It’s our annual Mowry Sister Christmas Movie! I am not sure which one was in this one and whether it was the same one as last year. And I’m not bothering to look it up. But anyway, last year’s Mowry sister movie was a little silly, what with her “Jr. Staffer” promotion on the line. The preview to this movie suggested it involved time travel so I think we’re in for a real treat. It is also worth noting that this movie is our second time travel movie and our FIRST (of 2) Carousel movie of the season. Hallmark is nothing if not consistent. Let’s get after it.
Cheryl, our lead, is at her company Christmas party. She runs into a Senator and her granddaughter there. This may also be the Senator’s Christmas Eve party but I’m not sure. And I would really hope this Senator would be back in her home state celebrating Christmas with her family but maybe she just takes her work very seriously. LOL. Cheryl used to be an astronomer but now works…::gestures:: here? Cheryl reviews grant proposals now instead of astronimzing. She’s trying to finish up so she can take the train somewhere for Christmas. Also a group of Norwegian scientists just confirmed a comet she discovered maybe? So, what a disappointment her life has been.
Her sister Trish meets her at the bus stop. They talk about astronomy. Trish tells her she’s opening up her own restaurant. Cheryl is a little nervous about Trish starting a restaurant (again.) Cheryl keeps insisting that it’s SUCH A BIG RISK. To be fair, I would be reserved too if my sister wanted to open another restaurant after her first one failed. But anyway, they catch up on other stuff the drive home.
Their parents go ALL OUT decorating, of course. At home, Cheryl looks at a picture and remembers her science teacher. She died five years ago. She feels bad not spending more time with her.
That night, Cheryl and her sister go to the Christmas festivities in town. WHAT TIME IS IT? It was dark when Cheryl left. It was dark when Cheryl got home. And now they’re going BACK OUT? It’s the middle of the night ladies!!
At the Christmas Carnival, Cheryl tells Trish she went on a date with the mayor once. It didn’t go well. Then Cheryl runs into George and his TREE. He is wearing a Letterman’s jacket for some reason. Don’t worry, it’s just a jacket from the MIDDLE SCHOOL where he works. Why would they even make letterman style jackets for that school? Anyway, they seem really competitive with each other. After running into George, Cheryl wonders what her life would have been like if she hadn’t run into Phillip, her boss five years ago. She feels like a failure right now because she doesn’t get to do any personal astronomy. Then Cheryl sees a carousel. She wanders towards it but no one seems to be around. For some reason she gets on it. And then it starts moving!
Then she comes back to Trish. Cheryl tells her she got dizzy from the carousel. Trish is like, what carousel? Also, BYE. Then Terrence, the mayor, comes by and wonders about their date on Friday? Also, he’s not the mayor. Then she sees a poster that says “2015” on it. She sees George and he’s pretty sassy to her. And then she sees her old teacher Mrs. Nelson! And then she passes out. George catches her. He takes her to a cot in maybe a medical tent. Then she decides to tell George what’s going on. She thinks maybe she’s gone back in time. Naturally, he thinks she’s a crazy person.
Cheryl storms away and he follows her. She wants to find the carousel but George says there isn’t one. Doesn’t she notice he’s not even wearing the same jacket as before? She decides to walk home to clear her head. She sees city hall under construction. She heads to her parents’ house, not decorated for Christmas. Another person answers the door and doesn’t know who her parents are. She walks to their OLD house and sure enough, they’re there. Her mom wonders if she wants to bring some cookies to Mrs. Nelson. Cheryl gladly does it.
Cheryl is so happy to see her. Then she asks Mrs. Nelson if time travel is possible. Why don’t you ask her to go get her heart checked CHERYL!! Cheryl has absolutely zero chill about Mrs. Nelson.
Back at home, Cheryl seems to have resigned herself to this new reality. She and her mom reminisce and talk about getting a chance to do things different if they had the chance.
The next morning, a much more upbeat Cheryl comes down for breakfast. She strolls down the street and gives lots of good advice to people with her 20/20 vision. She runs into Terrence and promises not to wear an angora scarf because now she knows he’s allergic to it. Then she catches up with Mrs. Nelson. TELL HER TO GO TO THE GD DOCTOR CHERYL. Mrs. Nelson wants to check in on George and the science club. They walk in in the middle of his lecture and say “don’t let us disturb you!” But, well damage done, ladies! And then they keep whispering. Then Cheryl gives a very strange lecture to the kids. And them Mrs. Nelson suggests George and Cheryl work on the science club together. So then George suggests they go run errands together.
George asks her about her time travel dilemma. She is still back in time, of course. Then Cheryl tells George she has a date with Terrence. Later, Cheryl picks up her sister for brunch. They ALMOST run into Dr. Phillips but Cheryl dodges him. While they wait for their food, Trish asks her if something is up. Cheryl tells Trish she should try something new that isn’t restaurant related. Cheryl tries to talk to her out of opening a restaurant, knowing this first attempt will fail. Why can she try and talk Trish out of the restaurant stuff but not tell Mrs. Nelson to go get her heart checked?!! Then Cheryl heads to science club.
That day, the kids make rock candy with George. Now it’s Cheryl’s turn. They are trying to outdo each other. Unfortunately for Cheryl, she does a terrible job of explaining electrons. She is too smart. After class, she goes to Mrs. Nelson’s to debrief. She is trying to get Cheryl and George TOGETHER. TELL HER TO GO TO THE DOCTOR.
Later, she and George pick up a Christmas tree for Mrs. Nelson. They keep kind of competing with each other and trying to one up one another. She also tries to convince him she is from the future by telling him about an upcoming snowstorm. Then…a large gust of wind? Or maybe the tree itself? knocks them over. How about predicting Mrs. Nelson’s imminent death you’re doing nothing about?!
Later? The next day? The science club take a field trip to the Christmas Carnival. George says he was failing at school until he got into class with Cheryl. Competing with her helped him get his grades up. That’s cute. Then they play a carnival game and she wins a prize. Then Dr. Phillip accosts her. He is RELENTLESS in trying to meet with her. With George’s help she gets forced into meeting Dr. Phillip for coffee the following day.
Later, Cheryl gets VERY DRESSED UP for her date. I’ve never been that dressed up for a date. She apparently also left some brochures about real estate around for her sister. SUBTLE.
So then Cheryl and Terrence are on their date. Cheryl is so excited but I think she quickly realizes that Terrence is probably not the right fit. Terrence seems very focused on voters and supporters and all that. He is a politician THROUGH AND THROUGH.
Cheryl runs into George on her way home. He accompanies her the rest of the way. She tells him what a disaster the date was. George tells her how he became a teacher instead of going to med school. She tells him she’s dreading the interview the following day.
Cheryl interviews with Dr. Phillips the next day. She tries to botch the interview. But she actually just looks like she’s playing hardball. So he says he’s going to go back and sweeten her offer. Outside, she runs into Trish. She asks Trish if she’s looked at the real estate pamphlets yet.
Later, George and Cheryl go shopping together. George needs a gift for Mrs. Nelson. She tells George that changing the future is harder than she though. George wonders why she’s trying to fight fate? Then she finds a snow globe for Mrs. Nelson. What about sending an appointment reminder in the mail? George tells Cheryl he missed competing with her. And also just straight up MISSED HER. Cheryl has a confession too. She might also have missed him!!! So that’s where we are. She likes arguing with him. Then Cheryl’s weather prediction comes true.
More science club the next day! Cheryl is getting better at teaching. Then they both head to Mrs. Nelson’s house to decorate her tree. She’s spent more time with Mrs. Nelson than her own family! That is a very chubby litte tree they’ve selected for ol Mrs. Nelson! Then George hands her the gift they bought and gives Cheryl some of the credit. Then Cheryl says a very strange sentence-she points to some framed pictures and asks, “are those some of the students you taught science to?” How about, are those former students? Then Cheryl asks her about the future and time travel. Mrs. Nelson tells her to be present. Then she gives Cheryl a cute little ornament. I do think she’d probably want to know about a latent heart condition though, Cheryl. I don’t think that’s what she meant by just living in the moment.
Then George and Cheryl walk home. Cheryl says she enjoyed teaching. She says she was wrong about a lot of things this week, but mostly George! They are about to kiss but then she gets an important text from Mr. Phillips. He needs to meet ASAP. They promise to meet after. Cheryl finally is honest with Mr. Phillips. But he says he really thinks she could make a difference. He gives her until the following day to decide. She meets up with George and tells him she has to take the job. He is bummed but understands.
Then Cheryl apologizes to her sister and promises to be supportive of her inevitable restaurant failure. Then she goes to Mrs. Nelson for more advice. Well, what’s she supposed to do about George! Mrs. Nelson encourages Cheryl to tell George how she feels. Then Cheryl tells Mrs. Nelson how much she means to her. It’s a nice moment but Cheryl is basically now complicit in her death. Then Cheryl runs to the carnival to find George. Then she sees the carousel again! She tells George to come with her to see it. He sees it and follows her. She gets on and George doesn’t. As it spins around, Cheryl shouts that she’s falling in love with George. He is just standing there holding two ice creams looking confused.
She gets off the carousel and George isn’t there. She heads to her parents’ old house. Someone else lives there. They moved. She heads to their condo. Trish of course, notices that she changed her jacket THIS TIME. Then they all sample some desserts from Trish’s restaurant. She goes outside and sees the new city hall.
Then she just looks through a telescope on a sidewalk instead of trying to find George. Luckily he approaches her. He held on to her scarf for five years…but then like nothing happened between them in those five years? But he remembers everything so she really did time travel. But why didn’t they just start dating? Since now past Cheryl would have liked him, they could have started dating. Why would he have waited five years? I don’t understand. I mean, aren’t they both like in their late 30s or early 40s? They don’t have five years to dilly dally for heaven’s sake!!! Anyway, they go to the carnival together and ride the Ferris wheel and will probably be together now.
So overall, I enjoyed this movie. Time travel movies always get a little tricky but I feel this ending really did a disservice to the rest of the story. Also, I am placing the blame for Mrs. Nelson’s untimely death squarely on Cheryl’s shoulders. I hope she lives with that guilt for the rest of her life. Let’s see how this one ranks on the checklist. Dang, only 4/20. Unless I missed something?
- Clumsy re-meet cute
- Christmas Festival
- Someone working a corporate job instead of pursuing their dream
- A sassy and wise mentor