Okay so this is Danica McKellar’s movie. I didn’t love Christmas in Dollywood last year. I liked the scenes at Dollywood. Did not care for that movie. Also, seeing the movie “posters,” I was a little skeptical at the pairing for this movie. Would the story convince me that these two work together? Spoiler alert: NO. Let’s just get into it, okay?
The movie begins at a store where Kaylee tries on dresses for her office party. She is with her coworker and friend, Steven. They both work at the newspaper or magazine? She gets stopped outside by a woman who loves her column. She really helped this woman get ready to host her in-laws. So, good job, Kaylee.
Kaylee and Steven arrive at the office party. A guy at the party steps on the edge of her dress and rips it a little. There is a whole moment of wondering whether he should pay for the dress. She says no so he’s like OKAY BYE. Her boss, Malcolm, shows up and immediately notices Kaylee’s ripped dress. Malcolm tells Kaylee that he is retiring…not by choice.
Malcolm gives a speech and announces his retirement. The guy that stepped on Kaylee’s dress whispers to her that he heard Malcolm was great. She’s like, do you work here or something? But then he’s gone.
The next day at work, a bunch of people are clearing out their desks. They’ve all been fired. Then Kaylee’s new boss wants to talk to her. Oh, well look who it is? The guy that ripped her dress. His name is…Trip? For real. He tells her he had to make a bunch of layoffs. “Corporate” says! He tells her he is retiring her column because she makes too much money. She asks to write a goodbye column. Steven worries that he is next. Kaylee doesn’t think so because “entertainment” is important.
Kaylee types up her goodbye column in a MASSIVE apartment. She sits with perfect posture on her couch, much like I am doing now, with a massive plate of perfectly decorated Christmas cookies next to her. Kaylee opens some of her Christmas cards and then picks up her phone. She talks to her sister Amy. She’s coming home for Christmas! Tomorrow!
Back home in snowy California, Kaylee reunites with her sister Amy and her niece Charlotte. Amy wonders what happened to her Aspen plans. She grumbles about TRIP and getting fired. She doesn’t want to start her therapy practice because she loves writing too much.
Back at the newspaper, Trip gets an angry call from the hat guy in Christmas in Evergreen about cancelling Kaylee’s column. They need Kaylee’s column back because their readers were so furious about it getting cancelled. Trip didn’t do ANY research before cancelling columns willy nilly. And apparently all the newspaper subscriptions hinge on reading Kaylee’s column. I feel like maybe she should capitalize on that and like, start building her own brand instead.
Trip calls Kaylee. Kaylee just immediately hangs up on him. What in the world? Then Kaylee and Amy chit chat. Amy is so busy she can hardly keep up with the bakery. There is just NO TIME FOR LOVE. Kaylee tries to play matchmaker for Amy anyway. Kaylee rejects another call from Trip.
A few days later, Trip is still trying to call Kaylee. So instead of taking the call or reading the email, Kaylee deletes the email without reading it and then blocks him. Okay that is insane right? Rob, from the local paper asks her to do a guest post for them. She is TOO BUSY Christmas shopping and working for her sister I guess. So does she want a new job or not?
An exasperated Trip gets an all caps chat from his boss, Mr. Grantham. His assistant tries to make a pitch for Kaylee. So Trip decides to head to Pine Berry to track Kaylee down. The Inn owner, Mary, has NO CHILL and asks Tripp like 1000 personal and super nosy questions. Anyway, at the end of all that, he finds out where to find Kaylee.
Trip shows up at the bakery. He finally gets to offer her the column back. She now doesn’t want to do it? Really? Wait, why didn’t she just take her job back? I don’t understand. So Trip says he’s not leaving until she accepts the job. Kaylee says she is going to write for the Pine Berry newspaper. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Now Kaylee has a bunch of ideas for a local column. Kaylee pitches her idea to Rob. He’s on board. Rob wonders if Amy likes the idea. SUBTLE. Then Kaylee writes her first column. Also, each column will also coincide with spur of the moment town events that everyone will hopefully be free to participate in. So let’s hope that works out.
Kaylee runs into Tripp the next morning. She invites him to the first event from her column. I believe she said the event is at the tree farm. So last night she wrote this new column that sends everyone in town out to the tree farm. Because everyone is reading the column and nobody has anything else to do.
Kaylee leads a group of people through a…meditation exercise? I’m not sure. I’m not sure why any of that was necessary. Why does she have to give a speech? Did all of these people really just read her column and say, well I guess we better head to this tree farm in the middle of a work day? After that FUN group activity, Kaylee and Trip wander through the trees. Who are they picking one out for? Are people really not getting their tree until two weeks before Christmas? Anyway, Trip reminds her that a fake Christmas tree would save quite a bit of money. Trip spent Christmas at the country club every year and got some new tech gadget for his gifts. Then they find their tree. Neither of them know what they’re doing but Trip won’t let her cut down the tree. Then Trip gets the tree all loaded up.
Trip sits in the lobby drinking and reading Kaylee’s column like a real life villain. My mom grumbles about Kaylee’s pajamas. Then Steven calls and says he’s coming home for Christmas too.
Amy wonders how Steven is doing. Then Amy mentions that Kaylee hasn’t been home in five years, ever since Dan left two weeks before their Christmas Eve wedding.
The next day, Trip compliments Kaylee on her second column. He asks if she ever got her dress fixed. Who cares? Is she ever going to wear it again? No. Then Kaylee invites Trip to go ice skating that night. Because that is the second impromptu Christmas event hosted by the newspaper. Trip actually already knows how to ice skate. Then Trip says he actually read her column. He tries to explain what he was thinking when he cancelled her column. She tells him how she got the column in the first place. Then she says she wrote a romance novel too. He offers to introduce her to the company’s “book publishing arm.” But she doesn’t want to be introduced.
Then Amy calls because Charlotte hurt her arm on some ice while performing at a retirement home. She runs into Dan there. Oh no. Dan is the doctor that helped Charlotte. Tripp seems like the villian first boyfriend that Kaylee dumps for this guy, Dan. Then Dan apologizes. Then he asks her to go out for coffee. In a different movie, they would get back together. Back at Amy’s, Kaylee invites Trip in for hot chocolate. I AM ROOTING FOR DAN at this point.
Outside, Trip asks Kaylee about Dan. Kaylee opens up about what happened with Dan. Then he says anyone would be lucky to have her…for WORK PURPOSES.
Trip gets a call from Mr. Grantham. He is the weirdest villain. He wants to cut all the other columns to once a week to make up for Kaylee’s column. How much are they paying her? So now Trip is calling everyone and giving them the bad news…in the lobby of his hotel instead of in the privacy of his room.
That night, Kaylee runs into her high school English teacher. He is very proud of her. He encourages her to call him by his first name but NO WAY. Creative writing comes up again. Then Kaylee and Trip skate around and laugh and laugh. Trip wonders how she stays so positive. He tries again to talk Kaylee into working at the paper. She asks why he picked her column to cut. Instead of saying what was likely the truth…that she was probably paid the most, he says he thought the content was pretty trivial. Then Kaylee mentions Steven. That seems to send Trip into a panic. But he doesn’t have a chance to explain before Kaylee gets up to see Steven.
Kaylee runs over and hugs Steven. He has some news. His column was cut to once a week. So now they’re both mad at Trip again.
Back at Amy’s house, Kaylee and Steve talk about the newspaper. Kaylee wonders if she was too hard on Trip. Steven thinks she wasn’t HARSH ENOUGH. But actually she was being too harsh. She is a hysterical lunatic. Then they brainstorm for their next column idea. They have to ask Dan’s friend if they can host the third impromptu event there the next day. Dan stops by. I am STILL TOTALLY ON TEAM DAN. Dan tells Kaylee he is at a crossroads in his life. He could potentially stay in Pine Berry. So wait, who is the lead in this movie! Dan says he blamed her for not following him to Haiti. Steven connects with Ben, the bar owner. Ben flies to New York ALL THE TIME. Well, then.
That night at the party, that everyone in town is available to attend, Kaylee gives another speech. Trip takes the mike and offers to pay for drinks for the first 30 minutes. And then Dan take the next hour after that.
Ben and Steven chat over “Clause-mopolitans.” They decide to get dinner the next night! Kaylee’s teacher found love too with the super nosy Inn manager. Trip approaches. He apologizes about Steven. Trip says he’s been questioning his current job because its all busy business and not personal. Trip said he always wanted to be a reporter. Then Tripp and Dan both buy Kaylee a drink. Then Dan whisks her off to catch up with friends from high school.
That night, Kaylee works on the final chapter of her novel. Again, perfect posture. Amy is proud of her.
Trip talks to Amy at the bakery the next morning. He isn’t sure what to do. Trip tells her that work is piling up but he really likes it there. Amy invites Trip to dinner at their house that night.
Kaylee freaks over this information. Whatever Kaylee is planning to make sounds horrible. Amy does not think she can handle the menu she is planning. Kaylee says she is supposed to get out of her comfort zone…but you also shouldn’t serve new recipes for guests Kaylee! Trip arrives for dinner. And then Dan arrives. So Kaylee invites him to stay too. FUN.
They all sit down to dinner. They all ask what they are having. Dan chokes it down. Everyone else pretends to like it too. Then Amy says she made pie and everyone is so relieved. But Amy didn’t actually put them in the oven, Kaylee did…at 475… so the pies literally catch on fire. AMY, you should know better. Then a night of Christmas hilarity ensues. Singing, ugly sweaters, and charades. Kaylee walks Dan to the door. He is moving back to Pine Berry and he wants to give “us” another shot. Yeah I definitely want him to win. Let’s make it work this time Kaylee! Then Kaylee walks Trip out. He reiterates that he likes their house. They sit down and talk more. The novel comes up again. Trip wants her to work on getting it published. And he wants to read it.
So Trip reads it. And now he wants to publish the novel. Mr. Grantham wants to syndicate the column and offer her a book deal. So…Kaylee is mad about all of this. Kaylee thinks he used the novel to keep his job. WHAT. Kaylee. If the novel sucked it would have been very embarrassing for him. It wouldn’t have been leverage. So what in the world are you doing Kaylee! She is furious that he basically came up with an amazing opportunity for her in less than a day.
Trip checks out the next morning. There is some kind of breakfast event at the Inn so Mary stops by to tell Kaylee that Trip actually quit the Globe too and thought she was really special. So what do you have to say for yourself now, Kaylee?!
That night there is some kind of Christmas party. Amy and Rob seem to have connected as well. Rob asks her on a date even. Then Steven arrives with Ben! Steven asks Kaylee what she’s going to do to? She is going to clear out her apartment and stay in Pine Berry. But why? I do honestly feel like that came out of nowhere. At this point, there is literally no reason for her to move home. Steven plans to come visit next month since Ben can get him tickets for free. So that works out.
Kaylee gives another nonsensical speech to the group. Dan shows up. So okay! Are they going to get back together! Well never mind. He’s going back to Haiti. Ugh. I really wanted them to work out. Steven pops back by. Then Trip shows up. She and Steven can both have their columns back. They can work wherever they want too. Trip wants to be a business reporter now! In San Francisco. So he isn’t even going to be their boss. Also, what about the rest of the columnists. Also, how many columnists are there? I’m beginning to think these cuts were necessary. Also, Kaylee has finally come to her senses and WANTS to publish her novel. And probably stay in Pine Berry. So then Trip and Kaylee dance and then they Kiss.
Whew. Guys. This movie was terrible. I hated it from almost top to bottom. I do like the concept of the lead actually falling for the busy business boy rather than the hometown ex boyfriend but I just didn’t think it worked here. I didn’t see the two leads together at all. Trip just seemed way too old and just…not a good fit for her. He just looks like he is supposed to be the bad guy in this movie! And I liked Dan. Also, I thought Kaylee was pretty irrational from start to finish as well. So that was frustrating. Let’s rate it, shall we? Total score: 6/20
- Workaholic too busy for Christmas
- Clumsy meet cute
- Winter Athletics
- Christmas puns
- Nonsense drama
- A sassy and wise best friend