate job instead of chasing their real dream
  8. Christmas montage

Total score 8/20

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