A Christmas Duet

Alright, the week of Thanksgiving Hallmark aired a movie EVERY night. And I have been struggling to keep up the pace. A Christmas Duet aired Monday, November 25 on the Hallmark Channel. If they add a movie every night on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries next year I may lose my mind. Let’s get to it.

The movie begins with our lead Averie, checking the work of two women making wreaths. It seems like a scheduled activity at her Inn. They both tell her the Inn feels like a home away from home. She hears a bell ding which lets her know that guests have arrived. Another rejected boyfriend has found love in a different Hallmark movie. I think this guy was maybe Wes in Write Before Christmas? Anyway, he’s there with his wife and daughter. Up from Texas to see snow! They ask her if they know her because she looks familiar. Hmm. She tells them that the town puts on a Christmas festival and different local businesses take turns hosting. She gives their daughter a gingerbread cookie and sends them on their way.

Next, a guy is walking a GOOD CHUNKY BOY through the park. A roasted chestnut vendor recognizes what a GOOD BOY this dog is and gives the man free chestnuts. He also thought maybe he looked familiar. Then he realizes that the man is a famous singer. Jesse! But didn’t he normally sing with someone else?

She finds her way to the kitchen where her best friend and business partner is baking up a storm. She is also due any day. This is sort of like the Gilmore Girls then…except Averie was not a teen mom. They chat about wishing to expand the Inn. The mayor, or city employee comes charging in. It’s an emergency! The farm where the festival was to be held has flooded so they can’t hold it there. He does think there is enough money to cover the damage AND hold the event elsewhere. I am very skeptical of that. But, if it was not the city’s fault, why would they be covering the flood damage? Isn’t that what insurance is for? Anyway, he asks if the “Blue Spruce Inn” would be willing to host instead? The girls readily agree.

Then, a hotel critic arrives at the Inn. The Blue Spruce is in the running for best winter lodge and could win $60k! Oh they could build a handful more cabins with that! She is a very odd and particular woman. She wants very particular tea and wants to make sure Averie is focusing on running the Inn and not getting distracted with planning the Christmas festival. Oh, excuse me, it’s called the Yuletide festival.

Susie overhears and is very excited. They wonder if they’re taking on too much. It’s not like she’s about to have a baby.

Backstage, Jessie is excited about his show. The record company is anxious for more hits and enthusiasm in his career is dwindling. But he’s just working so hard. He goes onstage.

Averie, Susie and her husband have a planning meeting for the festival. They have all kinds of things they want to do. A snowman Decorating Contest. That is original. Uh oh. Susie feels something or feels short of breath or something. They call the doctor and she tells her to just cool it. I’m not sure how sitting around planning does anything but I suppose if it gets her amped up, that’s not good. She’s got a video of Averie and Jesse playing their old holiday hit, “Wouldn’t Be Christmas”. She wants her to sing that song. But it’s a duet! She can’t sing it alone.

Back to the concert. Someone requests the famous Christmas song and he’s like no, that’s a duet only and I can’t do the high harmony. How about a plain old Christmas carol that I don’t need the rights for? Oh good. They have him sing like the whole song.

Averie is going through the checklist. Wearing a GREAT sweater. She puts on the music video of her and Jessie singing again. I don’t care who you are, do you really enjoy watching videos of your own self doing anything? Susie’s husband saves all of us and shows her a countdown sign he made. All that does is stress me out. He gives her some advice about how to get started. Her parents call. They are packing up to come visit for Christmas. They talk about hearing Jesse and demonstrate that they are generally silly geese.

The bell dings for a new guest. Who could it be? Ooooh it’s Jesse. And the good chunky boy ROWDY. They are confused about what the other is doing there. She tells him she owns the place. He is aghast. Boy they seem like they are just so different. He likes the open road of a tour and she likes to not do that. The manager shows up and she doesn’t pet Rowdy for long enough.

Averie agrees to show him around. She shows him the kitchen and Susie freaks out. I think I see her drooling. Just full meltdown. The Christmas tree farm is ready for her to pick out trees. Susie pushes Jesse to help Averie with the trees. She certainly can’t help. Susie, 9 months pregnant and WORKING FULL TIME for Averie and Jesse. She says his room isn’t ready so he can’t go. And then she says there are mice and Ms. Selig happens to hear. JOKES. But not joking about Christmas trees!

At the tree farm, they are both wearing the wrong shoes. Looks like they are at an actual tree farm. They catch up. Jesse has been too busy for Christmas for the last few years. Averie keeps changing the subject when he asks why she owns an Inn now. She is happy not touring and stuff though. Both single! Her phone rings a Christmas ring tone. Susie is wondering what is going on! But also, the hotel critic is lurking around and rejected SNICKERDOODLES. She forgot she has an interview with her! AAACK. Jesse offers to select and carry 12 trees back to the Inn.

Averie apologies to Ms. Selig. She is not impressed that Averie was focused on the festival. Averie says the Blue Spruce is her favorite tree because they have shallow roots but can withstand strong winds. She wanted to create a place that felt like a home away from home after so many years on the road. The City employee interrupts with another crisis. Surprise surprise, there is NO EXTRA MONEY for the festival.

5 days to pull off this festival and NO MONEY. Averie, Susie and her husband walk along downtown, grumbling about the festival getting cancelled. Susie asks if Averie misses singing with Jesse. She’s like, well he has a concert tonight and I’m sure he doesnt want to sing with me.

Au contraire mon frere. He’s watching the same music video. These people are so weird watching themselves over and over. His manager comes in and asks if he wants to go to the tree lighting. Maybe Rowdy would like to go for a walk? And with that, the GOOD CHUNKY BOY comes over with his leash. He is so helpful. Jesse is so lucky to have such a good chunky lab. Rowdy convinces him to go to the tree lighting. Doesn’t he have a concert there that night? I guess not…?

Jesse and his manager stroll through the town. They see a poster for another famous musician. His manager offers to call them. They run into Averie, Susie and Marshall. Susie drools all over Jesse and then her husband introduces himself. It’s great. Rowdy is a GOOD BOY and shakes his hand. That poor city employee has to deliver the bad news right before the tree lighting. But Averie interrupts him and says they’re asking that people donate to help the festival come together. Shouldn’t they do that anyway? Then she gets to light the tree.

Four days before festival time! Marshall is working away and Averie os talking to a group of people that will also be doing some work. Ms. Selig waves her over. She grumbles that the festival noise is bothering her. Averie offers to bring her a special breakfast. But isn’t it like the middle of the day? And also, I can hear the drills going. Shouldn’t she be a little apologetic? I mean, construction noise is pretty annoying. Jesse checks out.

Averie is watching herself sing again. Susie comes in and she closes her iPad. Susie totally calls her on it. She says she doesnt miss performing. At a coffee shop, Dan the manager and Jesse talk about whether Jesse really loves performing. He says yes.

Averie gets a call from her parents. They are stuck at the airport maybe? She asks if they are in DC so I’m wondering if this Inn is near there? It seemed like they were flying from Florida.

Uh Oh. Jesse and his team are snowed in too. Guess they’ll have to go back to the Blue Spruce.

The Texas family is off to town for Christmas shopping. They are looking for a daycare but Averie offers to take their daughter to help decorate in Santa’s village. They plan to head over on a horse drawn carriage. Jesse shows up and squeezes in with them. The three of them help set up in the village. The theater owner proves himself to be a weird dude. Jesse asks if he can still stay at the Blue Spruce. Good news! His cabin is available.

Jesse and Averie have another heart to heart. Jesse loved the pace of touring. Averie just liked the music part of it. And then a bunch of kids attack them with snowballs. Averie’s phone rings. Susie calls with a terrible emergency and Ms. Selig overhears again. Susie hears Jesse on the phone and starts drooling. The most important thing though is that Susie is ALL OUT OF INGREDIENTS. She has to make ALL THE COOKIES. She needs Averie to go get all the ingredients. But Ms. Selig pops in to the kitchen to ask about running out of ingredients. She is super judgey and then leaves. Averie and Jesse agree to get the ingredients while she’s out taste testing the hot chocolate. If that woman is donating it, shouldn’t she get what she gets and then not get upset?

While in town, the seemingly sole city employee approaches them and gives Jesse some notes about his singing. Keep your day job, Arnold. They head to Ms. Edith’s. Is this just a hot chocolate shop? How would that stay in business? They must also sell coffee. OOOH. Jesse coming in with ideas. A customization stand for the hot chocolate. I am ALL IN. Their song comes on the radio and she asks them to change it. Is that the only song they ever sang? Oh, no they had other songs. Averie says she doesnt listen to their music at all. He is aghast. Do other people really like hearing the sound of their own voice? I could never listen to myself. And then they get a little trapped at the hot chocolate store with their song on repeat. Shouldn’t she be happy about that? She’s probably getting royalties.

They play dominos while stranded at the shop. Or actually, they make a tower of dominos. Because no one actually knows how to play dominos. Except old men in the park. Finally, they decide they can leave.

Back at the Inn, the “storm” was NBD. It’s time for a COOKIE MAKING MONTAGE. Are they putting frosting on each other’s faces? YOU BET. Because people are always doing that in real life. Except Averie and Jesse are like very delicate about putting a drop of frosting each on their noses. It’s weird.

After all the cookie making, Averie tells them she has a Christmas tradition. Whoever has the sweetest tradition will get the treasure box. This seems pretty subjective. Anyway, they all go around and share a memory. It is lovely. Averie decides that Marshall is the winner and they get a blue spruce seed to plant for their little pup. In my opinion, Dan had the best memory though. After the memory sharing, the crew very obviously clear out and leave Averie and Jesse alone. They go outside and have a lovely moment. They ALMOST KISS and then her parents show up. Great work parents!

The parents are so happy to see Jesse. And they are just peak parents in this moment. Marshall asks Jesse to record a lullaby for his homemade mobile. Susie will literally crap her pants about that. Marshall tells Jesse the story of how they met. And I’d watch that Hallmark movie. He said he used to dream about building skyscrapers and never thought he’d have a wife and kids. This is his dream now. But that doesn’t make me tear up.

The next morning, there are only 2 days left before the festival! Susie is just baking away. Another great sweater. They chat about her and Jesse. Averie’s parents are chatting away with Ms. Selig. Talking all about Averie’s childhood. Again being PEAK parents. She takes her parents outside and they tell her how proud they are of her. They go look at the property and then go see the city employee. He s doing like choir practice or something and we hear coughing and he is being super weird. It would be fine if he was like trying to prevent her from knowing they’re all sick but then he doesn’t shake the parents’ hands because it’s cold and flue season. He invites them to an ugly sweater party. That sounds fun!

One more day left before the big festival! Averie runs into Dan checking out the festival set up. She invites them to Arnold’s ugly sweater party. Dan says that Jesse is so happy to be at the Inn. Dan runs into Ms. Selig and seems interested in her. He invites her on a carriage ride, but she is so freaked out by “heights” (?) that she declines.

It’s time for the ugly sweater party. The theatre guy is being token weird. Averie and Jesse get their sweaters all tangled up. Then Arnold grabs him to introduce him to some fans. Susie encourages Averie to tell Jesse how she feels. I feel like Susie is just working SO hard and is anyone noticing besides me? Averie goes to talk to Jesse and overhears him tell Dan that the roads are clear so they can just leave. She storms out.

Later that night, Averie is sitting at her fire pit thinking about how sad she is. Ms. Selig approaches her. She purchased some s’more fixins and shares them with Averie. She tells her about her late husband. How he always wanted to travel and didn’t get to. She also said he loved to decorate for Christmas and Averie makes the Inn feel like home. Jesse shows up and poor Ms. Selig doesnt even get to finish her little treat.

She tells him she heard him tell Dan he wanted to leave. But guess what, she MISSED that he didn’t want to leave. They are ABOUT to kiss AGAIN but this ding a ling can’t keep her phone on silent. Arnold calls with ANOTHER emergency. The choir is all sick and can’t sing. No carollers tomorrow? Who cares, says everyone. But then they decide they will sing a duet. THE duet.

She talks to her parents and says she actually isn’t going to agree to sing. When she goes back to her cabin, she sees the guitar and starts singing the song. Jesse hears her and comes out of his room. I can’t tell how this Inn is set up. She calls everyone’s rooms “cabins” but are they all spread out around the property? She seems to be sitting on the same couch Jesse was sitting on when he was writing. Also WHERE HAS ROWDY BEEN. He’s such a good boy.

Averie and her parents and the rest of the crew, oh good, there’s Rowdy…all decorate the tree. WHAT TIME IS IT? They’ve had time to go to a party, have a heart to heart around the fire, play the guitar AND decorate the tree? Averie even changed out of her ugly sweater.

It’s the big day! The Yuletide Festival! Ms. Selig has a note on her door. Averie and Jesse made her roasted chestnuts. That was her husband’s favorite thing. I’ve never had them. I’ve never even seen them for purchase? Uh oh. It’s baby time! Susie and Marshall head to the hospital. Then Dan gets a phone call from a big time singer. He wants Jesse to join him for his last show and then maybe the rest of his tour. But, it’s tonight. What is with people asking people to sing with NO notice?

The festival is going great. Lots of people doing all the fun stuff. Arnold says he’s excited for the duet. Dan finally gets Ms. Selig on that carriage ride. The Texan family finally realizes who Averie is. Jesse tells Averie about the concert. She’s like, you have to go. Duh.

She talks to her parents about it. She is not sure she can just sing on her own. Everyone wants both of them. I’m telling you, no one will care if there are singers or not.

Jesse is back in this…common area? Watching himself and Averie sing again. Memories. It’s show time but no Jesse. She says she can’t sing Wouldn’t be Christmas Alone. Jesse shows up and says she won’t have to sing alone. He can’t imagine her not being there. He doesn’t want to be a one man band!! And then they KISS! But it’s not over. They go on stag and sing. Everyone is stoked. It’s a decent song.

It’s Christmas morning and everyone exchanges gifts. Susie loses it over the mobile as expected. Ms. Selig is also there. She says they didn’t win the best winter lodge prize, but they do win a different prize that comes with the same amount of money! What organization is this that can impulse donate an extra $60k. Then she says she’s going to Europe and does Dan want to go with her? DAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG Phylis. Jesse considers putting in a recording studio at the Blue Spruce Inn. Rowdy remains a good boy. And that’s it! Let’s see how we stacked up.

  • Small town girl
  • Workaholic too busy for Christmas
  • Jesse is trapped for at least a couple days in the small town.
  • Christmas, ahem Yuletide Festival
  • Christmas Tree Lighting
  • Christmas Baking
  • Snowball Fight
  • Christmas puns
  • A sassy and wise best friend
  • Christmas montage

Total Score: 10/20

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