Gingerbread Miracle

Okay guys, here we are at the end of week THREE and the beginning of the week’s recaps. I knew very little about this movie going in, other than they were going to try and blend gingerbread cookie baking with Mexican Christmas traditions. Boy are we in for a wild ride. Let’s dive in to Gingerbread Miracle, which aired on the Hallmark Channel on November 5.

The movie begins with some baking action shots. Anyone else accidentally roll their gingerbread cookies too thin?

Our leading lady, Maya, runs in the winter without even a headband! She is braver than I! I see these runners, and I want to be them but I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. Her parents have just COVERED their house from head to toe in Christmas décor. Casually making peppermint bark. What time of day is it? Wait how old are we expecting Maya to be? Guys, I think her mom even painted their cabinets for Christmas.

Busy business boy, Alex, snoozes on his couch in his office. THE DREAM honestly. His law firm is decked out to the max with Christmas décor as well. I wonder if this little lawyer is up for “junior partner.” Poor Ale is little disheveled mess. He missed a date working on a project and the partner couldn’t care less. He’s off in Aspen! Can’t be bothered to even read it now.

At the local Mexican bakery in Xavier, Maya learns the lore about someone making a gingerbread cookie for someone and the wish will come true. Is that that? Yes. I think it is Luis, the bakery owner specifically. He has to make the cookie for you specifically and then the wish will come true. My mom tells me later this should have been called Gingerbread Wish because wishing on the gingerbread is what makes the things happen. So “miracle” is the wrong word.” Anyway, Luis has made her a red briefcase cookie. (DON’T FORGET THIS).

Luis wants to talk to her. He thinks the magic is gone for him re gingerbread. He sees his wife everywhere? He wants her to help him sell the bakery. Oh she’s a “freelance contracts attorney.” Oh boy. I am going to struggle with this movie. “Freelance Attorney.” Hahahahahahahaahaha. Anyway, Luis is having an earnest conversation about who will take over the bakery. She promises to help him find a buyer because IT’S ALL THE SAME, RIGHT?

Poor Alex tries to make up for missing his date with Kim with a poinsettia. She slams the door on his face. Fair.

Maya calls her real estate friend about the bakery. I think this person will list the bakery. I mean if a real estate agent would be listing the space…you wouldn’t need to like take over the whole business right? You could turn it in to whatever you want? Maya is trying to talk up the Mexican bakery business but maybe that is to demonstrate that it is a viable space for some type of other food-based business? I wouldn’t know. I’m not a “freelance contracts attorney.”

Outside the bakery, a reporter friend of Maya’s “Brooke” talks to her about writing a good review and the cute veterinarian she likes who is a blonde adult man. So that’s that. Guys, there are A LOT of blonde adult men in this movie. And by A LOT, I mean 2, which is plenty.

Alex in a v-neck sweater and THICK GOLD CHAIN around his neck throws away his sad little birthday dinner. He makes himself something way better. Why didn’t he do that in the first place? He used about .10 of the items he chops up on the actual taco. Then he makes a call but his cell phone makes a dial connection sound that you only hear on land lines from a million years ago.

Maya answers the phone. The bakery belongs to HIS UNCLE. She remembered that it was his birthday too. Alex tells her it was nice to hear her voice. Luis tells Alex that Maya is working for him again? But as an attorney; a “freelance” attorney to be clear you guys. He breaks the news to Alex that he’s selling the bakery.

Maya has the CUTEST DANG SWEATER. She gets an email about a “second interview” at a law firm perhaps? And she seems stoked. But doesn’t even read the email! She sees the subject line and runs off. Then she heads to her parents’ house to get her sister Sydney to go get a tree. Seems like a family activity but whatever. At the tree lot, we learn from Sydney that Maya has an ex-husband and that she is trying to get a more stable job. Well DUH.

So, the girls and their VERY GOOD DOG with one black ear and one white ear go look for a tree. Alex and Luis go looking for a tree too. For a family that is crazy about Christmas, they sure get their trees late. Alex sees Maya. He decides to say hi. And Sydney just drops Dasher’s leash to take a picture. Dasher, who’s name seems fitting, sees a cat and bolts. Maybe you shouldn’t bring a dog to the tree lot if he isn’t well behaved (says a person with a long history of owning poorly behaved dogs). In the chaos, Maya and Alex literally run into each other. They catch up about selling the bakery. She tells Alex that she ONLY DOES CONTRACTS YOU GUYS. She is going to dabble in real estate transactions this one time, but she ONLY DOES CONTRACTS. Freelance. No wonder she is struggling to find clients.

Alex wants to help but Maya doesn’t think it’s enough work for both of them plus her real estate agent. I mean, yeah that’s accurate. But really, I think she just doesn’t want to split the fee! Dasher with the BIG BLUE EYES barks to remind everyone what a VERY GOOD BOY he is and what a very BAD BOY the cat was.

Back at Luis’s, Alex and Luis decorate their tree and talk about whether they should paint one of their walls magenta. Luis tells him they are hosting an event at the bakery and I need to turn on captions so I can see how all these Spanish words are spelled. Luis wants to make sure that Alex is being treated fairly at his law firm. That’s nice.

Maya and her girls have a little gab sesh. Oh wait is this Sydney and Brooke? So Alex was her big time crush in high school but he thought she had a French boyfriend and left for college and never spoke again? She tells a story about writing him a note and leaving it in his jacket before studying abroad in high school. Why not make this a story about college study abroad? Wouldn’t that be more believable? I mean, I know that people DO study abroad in high school, I just don’t know of anyone who did.

Alex catches up with the kid who works at the bakery. He really wants to play hockey in college but competition is steep! He bites into a hockey gingerbread cookie in hopes that his wish will come true. Alex tells him it won’t come true because he made it, not Luis. Alex runs into his old bro ham Ian, the blonde veterinarian. He said he’s very busy today cleaning cat’s teeth. Surely that can’t be the bulk of a vet’s work? I would imagine it’s a lot of snipping if you know what I mean.

Sydney, boy this really is a family affair isn’t it? Her sister takes very artsy pictures to post on the real estate listing. THEY ARE ALL IN BLACK IN WHITE. This bakery is SO COLORFUL AND BEAUTIFUL and they’re turning the pictures black and white. Have you ever seen a black and white photo in a real estate listing? WHY. And then just an artsy photo of Luis’s hands. Like I love it but what has that got to do with the bakery space. How is that going to sell this property?!

Wow we already are in montage territory. Alex shuts down everyone interested in buying the space. All in all, Alex shut down 8 potential buyers. Maya has a REAL AX TO GRIND AGAINST ALEX in general.

Then another blonde adult comes by to check out the bakery. I think this is the famous baker she saw online earlier. Alex is crushing this scene. This blondie was “Blown Away” by the photos. The BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS. Jacque makes the mistake of assuming that French and Mexican bakeries are the same. How dare he. Guys they both call this guy gorgeous and well, her? Anyway, Alex really doesn’t want anyone to buy this.

They invite Jacque to the Christmas Games that weekend. He wants to do a full tour of the place this weekend with his mom. Is that weird? Also, I think he refers to his mom as “mom” to people who are not his siblings.  

Alex vents to Ian about Jacque. Guys, what am I missing? Am I, a blonde female, just biased against blonde males?  Brooke the reporter strolls by and she and Ian awkwardly flirt. Brooke totally keeps her cool when meeting Alex. Very impressive. After she leaves, Alex NOTICES that Ian likes her.

Maya vents to her mom about Alex too. They are stuffing name tags into lanyards for the event. Sounds TEDIUOUS. What does Sydney do besides freeload off her parents and take black and white pictures? Also, why is Hallmark obsessed with the instrumental version of “I Saw Three Ships”? I’m not complaining, just observing.

So, the Christmas Event is “The Games.” How many adults…? Ugh. Is there a single town in THESE UNITED STATES that hosts such an event in real life? That the whole town wants to do? Do grown adults really want to compete in an obstacle course made of gingerbread?

Alex does some stress cooking. Look, now he’s using everything he chops.

Maya wears glasses in the dining area so you know she’s working hard. Alex offers her some carne asada and Maya raves about it. She’s like why didn’t you become a baker or a chef? And he explains why he had to choose a practical route. And my experience is not his at all but obviously the legal field would be a much more sure/stable career I imagine. Maya explains why she got divorced and left her law firm. He offers to help her study for her interview. I hope she is studying something besides contracts.

WOW the parents’ sweaters. They get a box of sailboat cookies and know immediately Alex made them. I wonder why you can only make wishes on Luis’s cookies? Is that just a Luis thing or a Mexican thing? Is there gingerbread in Mexico?

Okay now Luis is explaining it in an interview so everybody just be quiet. He talks about his parents moving to Denver and making their version of gingerbread cookies. She made special, personalized cookies for everyone. And whenever she made the cookies, something magical would happen to whoever got the cookie. WOW. After the interview, Alex gives Brooke and Sydney individual cookies as a thank you. Are they making just one cookie at a time or what is happening with the dough?

Then they run into Blondie Jacque. Jacque thinks Maya and Alex are dating but Maya is like NO WAY and Alex is like whoa that is a strong reaction and Maya is like well yeah, we’re not dating so. Jacque is like, also I’m an adult man and would like to participate in the obstacle course. Do you think too many adults have already signed up to do so as well? Maya is like, no! There aren’t enough completely insane adults in this town so there’s plenty of room for you.

Okay now we finally get to see the obstacle course. So far, I see three small gingerbread houses on a table. Okay I get it. They have to CARRY a gingerbread house on a cookie sheet. This is like youth group all over again. I am fine sitting and watching! They have to climb up and down a bouncy slide holding the house with one hand.  Next they must speed decorate these stupid houses. Is Maya doing this all in jeans? Now more decorating? After the icing has likely already set? I don’t understand. Do they just decorate until the timer goes off? Maya and Alex run into each other after getting spun around so Jacque wins. TWIST.

Then they take Jacque and his mom to see the bakery. In the kitchen, Alex admits he is just sad about selling the bakery. WELL DUH.

Ugh these idiots. They’re going to make a huge mess in this kitchen. Hallmark, PLEASE no more food fights. Luckily Luis stops them. Then they go over the numbers with Jacque and I realize he’s wearing a burnt orange turtleneck. Bless his heart. Jacque’s mom wants to show case Sydney’s basic bee photography in the gallery. Update, Jacque is wearing a MOCKNECK. Why?

Guys how old is Syd? She’s very excited about the photography sale. Maya’s mom has five new events to plan after THE GAMES including the party at the bakery. SO things are going well Dash, WHO REMAINS A VERY GOOD BOY, reminds them not to forget about him during group hugs.

Alex’s boss sends him a note that he hasn’t read his report yet. The one he had to work on all night ON HIS BIRTHDAY to get to him on time.

Syd tells Maya that she wished on her camera cookie and the ball started rolling on her photography business.

Syd and Maya have an awkwardly scripted sister exchange but I don’t listen because I think about how their kitchen is bigger than my house house.

Alex kind of admits that he’s jealous of Maya dating “perfect Jacque.” Again, what am I missing here? In the meantime, Alex makes another solitary cookie for Jacque. Then he just tosses it in the trash and starts again.

Later, Alex stops by or dang, just WALKS IN to Maya’s house. He made “way too much” tortilla soup. Yeah right. Guys this garage apartment is INSANE. Like how big is the garage? He also shares the Giant solitary cookie he made for Jacque.

Now it’s time for Maya’s interview! We don’t get to see it at all. But we do see Maya stopping by Jacque’s bakery. He says his wish out loud like he’s never made a wish before. He calls the taste “interesting.” He takes ONE solitary bite and sets it down like an ANIMAL. He then invites her to have dinner with him. WHAT AM I MISSING.

Maya and Brooke go ice skating wearing the most lovely winter sweaters. Like I NEED THAT RED SWEATER. Maya calls Jacque insanely gorgeous. Guys, again, her?

Then Alex and Ian show up to ice skate. Just two bros, bro-ing out at open skate. Both leads can skate! That’s new. Are they calling the Christmas Eve event the casada? Isn’t that wedding? Maya asks how he got into mergers and acquisitions and his reply is that he’s a basic bee. Maya thinks Luis would be proud if Alex was a baker. I doubt it.

Then the little hockey employee skates over and says so many wrong things in a matter of 30 seconds I had to pause the movie to get it all down. First, scholarship to “Oregon College” not a real place, that’s fine. But also, hockey isn’t super popular in Oregon so I doubt any of the schools are in a position to offer scholarships for any semblance of a hockey program they might have. Then he says they saw film from when he “almost scored that double hat trick.” Which means he almost scored 6 points HIMSELF in a hockey game. Pause this and go check the average score of a hockey game. Even check the score of a high school game. I promise it is not that high. And for this sweet little mouse to have nearly scored 6 points himself IS STRAIGHT UP NONSENSE and I will NOT JUST LET IT GO. Whatever, the gingerbread magic apparently incorporates whatever nonsense it must to make these wishes come true.

Ian and Brooke finally hit it off. Alex admits he’s only made one wish on a gingerbread cookie in his life back when he was a teen.

Then Alex admits to Maya what happened with the letter and his jacket. He didn’t find the letter until WAY TOO LATE. After this special moment, her phone buzzes and she decides to see who called. Hahahahah it’s an offer letter. Sent via email in the middle of the night. They hug and he says he’s proud of her. Oh yuck. They both say they want to kiss each other but then they don’t.

Maya facetimes with her new boss and she realizes she’s been swindled by this law firm. They need her doing CONTRACTS 24/7. And that everyone else quit because they were burnt out. But that’s the life of big law!

Meanwhile, Alex looks at his high school yearbook and re reads Maya’s letter.

Maya talks to her sister and friend about why Alex suddenly decided to make a move now. And how she’s torn about joining the law firm.

At the bakery, Alex does some work ON CHRISTMAS EVE. I missed what he had to do.

The girls get the bakery all set up for the party. While they set up, Maya and her mom have a nice heart to heart. Maya inspired her mom to take the plunge and open her own event planning business.

Little hockey mouse and Alex have a nice time in the kitchen but Alex. I can’t tell if Alex is being a grump or not? Luis and Alex have a nice discussion in the kitchen. Where are his parents though? He mentioned them earlier but it doesn’t seem like they’re around now.

Later, it’s time for caroling. I think they call it something else but I didn’t catch it. They are carrying Mary and Joseph as they go. Also, I feel like nobody carols in real life anymore.

This is a dressy party! Jacque and his mother arrive. As I mentioned earlier, Jacque refers to his mom as if she is everyone’s mom. As in “oh, where should I put Mom’s purse.” I don’t know Jacque. She’s not MY MOM. In the kitchen, Maya sees Alex’s RED BRIEFCASE. Just like the cookie Luis made her! OMG. Anyone remember?

The carolers arrive. They sing a specific Christmas carol and everyone just looks at them creepily. It’s like a whole back and forth exchange. This is cute. Syd shares with her family that she is going to be working at the photography gallery in Denver. Maya says she’s not going to move. But now Syd’s leaving! So that’s sad.

Luis and Alex talk seriously in the kitchen. Luis says he noticed that the wishes are coming true again now that Alex is baking the cookies. So that’s interesting.

Maya heads outside and sees Jacque. He says this is a really special bakery. Then, he tells her he’s just been incentivized by his landlord to keep his bakery where it is. Alex shows up and tells them both that he wants to take over the bakery.

Now it’s time for Alex and Maya to have their moment. She tells him she doesn’t like Jacque (finally) and that she’s not taking the big law job. Alex asks her on a date and they kiss and it starts snowing.

Guys this movie was WILD. Absolutely WILD. I loved the gingerbread baking component. I laughed A LOT as I remembered how Hallmark does basically ZERO research on the careers it gives its leads. And I continue to scratch my head over the enthusiasm of the adults that compete in this obstacle course scenarios. And finally, BLACK AND WHITE REAL ESTATE PHOTOS. So yeah. It was definitely FUN to watch though, which is why I keep coming back for more. What did you think?

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