Christmas Carousel

So this is our second Christmas Carousel movie of the season. So that’s something…noteworthy I guess. Is it also a time travel movie though? No. But it is our second ROYAL movie of the year. So that’s something.

Our movie begins with Lila, our leading lady, running an outdoor children’s program. She leads a group of children to her favorite childhood memory-a CHRISTMAS CAROUSEL. Her great grandpa built it and she and her dad restored it. A young girl selects the “wishing horse.” So she gets to make a wish on it. Apparently, all carousels have this? And then her boss or principle friend comes by to tell her that THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR JOB is available. OMG.

Later Lila does some woodworking or painting or something. Her dad wonders if she made a wish to find “Mr. Right.” She wonders if her dad might want to get back out there as well. IT’S BEEN EIGHT YEARS DAD. Then he asks her to get coffee and she makes a bad joke and he doesn’t get it at all.

Then Roy, Lilia’s dad gets a phone call. Seems like interesting news. The King of Ancadia has asked them to restore their royal carousel! So, now Roy and Lila are going to Ancadia (?) to restore a carousel. Then her friend calls about that JOB. She doesn’t know if she will apply for the program director job though. She wants to be able to still help her dad with his carousel restoration business. So anyway, these two are off to Ancadia!

They are greeted at the train by the royal assistant, Heidi. It’s all very lovely. Prince Whittaker will be overseeing the project. The assistant tells them that the restoration needs to be done in two weeks. Shouldn’t they have thought of all of this earlier? Like in the summer? Instead of making these two rush to restore a giant wooden carousel in two weeks in the dead of European winter?

When the carousel is clearly in sight, Heidi says, “almost there.” Duh. Okay so for real, Roy’s grandfather built like ALOT of carousels. And the wishing horse is his trademark. Lila runs into a man working on a ladder. He is very charming. They chit chat a little. Lila tells him she’s there to restore the carousel. He doesn’t let on that he’s actually the prince. But COME ON. He’s definitely the prince. They get all set up in the “royal cottage.” I am pretty sure it’s the same house as Glenbrooke Christmas.”

Later, Heidi fills the king in on everything. Then Mia, his granddaughter comes in singing. Who does she belong to? I never see her parents and I never hear what happened to them. Anyway, the king is a little stern with her. The king really wants to retire but he doesn’t think Whittaker is ready to take over. And he REALLY NEEDS TO GET MARRIED to do that.

Then Lila and Roy meet the king. DANG SHE IS SO TALL compared to her dad. And there he is, Prince Whittaker. LATE. Lila is surprised. And Whittaker doesn’t seem to care about royal protocol and all that. Then the Duke and his daughter arrive. They want to donate their “manor” to…something? Where are they going to live though? And Whittaker wants to use it for some kind of art program. The Duke is like, nah that sounds lame.

Then the Duke’s daughter, Margaret meets Roy and Lila. She is really sticking close to the prince. Roy and Lila get suckered into tea after that. WHAT EVEN TIME IS IT?! Heidi and Roy get a little friendly. Then Lila gets up very abruptly. It’s weird. She just wanders off. The prince followers her and apologizes for not telling her who he is. Then Margaret has to sidle up to the prince again. Lila tells them both she is also an art teacher. Whittaker lights up at that.

It’s finally time to get started on carousel. They are working on the whole thing outside. I feel like maybe they just wouldn’t do that in the winter. But what do I know? The prince shows up to work too! Lila finds an opportunity to subtly find out if Margaret is his girlfriend. Lila makes everyone uncomfortable when she digs in over whether Whittaker was trying to hit on her the day before.

Wow, these two are already taking a break eh? They leisurely stroll through the local Christmas Carnival. Roy tells Lila she should prepare to take over the family business. She’s like, no, yeah, definitely I will do that. Can’t wait!

There has just got to be a better way to restore the carousel than the way they are doing it. Lila struggles to make a horse’s leg look right. Whittaker takes her to look at some REAL horses. They have a nice moment with one of the horses. Whittaker tries to explain about all the articles in the “tabloids.” He is JUST FRIENDS with all those ladies, OKAY? Then Lila tells him about being an art teacher. She also tells him she is struggling whether to apply for the new job. Then Whittaker basically says he would also rather do art than be the king. So they’re the same in that sense.

Later, Whittaker just talks Lila’s ear off while she paints in the frigid outdoors with no gloves. But we do learn how much Whittaker likes art and why he wants to use the Duke’s manor for his art whatever. It’s boring. I’m not going to explain it all to you. Lila gives him some good advice to convince the Duke into selling or donating the manor to art I think.

Oh no. Now Whittaker and Lila want to put on a spontaneous Christmas pageant to help Whittaker convince the Duke to give them his manor. Oh, good grief. I don’t think I can take a Christmas pageant fundraising royal carousel movie.

Heidi stops by and invites Roy to their Christmas Tree Lighting. Then he and Heidi chat some more. Heidi gives him some good parenting advice too. Casual mention of her dead husband. So they’re both single. WINK. Roy asks Heidi if her kids ever try and set her up? Their kids both set them up on those APPS. It’s hopeless.

Lila and Whittaker strategize at a coffee shop. Whittaker teaches a monthly art class so he wonders if maybe he could showcase his student’s artwork. NO. DON’T DO THAT. Or, like you should have already planned to do that. What is the point of the art class otherwise? I don’t know actually. Then they need decide this MULTI DAY last minute art show needs music and also Whittaker should give a speech. OMG IT’S AN ART SHOW AND A CHRISTMAS EVE GALA. Time just flew by and now they are late to decorate trees at the palace.

Then Lila meets Mia. They light some candles around a small wooden carousel. This whole country is centered around carousels it seems. Wait, is THIS the tree lighting? The king wonders what kind of Christmas program Whittaker and Lila are cooking up. This is just nonsense. Then Mia pulls Lila away to pick out a SOLO for the Christmas program. Then the king makes sure Whittaker and Lila’s relationship is strictly professional. Also, is Mia trying to do an accent?

Later, we all have to hear Mia practice singing. Of note, Lila packed a lot of really nice clothes for someone who is supposed to be doing a lot of painting and woodworking.

Whittaker teases Roy and Lila about the wishing horse. But now Lila has to leave and do this silly art show nonsense instead of helping her dad do the job they were flown here for. And weren’t they planning to have to just work round the clock to get this all done in two weeks? Just wasting poor Ancadia’s tax dollars.

Instead of doing that work, Lila creeps on Whittaker’s art class. She gives some notes to the kids. Later, Roy doesn’t work on the carousel either. He goes to the Christmas Carnival with Heidi. Wait, did they already do the tree lighting? Was that candle business the tree lighting? They run into Whittaker, Lila and Mia. Who does Mia belong to? Where are her parents? Then Whittaker just stares at Lila for too long and she gets creeped out. Then Lila spots a necklace and says it’s “perfect for Christmas.” So then obviously Whittaker buys it for her. Then she gets a text about that gosh darn program director job. She really doesn’t think she could do it.

The king waits up for Whittaker and very sternly tells him they need to talk. He says Whittaker is spending TOO MUCH TIME with Lila. Art and Lila are getting in the way of the SERIOUS BUSINESS of being the prince. It is not a good talk. I think Whittaker cries.

The next day, Whit is painting away. He tells Lila that he and Heidi are going to hang the paintings. Lila thought they were going to do that together! NOT ANYMORE LILA.

At the art show, Heidi actually wonders why Lila isn’t there helping. Maybe because she has an actual paid job to do?!! DID EVERYONE FORGET ABOUT THE CAROUSEL or what?!! Heidi wonders if Whittaker’s dad talked to him about Lila. Heidi kind of gives Whittaker like, the opposite advice as his dad. That probably doesn’t help.

Roy notices Lila is pretty quiet too. Roy thinks Lila is just like her mom. Then he says something about Lila not speaking her mind or doing what she wants. I forget. Also, would they really just be using those little painter’s palettes to paint all these horses? Friendly reminder they are doing this OUTDOORS in the WINTER.

The next day, Lila and Whittaker decide to talk. They are FOR SURE looking out over the city and definitely not in front of a green screen. Whittaker wants to talk about “them.” Whittaker tells her that the king wants him to take Margaret to the Christmas Eve Gala. And basically marry her. He tells her that he’s avoided getting married because he is not quite ready to be king. Whittaker wants to tell Lila how he feels! She feels the same way?! What? We’re only an hour in. Oh, no she feels like they’re just friends. NO! Lila you idiot. Heidi asks how it went with Lila. It did not go as he hoped.

Whittaker whips out his phone to call Margaret and invites her to go to the Christmas Eve Gala! NO WHIT!

Okay so now it’s the stupid “Art of Christmas” event. Like, the carousel isn’t even part of this movie anymore? At least there’s no time travel. The Duke seems moved by some children’s art work. But will it be enough for whatever they’re trying to convince him to do? I don’t even remember anymore.

Then it’s time for Whittaker’s speech. Whit is totally melting down about it. Guys, NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR THESE SPEECHES. No one. Lila introduces Whit. I am not sure if she followed royal protocol at all. Whit heads on stage. He reads from his notecards. Just reads straight from the cards. It’s TERRIBLE so far. But then he thinks better of it and speaks from his heart. The king is surprised to hear people laugh at Whittaker’s jokes. The king seems to feel a type of way about his son’s speech. Then Whittaker catches up with the duke. It turns out that the prince’s proposal is still in the running. The king had a great time too!

Oh no. The king has never told Whittaker that he’s proud of him. I think that’s too heavy a subject for this movie. They are still concerned that the Duke hasn’t really FELT ART. So they think their best bet is to have Mia sing his favorite Christmas song. That will DEFINITELY work. Too bad Margaret can’t remember what it’s called!

Whittaker tries to to look through the Ancadia Christmas records to find the song. They wonder about the song called “The Coventry Carol.” Oh no. Now Lila sings the Coventry Carol first. And now she and Mia sing it together. Just staring at each other on Mia’s bed. It’s so painful to watch.

Whittaker tells Lila she was wonderful with Mia and wonderful in general. She feels the same about him! But wait, is she still friend zoning him or what? And he obviously bought that necklace. Then he makes it weird. And then she’s like, OKAY BYE!

Then Whittaker goes to speak to his dad. He is ready to talk about his feelings with the king. So Whittaker tells his dad he can’t take Margaret to the Gala. And his dad is like, totally. So Whittaker is like, wait what? The king said the art show changed his heart. The king actually says some nice things. So now Whittaker can marry Margaret. And then the king says he’s proud of him. So this is just lovely.

Margaret stops by the carousel. She is going to ruin everything. Margaret tells Lila that she’s going to the Gala with Whittaker. OF COURSE. So naturally, Lila has a little internal hissy fit.

Lila tearfully looks at her new necklace back at her cottage. She is just lounging in a bath robe. That’s not weird. Her dad comes in and Lila tells him she has an interview for the PROGRAM DIRECTOR JOB. She is going to leave TONIGHT to do the interview. He tells her he’s happy for her. She and her dad have a heart to heart about Whit. BUT SHE HAS EVERYTHING COMPLETELY WRONG.

Whit and Margaret have a heart to heart as well. He tells her he’s not in love with her. SHE ISN’T IN LOVE WITH HIM EITHER. Well, that’s good news. Also Margaret used the word “besotted.”

Whittaker looks for Lila at the Gala. She is talking to Mia before her performance. Mia says she’s going to miss her. Heidi and Roy have a nice moment too. Now it’s time for Mia’s solo. Oh no. She’s just singing it with no music. WHY. Anyway, the duke is very moved. Then Mia messes up a little bit. Then the duke joins her singing. That’s not weird. Lila is crying for some reason. Well that’s enough for the duke! He’s convinced. He is going to give the manor to the prince. Whittaker wants to go find Lila but Mia tells him she left already.

Whittaker is so confused and Margaret is like OH SHOOT. This is my fault. In the car, Lila keeps ignoring Whit’s calls. So like obviously this is really rude right? I mean, she should at least have said goodbye anyway and like, given them an invoice. Did they even finish the carousel? Or don’t we care about that anymore? Lila seems to have a realization in the car.

Whit’s last ditch plan is to make a wish on the wishing horse. Oh, help me Ronda. Nothing weird about a grown man in military regalia riding a carousel alone and then MAKING A WISH. How about drive after her? But well, no one learns any lessons because Lila came back. She wants to tell him how she feels. Then he tells her the wishing horse worked. And then instead of just turning around and leaving in light of THAT information, they KISS. But, I just don’t know what Lila expected. She told him she wanted to be friends.

Then Whit offers Lila the SAME “Program Director” job in Ancadia. Also, her dad can be the royal carousel caretaker. Well that wrapped up quite nicely for both of them. Just that small matter of MOVING ACROSS THE OCEAN.

Anyway, now it’s time to show Mia the carousel. The rest of the guests at the party are like, what are we? Chopped liver? Mia just totally short circuits when she sees it. And then they all ride on it together and have a lovely time. And that’s Christmas Carousel.

So this movie was honestly fine. There were some huge leaps in logic, certainly. And of course there is always trouble when you are trying to build out a fictional European country that is still actually governed by a monarchy. I also hated that they added in the “Art of Christmas” student art show story line but I suppose they needed some reason for the prince to be resistant to becoming the king some day. I guess it had to be because of “his art.” Doesn’t make me hate it any less. So that’s it! I don’t think it’s going to score very high on the checklist. There wasn’t many typical things happening in this movie. Total score 5/20.

  1. Clumsy Meet Cute
  2. Christmas Festival/Carnival
  3. Christmas Gala
  4. Christmas puns
  5. Nonsense drama

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