So here was the version of this movie everyone was asking for…Right? Time for US to come home? Except none of the people in this movie actually went home for Christmas. Are we going to do this again next year? Time for THEM? For those guys over there? To come home? Or are we done? (Sigh.) Let’s dive in.
Sarah, our lead, shares some good news about the outcome of a lawsuit with a store owner. Maybe he’s a tree lot owner. I’m not sure. It sounds like Sarah’s mom died recently and this was her case. The tree lot owner is so pleased, he just hands her a Christmas tree. THANKS! How is she going to get that home now?
Miraculously, she made it home with that tree. She chats won the phone her boss and telling him about her progress tying up all her mom’s loose ends. She has a little bit left to do before she heads back to Seattle. She tells him she is going to be all alone for Christmas this year. Walter is like okay that’s sad. But the firm is sending her a little something! Then she gets something in the mail. It is an invitation to spend Christmas at the Snowfall Inn.
Sarah decides to head to the Inn. She thinks it’s from her boss which honestly solves my main outstanding question from the preview. Why would you accept a stay at a hotel if you didn’t know who sent you. She runs into another woman outside. Her name is Karen. The Snowfall Inn is VERY LOVELY. The front desk manager asks Sarah if she’s stayed there before. She says Sarah looks very familiar. Nope! Or maybe yes? MYSTERY. Okay Sarah’s ROOM. Giant French doors and a Christmas tree.
Sarah runs into a little girl in the lobby that wants to hear the clock chime. Sarah moves the time up so the clock will chime. Then the Inn owner, Ben introduces himself. He gives her A Christmas Carol to read. She counts watching “A Muppet Christmas Carol” as reading the book. Ben book shames her for that.
Then Ben’s sister, Bess (yes, that is the name they gave her) arrives at the Inn. Ben is a busy Inn boy. They seem stoked to be roommates at the Inn. Look, I would…not be. Sarah meets Jasper? I think. He has a bunch of instruments. He says the trip is a gift from his wife. She must be dead.
Ben talks to Bess about…I don’t know, a Christmas party? He says buying the Inn is the best decision he made. He needed a change. Bess asks if he’s going to make gingerbread cookies with peppermint icing. I nearly spit out the chocolate peppermint cookie I’m eating to say “gross!” Because that sounds awful.
Ben slurps his soup in the lobby and realizes he’s grossing Sarah out. Sarah is sitting at the counter reading A Christmas Carol because that is the most comfortable place to read a book. Ben asks why she came to town. He invites her to participate in some of the Inn’s Christmas events. Sarah shares that her mom has the same ornament tradition as the Inn. Ben says he and his family used to come to the Snowfall Inn every year. So when it came up for sale, he just had to buy it.
Jasper plays guitar in his room and looks at a picture of his wife.
Sarah gets a voicemail from her boss. He’s like, no we got you a buy one appetizer get one half off coupon to Applebee’s. We would definitely not get you a multi night stay at a Christmas Inn. So Sarah heads down to the front desk to ask who made her reservation. So now we have a “And Then There Were None” situation. So Sarah must have been responsible for someone’s death and now it must be avenged…AT CHRISTMAS. Or a Secret Santa; what Ben said.
The next morning, Sarah remains unconcerned about who spent hundreds of dollars on her. She makes ornaments with Karen, who shares that she got divorced earlier this year. Ben arrives with some gold glitter. Karen says she stayed at the Inn thirty years ago. MORE MYSTERY?
Another guy, Owen arrives at the hotel with his daughter, Cassidy. He asks her if she thinks the hotel is LIT? She is not amused. He is stoked about the snow because he grew up around here. Cassidy seems a little down. Her mom must have died.
“Frenchie” arrives to chat with Ben at the front desk. She used to own the Inn and she sold it to Ben. She seems to be doing well for herself. The ancient cash register is jammed. Frenchie fixes it. She also brings Ben an old angel tree topper. Thank you…Ben says awkwardly.
Ben brings some extra blankets up to Jasper. He talks to Ben about his wife. He got the same invitation that Sarah did! Ben tells Sarah. Ben tells Sarah there is an Inn wide field trip to a Christmas Tree Farm where she can chat with Jasper. Jasper is sure that his wife made his hotel arrangements even though their cards are the same.
They go to a massive tree farm. The Inn guests have a lovely time. They’re pounding s’mores and laughing by the fire. That poor dad is trying so hard to connect with his daughter. She is texting with her friends. Her dad gets them hot chocolate.
Bess is ready for Ben to GET BACK OUT THERE. They take empty cups away from the hot chocolate stand. Cassie’s dad overhears her talking to her mom. She says she wishes she was with her mom. But her mom encourages her to have a good time with her dad. So she’s NOT DEAD.
Sarah makes suggestions for which tree Ben should get for the Inn. He tells her he used to be in finance. Then Sarah tells Ben she is a lawyer just like her mom. She planned to work with her mom but she took a job at a big firm in Seattle.
Sarah apologizes to Jasper. He apologizes too. He felt like his wife was still with him and that she planned this for him. So that is sad. Karen notices the card in Sarah and Jasper’s hand. She got one too! She thought she won a sweepstakes because she gives her personal info to anyone who asks for it apparently. Karen is not concerned about her identity getting stolen apparently. Also, who did all of these people murder, I wonder? Karen is still eating cookies by the time they get back to the Inn to investigate. Then another guy shows up. Ted. Karen seems to recognize him.
Sarah asks Karen how she knows Ted. They used to date in college! They got snowed in AT THIS LODGE. She thought they were going to get married but he got a job where he travelled ALL the time so it didn’t work. Karen thinks their time has passed.
Ben catches up with Sarah. He went through the last three months of reservations. There is one other mystery guest. Owen and Cassidy of course! Owen thought his brother got it for them. Sarah tries to help him connect with his teen daughter. Sarah suggests he just ask his daughter what she wants to do. PROBLEM SOLVED.
Sarah runs Bess. It still makes me angry that her name is Bess. Are parents really doing “Ben and Bess?” Then Sarah helps Bess decorate the tree.
Karen does some shopping in town and sees Ted holding a dog. She smiles but turns around and walks the other way. So what was that all about? WE NEVER KNOW.
Sarah and Ben play chess later. Sarah asks why he’s still at the Inn? Like instead of at home. Ben says he was engaged but she called it off. Sarah and Ben look at all the pictures in the hallway. There are lots of Ben and Bess as kids. Then Sarah sees a photo of HER MOM! And she is pregnant with Sarah presumably.
They sit outside by the fire and Sarah is not wearing a jacket. She is so shocked that her mom’s picture is on the wall. Ben offers to make her some tea inside. She opts to sit outside with no coat instead. He puts his gloves on her. That’s plenty!
Owen shows Sarah his identical invite. Sarah heads to the post office in town. She sees Ben. Sarah thanks him for the night before. Sarah notices the postmark in the postal shop is the same one on all the letters. So they were definitely mailed in town. Is that a thing? Ben is picking up boxes of lights for the tree lighting…but they look like presents…not light boxes.
Cassie stumbles through the piano in the lobby. Jasper stops by and helps her a little. Cassie says she’s been trying to teach herself to play. Jasper sings along. Owen is so happy that Cassie seems happy. He asks Jasper to give her lessons. Jasper thinks Cassie should teach Owen instead.
Later everyone helps decorate the tree. Ben gets cranberries for Sarah because she mentioned cranberries one time. Sarah shows Ben the ornament she made. It’s a cat for one of her mom’s cases she helped wrap up. Then Lacey starts singing a song. Then Jasper joins in. BECAUSE HE WROTE IT. The Inn has one of Jasper’s Christmas albums too! MYSTERY.
The next morning, Ted and Karen both reach for the coffee at the same time. Ted also got a mystery invite. OH TED AND KAREN are so cute. She invites him to the tree lighting that night.
Ben shovels the driveway. He doesn’t want Bess’s help. Bess is like, dude this Inn is hemorrhaging money. You are buying Christmas lights the most inefficient way possible. When are you going to give this all up?
Sarah wanders around the Inn looking for more pictures of her mom. That Christmas album was released the same year her mom was at the Inn. They go to look for more pictures. Sarah tells Ben about her mom. Sarah said she never missed a Christmas with her mom, until last year. She was just too busy with work that year. But then her mom died. Then they discover a group photo. Sarah and her parents, Jasper’s wife and Ted and Karen were all there. And baby Owen is in the picture too! For some reason, Sarah makes Jasper look at the picture outside. Jasper says he met Sarah’s parents! They drove his wife to him. Oh and his wife’s name was Sarah. So they named her after Jasper’s wife. That is really cute.
Karen recognizes the last person in the picture. Peter something. She can’t remember his last name. Then Karen takes Sarah shopping for a dress for the Christmas party. Karen tells her how things are going with Ted. Sarah finds a cute dress and makes it clear she doesn’t want to look nice for Ben. Karen asks if Sarah saw Ben in that sweater… WHICH ONE KAREN!!! Sarah says she has to go back to Seattle after Christmas so nothing’s happening.
At the Inn, Owen has a surprise for Cassie…Cassidy? He got a room set up for Cassie and her dad to play some music together. He says he wants to be part of something she loves. Oh cute. They play a little song together.
Karen and Ted catch up as they walk to the tree lighting. Ben and Sarah walk to the tree lighting. He complains that his gingerbread order fell through. Hmmm.. Sarah may know a thing or two about baking large quantities of gingerbread cookies. They all have a lovely time at the tree lighting. Sarah suggests looking at the books from 1984. They find Peter Sanderson and do a quick Quandary check. Ben remembers June Sanderson owns a bakery in town. Ben can’t go with her. He’s too busy.
Jasper films Cassie and Owen playing music together. So that is super cute. Owen asks Jasper to play with them at the Christmas party. But Jasper isn’t ready to perform again. At the bakery, one of the workers says Peter is her uncle. He will definitely be at the party. Karen does not care who paid for her entire week’s stay at the Inn.
Ben arrives into the kitchen to see all the guests making gingerbread cookies. Of course, Karen has a great gingerbread recipe. I figured this would call back to Sarah saying she baked gingerbread cookies for the whole neighborhood as a kid. They do not. This looks ALOT different than when my boys help make gingerbread cookies. Then they all have to get ready for the party.
It’s Christmas party time. Sarah and Ben have a nice moment dancing. Ben says he’s been thinking a lot about “us.” And then she sees Peter Sanderson. She asks him about the invitations. He got one too but he had to decline. Then he’s like OKAY BYE. So that all amounts to nothing. Sarah is pretty upset about all this. Literally no one else seems to care. Ben tells her how grateful he is that she’s there though. Sarah is like, thanks! But I’m leaving. She can’t leave her job Ben! She can’t make a living helping people in NYC for no money. Karen steps in to comfort Sarah.
Then Karen sees Frenchie, the old Inn owner. Sarah just wanders over to her. Frenchie decides to share what she did. She talks about the Inn that night in 1984. The Inn hadn’t had any guests in weeks and then all these people arrived because of the weather. So that night changed her life! Frenchie wanted to recreate some magic for Ben by inviting family of the same people. This whole reveal…I’m like, coming to terms with how all this actually went down and well… I don’t know what to say. I’m, disappointed? I’m confused? I HAVE REMAINING QUESTIONS. But I don’t care enough to ask them. Frenchie tells Sarah’s mom started the ornament tradition at the Inn! Frenchie tells Sarah that she stayed in touch with her mom.
Karen and Ted dance at the party. Ted keeps telling Karen how lovely she looks. Ted tells Karen that he’s been thinking a lot about her lately! He wants to have a second chance with her! Then Ben gives a speech and introduces Owen and Cassie. Cassie tries to coax Jasper up on stage. He decides to do it. Owen practically pees his pants in relief. So they all seem to know this Christmas song I’ve never heard of. Jasper totally saves poor Cassidy and Owen who are basically brand new to their instruments. So, good job Jasper.
Bess and Ben have a nice sibling moment. Ben says he talked to Sarah and it didn’t go well. Sarah finds Ben outside. He immediately gives her his coat. Also, I don’t like that. I don’t want to wear someone’s coat that’s too big for me. So then Sarah gives him a little speech. Then they head inside and then THEY KISS. So wait, what’s her plan? Is she going to quit her job in Seattle? Is she going to kind of just step in and take her mom’s old clients or firm? Oof I don’t care.
Okay so we are basically 0 for 2 this weekend. Nobody came home for Christmas. So there’s one problem. “US” is a bunch of people who don’t know each other. Can we be done with this? And also, can we have some actual compelling mysteries? Would a Christmas murder mystery be so bad? Would a Christmas remake of “And Then There Were None” be so bad? Come on you guys! Anyway, that’s that. Let’s rate it I guess. Only 3/20 unless I forgot something?
- Christmas Tree Lighting
- Christmas Baking
- Christmas puns