Hearts of Winter

This is the last movie in the WinterFest series. I have really enjoyed these. I love celebrating Winter for Winter’s sake. Also, this title has NOTHING to do with the plot of this movie. Hearts of Winter premiered on January 26 on the Hallmark Channel.

The movie begins with intro shots of people doing fancy place settings. Oh, looks like Jill is an interior decorator again. Here, her name is Bethany. Bethany seems like a perfectionist. Her friend/coworker is trying to rush her out the door to beat traffic. She is going to be on the news to talk about her book!

Bethany gets interviewed on a show called “Hello, Today”. She’s developed a system for interior design. She is trying to help bring meaning, abundance and peace into people’s homes.

At another house, a tween, (Zoe) makes pancakes for herself and is watching the show. Her dad, Grant is doing laundry….and failing. He turned her white skating or gymnastic leotard pink. Zoe reminds her dad that she wants to get some knickknacks to decorate the kitchen. She asks her dad to tell her the story about the pancake bowl they use.

Back on Hello, Today, Bethany announces that a family in Denver can win a home makeover! Yes, I’m in. Zoe writes down the contest info and she and her dad book it out the door.

After the show, the good news keeps coming. Her assistant/coworker says a magazine wants to cover the home makeover. But to get it done in time for the issue, they have to have it done in three weeks. Which means now people only have two days to enter! Doesn’t it seem like people would be really upset about that? Only getting two days to fill out the application?

Grant is a busy business man at work. Maybe he works at a ski lodge? He’s walking and talking with an employee with a clipboard. Very serious business.

His employees just keep hitting him with bad news. They overbooked a cooking lesson for guests and a sleigh is broken and there aren’t any others available. He is just stressed to the MAX.

Then we learn that the man wearing a chef apron that is just labeled as “Chef” is his best friend from high school, Joel. Zoe calls and asks if he got her the book she needed for her book report. She seems old enough to figure that out? He is too busy and didn’t get it done.

Bethany does a book reading of her book “The the Neat of Your Own Drum” at a bookstore. Oh, coincidence. They rush to the bookstore to pick something out. Bethany inserts herself into the conversation. She makes a suggestion-a book series that she loved as a kid. Zoe recognizes her from TV this morning. Bethany gives Grant a nice look. Also, Jill is definitely pregnant while filming this.

Back at home, Joel shows up to help make dinner for the guy and Zoe.

At Bethany’s, her brother shows up to say hi. She has a nice heart to heart with him about the contest and stuff. Her house is surprisingly not super modern.

Joel seems to do very little work. He has conspired with Zoe to enter this contest without her dad knowing. They agree that she reads and he’ll type. First of all, she’s reading way too fast. Second, he doesn’t even pretend to start typing. And finally, why can’t she type it herself?

Bethany sees the application and is so moved by it that she wants to choose them.

Later, Zoe has a skating lesson. She realizes the time and tries to hustle her dad along. Oh, now I see. Because the home makeover people are arriving. Grant is sort of…more chill than I thought he would be. Bethany shows up to the house with cameras and stuff behind her. They both realize they’ve met each other. If you told me that Zoe was a short 30 year old, I would believe you. They walk in and Bethany starts to take everything in. The camera people are just going crazy. The assistant seems to brush off the fact that Grant didn’t agree to let his home be photographed for the magazine spread. Or that he wasn’t the one that sent in the application.

Bethany is making plans and talking into the camera with all her ideas. Grant is growing more reluctant by the minute. Bethany finally realizes that Grant did not want to participate in this. Bethany goes back and forth between saying they are just making minor changes to saying things like “all this furniture has to go.” Then Bethany asks for an extra set of keys and he doesn’t have any. Not concerned about getting locked out? Then the assistant asks for a phto of the three of them. Now, normally for this photo, you would have Bethany take off her jacket. But Jill is pregnant so obviously the jacket stays on.

At bedtime, Grant tries to get Zoe to be more apprehensive of this whole thing. But it doesn’t work. Then they say a prayer that her mom used to say with her which is sweet. Then, Grant trips over Zoe’s skates at the bottom of the stairs. Grant should chill. He’s for real getting like all brand new interior for nothing.

Back at home, Bethany drinks “wine” with her coworker and realizes she needs to help Grant picture what she plans to do.

The next day, Bethany calls Grant at work. Bethany invites Grant to go furniture shopping with her. Wow this is ALOT like Jill’s Christmas movie. He agrees but he is a BUSY SINGLE DAD BUSINESS MAN so can she meet him at Zoe’s skating practice at 3?

Zoe practices skating and Grant watches. Bethany arrives. They talk about the makeover and talks about Bethany’s intentions for the house. She wants him to love it. Grant is like, okay we can go while Zoe finishes this practice. So, they have two hours to shop! At the furntiture store, Bethany tries to talk Grant into a couch that doesn’t look very comfortable. She cannot articulate what is wrong with the couch he has now. She wants him to close his eyes and visualize himself in the house with the furntiture. Grant is uncooperative. She immediately gives up on furniture. How about knickpacks and pillows? He COULD. NOT. CARE. LESS. I immediately start laughing at the thought of Jay being forced to do this after my death. It would be about the same. Except I’m not sure you could get him to three interior decoration stores. He reluctantly picks out a lamp and then he gives her a spare set of keys.

Later, Grant grumbles to the Chef. He suggests that Grant invite her to dinner at the restaurant. Bethany should be able to tell that all this stuff reminds him of his deceased wife so getting rid of everything all Willy nilly is probably hard for him. In the kitchen, Bethany almost tosses the special pancake bowl! He tells her it’s special to him and she immediately sets it aside. Then he invites her to dinner at the lodge and she is super stoked about that. I notice that she is wearing a GREAT pink sweater.

The next night, they meet for dinner. The hostess asks to JUST TAKE HER SCARF. Oh good, she got her jacket too. Another great sweater. The Chef, Joel, made them a special menu. Joel whisks Zoe off to see them make bananas foster. Grant tells Bethany she looks nice. Grant pours her wine but ol Jill can’t drink that! Even for pretend! Jill says she wants to honor the special bowl and suggests a shadow box. But he wants it to be used. Grant thinks about a display shelf. Then Grant agrees that he will have a better attitude about everything.

The next day, she has another heart to heart with her brother.

Later, Bethany and Grant try shopping again. They both joke around about a piece of art. Grant is drawn to a painting. Bethany asks what he likes about it. It’s a scene of a cabin in the winter in the woods. It reminds him of his grandparents’ cabin. He tells a very lovely story about it. Bethany is like cool but it doesn’t really go with anything. Actually she says it “goes with the whole theme” because he loves it. What if he had seen that painting of the dogs playing poker with each other and had a nice story about that? What would you have done then, Bethany?

Back at home, they show him the home office they put together. They have the desk looking out “On nature” which is just the houses across the street. But she did make a pillow for one of the chairs out of the old comforter in Zoe’s room, which he really loves.

Back at work, Grant is all Colorado business. He has a blazer, jeans and no tie. He can’t get Zoe. She says she’ll call Joel and ask for a ride. Shouldn’t that be Grant’s job…to arrange something? Joel’s phone goes straight to voicemail. Zoe very BOLDLY calls Bethany and asks for a ride. Brazen. How does she have her number?

Grant gets home and the girls are reading/discussing the book that Bethany suggested. Grant brought some treats home to say thank you. He notices that they have a new kitchen table.

The next day, Bethany talks to her assistant. She has some…news. Her video updates that she’s been posting have the internet “shipping” her and Grant. Everyone wants them to get together! Bethany has a modest 200k followers. Bethany is “trending” ever since the contest started.

Bethany does more silly visualization technices with Grant for pillows. Grant is not totally on board. But this approach leads to Grant picking the ugliest pillow. He hits her with the pillow. Winterfest’s version of a snowball fight! Zoe gets in on it. Later at a coffee shop, Joel meets the assistant.

They talk about when they’ll see each other next. Probably later tonight. Joel suggests taking her to do something fun. But he’s so busy with the cross country ski tour and the snowman building class…Oh, come on, GRANT!

Later, Bethany’s brother is back over. Didn’t he say something about having kids? Why is he over there all the time?

Grant calls Bethany to tell her that he will be at the house when she gets there tomorrow and he has a surprise for her. Her brother wonders if he needs to help her come up with an excuse to bail. She’s like, no, I’m good. And then the brother is like, oh you LIKE him.

Ugh. Bethany arrives the next day with the best sweater yet. Grant and Zoe are both being weird. Bethany wonders if we should bring in the tables first? Nope. They keep standing in the doorway and won’t let her in. Just tell her to get in the car for heaven’s sake, you weirdos.

At the lodge, they yell “surprise” when they approach a woman holding two sets of cross country skis. Bethany is like, cool the surprise is…exercise. No, no this sounds super fun! I can’t wait. I love to use every ounce of strength I have to move 25 feet through the snow. When they’re done with that, they make a snowman. Later, Bethany calls her assistant to check in. Somehow the assistant is not annoyed that Bethany isn’t helping. After she gets off the phone, they roast marshmallows. Bethany says she’s the kind of gal that accidentally lights her marshmallows on fire. The best way! Grant teachers her to get them golden brown. Joel agrees to like do everything for Zoe that evening. Truly Hallmark’s BEST wingman. I hope he gets together with the assistant for all his trouble.

Grant says they are going for a walk around the mountain. Bethany is like, but it’s dark and cold. He throws a scarf at her and says she should be fine. What happened to that big bulky yellow coat she was wearing earlier? That would do the trick. Grant gives Bethany a lesson on space.

Bethany says she hasn’t even thought about Grant’s house all day. She said it was nice to take a break. Even though she probably worked harder today than any day interior decorating They have a nice moment looking at each other and then it starts snowing.

He brings her back home. Then he tells her to stay in the car for a second. Oh, he opens her door for her. Now there are more surprises. They walk to the newly decorated patio and he shows her the lights. She is surprised. He hung them himself! Oof. I love that patio space but she has really short changed them with what she’s put together out there. It should be like an outdoor living room. My dream. He gives her a blanket and they have a moment and then poor Joel comes out with a frying pan. He thought they were raccoons. She leaves in a rush.

The next day, the assistant is like why are we meeting at a coffee shop. She’s like we have to get to the house! Bethany is like girl. We almost kissed. She is SO panicked about. And has lots of rational reasons to panic. But her assistant is like forget all that. She gives her some nice advice though.

Back at the house, I am relieved they weren’t done with the patio. They chat about what happens next after the contest. What will happen with her and Grant? Or her career? Who knows? The world is her oyster.

When Grant and Zoe arrive, Zoe shares that her skating practice went well. Zoe invites her to her skating exhibition. Grant is like, yeah come! Bethany agrees then. Love that blue top of hers.

It’s time for the skating exhibition. Oh good, Zoe is first. She’s even got a nice white leotard. Apparently she only started skating three months ago. Well that’s nice. Bethany is like, oh she’s gonna win. Grant is like oh no there’s no medals. He’s so happy about her performance that he hugs Bethany and picks her up? Dude, chill!

Back at the house, they’ve got a way too small entry way set up. Zoe’s skates fill up the whole drawer! They had all the shoes out by the front door before! This is not a solution. The rest of the house looks great. Bethany points out that they’re almost done which means she won’t be around anymore. It bums them all out.

Back at the house, Bethany films an intro for the spread. Grant and Zoe are all dressed up for the photos and video. She asks them what their favorite part. Grant says the free furniture! JK, the best part was having Bethany there. Oh boy. Was not expecting that! Oh they even made that painting work that Grant liked. Now it’s time for some pictures on the sofa. They take two pictures on the couch and apparently they are all done. Grant suggests pizzas for dinner. Bethany says NO, let’s cook. What! You’re passing up pizza?! Oh, Zoe helpfully reminds them that it’s taco Tuesdays.

Bethany looks out at the patio. It looks much better but he needs a big outdoor kitchen situation.

Oh boy, they are doing THE MOST-homemade tortillas. Zoe gets her mom’s bowl out and puts it on the edge of the counter absentmindedly and the bowl breaks. I audibly gasp. Even though I should have known. Bethany totally takes the blame for it. Grant is so sad. He says, let’s do dinner another night. The assistant comes in at the TOTAL WRONG TIME. Now Grant starts to totally unravel. He wants the glue. Girl, what are you doing with the glue? Rebecca (his wife) wanted to decorate this house and didn’t get the chance. Bethany is very nice about all of it.

At bedtime, Zoe is like, I need to tell you something about Bethany. He’s like not now. And then they say the special prayer. Oh, I didn’t notice the special handshake before.

The next day, Bethany is wearing a great camel (?) color sweater. She is looking at the photos from the house. The assistant is like, you should just call him.

At skating practice, Zoe finally admits that it was her fault that the bowl broke. Grant is like, oh well thanks for telling me. Zoe is like, see now you don’t have to be mad at her anymore. Grant is like, does she even want to be friends? Zoe is like, just do it? Tell her how you feel. What, like it’s hard?

Bethany talks about everything with her brother over some kind of Mexican takeout soup.

Grant mopes at the lodge with Joel. He asks Joel what he thinks of Bethany. Joel is like dude, she’s great. Grant is afraid to upset the apple cart. He says he’s not ready. Joel is like wait a minute. I’m not giving you an excuse to not go after something with Bethany.

Bethany preps for another talk show. I love her assistant’s sweater and shirt combo. The assistant reminds her to be present.

Bethany goes on the show. The host says all they want to know is if something is going on with her and Grant. Bethany says no, she hasn’t spoken to him since the contest ended. The host is like, oh you are disappointing a lot of viewers. Then the host asks to take a question from the audience. Well, guess what, the audience member is Grant. He says he misses her and wants her to come over for dinner. For pancakes. The assistant and Zoe pipe up too. THIS IS GREAT TELEVISION. Then they KISS. And Zoe comes up to hug her.

That night, Bethany arrives. Bethany is impressed by how Zoe has set everything up. Grant is standing outside. He hands her a glass of wine or something? Then Zoe pops out to say that next time they decorate her room, she wants turquoise. They look at each other and kiss again. We see them eating dinner from outside. Wait, are they not going to do something special with the pieces of the bowl?! I was waiting for like a cool mosaic thing? Really? Ugh. I guess that’s it.

And that wraps up WinterFest! I really liked these. Which was your favorite? My favorite was probably Winter in Vail.

Stay tuned for Valentine’s movies which start next week. No rest for the weary!

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