One December Night
The movie begins with a journey through time of Steve Bedford and Mike Sullivan, a big time Rock duo or folk group or something. I don’t know. Anyway we watch snippets starting with them singing their big hits, ending with the band’s dissolution. Flash forward to ten years later. Quinn, our leading lady, holds two DEFINITELY FULL cups of coffee stacked on top of each other, as you do with two hot, heavy drinks. She’s talking about music reviews on the phone and sees a very good singer outside the coffee shop. Also, I think Eloise should just use her real name in every movie. If I had a girl child, ELOISE would be at the top of my list of names. Quinn knows this singer, Addison. In fact, she is working on getting her a record deal or a concert tour or something.
Quinn heads into work and talks more about Addison to her friend and coworker. She is working on getting her a spot on someone’s tour. Anybody’s tour! Laurel last weekend and now Quinn is really pushing me towards a shorter hair cut. She plays Addison’s song in the office and her boss tells her to turn it down. Steve’s manager, Jason, calls Diane, Quinn’s boss. Diane seems fun. She’s enlisted her nephew Troy with the unfortunate hair cut and work ethic to be the producer of the big live reunion show for Bedford and Sullivan. Diane takes Quinn out for a second round of coffee and asks Quinn about Bedford and Sullivan. They are reuniting. Diane wants Quinn to talk to Mike and convince him to do the concert because well BOMBSHELL, he’s her dad. She doesn’t want to do it. She agrees to do it if Diane gives Addison a tour spot. Diane turns kind of cool at the end of that scene there. So I think Diane’s company represents Mike but Quinn is NOT on that account and seems surprised that Diane knows that Mike is her dad. And to that I say, really, Quinn?
Quinn heads to see her dad. I missed whether they are estranged or get along or whatever. Update: they are estranged. Quinn stays in a hotel? That’s weird right? The hotel clerk recognizes her last name and Quinn just suffers through that whole interaction.
Steve and Jason get all set up to practice for the big show. Mike still isn’t interested in showing up or practicing. Why have they booked a show if he won’t do it? I feel like I missed some important background dialogue but there’s no going back now.
That night, Quinn heads to the local gift shop. There is band merch everywhere. Actually they should just call it a Bedford and Sullivan gift shop because that seems to be all that’s for sale. She is planning to meet Steve’s band manager there. It is her old pal Jason. So, Steve is his dad. Guys, this store in general has me scratching my head throughout. Is it a Christmas store? Is it a band merch store? Is it just a quaint small town knickknack shop? OR IS IT ALL OF THE ABOVE. And why were they meeting at this store? Does Jason own it? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
They decide to talk at their favorite diner. We hear some backstory-that Steve scammed Mike out of half the publishing rights at some point but it sounds like things were tense before and after that. Quinn thinks Steve was just out for himself but Jason says her dad was completely uncooperative. And more drama that who cares. Frenchie, from Grease, is their waitress. Jason tells Quinn there is a photo shoot tomorrow for promotional photos and Mike needs to be there.
Jason and Steve burn the midnight oil. Or maybe it’s morning because who knows what time it is ever in a Hallmark movie? Jason tells Steve that he’s been offered a residency in Las Vegas. Steve is like, cool beans, but I am really going to town on signing these albums so let’s talk about it later.
Quinn heads to her dad’s house. She seems to be dreading it. Mike opens the door and seems happy to see her.
She and her dad have a tense little back and forth when he realizes she’s there for work because obviously he doesn’t want to do any work. There is some UNFINISHED BUSINESS between these two. He seems happy to see her but it is NOT mutual.
Quinn heads back to the gift shop. This place is just packed with Christmas stuff. Again, what kind of store is it? Back at the hotel, Jason gets Steve a new room key because Steve lost his. Steve jovially takes pictures with fans. He doesn’t want to do the photo shoot without Mike. I don’t get why they’re trying to force this concert? Like who wanted to do the concert initially? Why? Quinn shares that she hasn’t talked to her dad in eight years. Or maybe she hasn’t been home in eight years? I really don’t know. She somehow is able to separate the horrible things Steve did to her dad business wise from “Uncle Steve” her family and friend. So she was genuinely happy to see him. I actually don’t think I could do that. But she tells Jason that Steve has always been good to her. Again, I just feel like if you’ve treated my parents poorly I would have a hard time separating that. OH WELL.
However, this compartmentalization gets Quinn thinking. She suggests that she and Jason switch parents to get this reunion to happen.
The next morning, Troy comes in with some BAD news from the network. Bless his heart. He just hasn’t found what he’s good at. Quinn’s idea is already working. She’s taken Steve out for some hang time which ultimately leads to Steve agreeing to take solo photos for the promotional posters. Quinn drives Jason to Mike’s house and shows him the secret knock to get Mike to answer the door. They look through old photos together. Somehow their little convo gets Mike to agree to do his photos too. These sneaky sneaks!
Mike and Steve reconnect and it’s…fun. They’re having a blast catching up. SARCASM. Bless Troy’s heart. He somehow minored in photography in college so he’s going to take the photos after sending the photographer home. The boys have the poses down. Troy manages to keep his thumb away from the camera lens.
Quinn and Jason debrief at the diner with Frenchie. Quinn has a great jacket on. Frenchie tells them their dad’s music really touches people.
Jason walks in on his dad signing both sides of a bunch of records. He seems really obsessed with signing them. Jason reminds him he only needs to sign one side of it and Steve seems a little confused.
Later, Quinn stops by her dad’s house. She does some snooping (for WHAT, I don’t know) and is caught by her dad. Quinn and her dad have a conversation I don’t understand. He tells her he agreed to the show because he needs money. Quinn tells him he may need to start compromising or he’s going to be in big trouble, financially. I’m not really sure what his deal is other than just being like a bohemian artist?
Jason and Quinn walk and talk while Jason holds an armful of signed records.
The next day, Jason and Mike walk and talk in the woods on their way to go ice fishing. Boy, Jason and Quinn are SNEAKY. They are going to make great parents. Quinn and Steve take more photos in front of “Big Red” which is Mike’s house and also the place they recorded their first album. The house originally belonged to his parents. SO, why on earth does he still have a mortgage? Or he mortgaged Big Red to pay for something else? I am not sure. But anyway, the money is drying up. Quinn and Steve remember caroling back in the good old days. Lorraine and the kids show up. WHO IS LORRAINE? WHO ARE THESE KIDS?
Then Mike shows up and both guys agree to carol with the kids! Wow this seems like a big deal. Wow then, before we know it, the guys head inside to play the piano and sing together. Quinn and Jason sit outside so as to not get in the way. Quinn doesn’t want them to do anything to jinx it, including watching them play! Smart.
Later Quinn and Jason chat and decide to go shopping. Jason remembers really great Christmases with the Sullivans after his own parents split up. I missed this but is Jason wearing that sweater for real? Quinn and Jason have different memories of their dads growing up. It sounds like they were not your typical Hallmark dads, to say the least.
The next day, Jason wakes Quinn with an extension cord emergency. Mike needs 2000 feet of extension cords apparently. He is all set up OUTSIDE. He wants to practice outside so they can get used to the elements. Everyone agrees that’s a good idea. Also why didn’t anyone else think of that?
Addison has arrived to open the show and sings over a practice and prep montage. Mike and Steve continue to argue about everything. Quinn decorates Jason’s hotel room. Guys, the hotel is already pretty decorated. Troy remains TROY throughout. Lorraine is there too. WHO IS LORRAINE.
At some point in the future, Mike and Steve record radio promos. Steve makes a little mistake and gets a little defensive. He also gets a little confused in the middle of it. This feels a little ominous. I’ve always wondered how they record those local promos.
After recording the promos, Jason looks around desperately for a friend for lunch. There are no takers. As a consolation prize, Quinn offers to help decorate the town Christmas tree with him instead. I just feel like decorating a giant tree outside is not the same as lunch at a nice restaurant. Am I alone? Troy is there of course. He’s helping decorate the tree too. Then Troy has a rare moment of self-awareness about his abilities and the way in which he received his current job.
The next morning, Quinn is wearing another Christmas eye mask. Who sleeps with those on anyway? And why is it always still on her head when she answers the door. I mean, I know why. It’s so we can all see it. But IN REAL LIFE? Why.
Mike and Steve argue over the set list. No one is paying attention to Quinn’s adorable sweater. Steve delivers a pretty low blow when he mentions Mike’s deceased wife. So, Mike walks off the stage and that’s the end of practice for the day.
Later, Jason and Quinn rehash the day while they try and fix the bobblehead Mike broke on his way out. Jason agrees to try and call the network to tell them they will not be playing “One December Night.”
The next day, Steve tells Jason he wishes he could make things right. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Quinn asks Mike if he could use some help decorating his house. She has another great sweater. Then Jason and Steve arrive. We haven’t even begun to talk about Steve’s sweaters. Steve announces he is not there to fight. He shows Mike THE coin they flipped to decide the band’s name. He asks to flip a coin to see if they’ll do the show. Mike reiterates that they are not playing One December Night. The coin determines they will do the show BUT Jason reveals to Quinn that the coin is actually heads on both sides. And it seems like maybe it’s a bit they’re all in on except Quinn?
That night the gang goes to an adorable food truck festival/tree lighting. I feel like tree lightings this year have been underwhelming? Am I right about that? Later, Jason and Quinn go out to eat. MORE FOOD? When Jason learns that Mike doesn’t have a Christmas tree, he decides they must go get on immediately. They do somehow, find a tree in the middle of the night. They seem like they’re drunkenly trying to sneak this tree inside with all the giggling and shushing that’s happening. They quietly get it all decorated as well. WHOA and then they just start KISSING. And that’s when Mike decides to come downstairs. He is glad to have the tree and I’m not sure if he’s glad about the rest of it.
Quinn and Jason walk up to the hotel and talk. She says that her dad had a heavy drinking problem and she was all alone when her mom died. Whew. It’s A LOT. I don’t really know where all that came from. I thought she wanted to talk about kissing Jason.
The next day, Quinn learns that they have to play One December Night or the show is cancelled. They have some ideas to accomplish this, none of which are great. One idea is to have Steve record himself singing it on his own and cutting that into the broadcast. Obviously that would infuriate Mike. So, Quinn decides to talk to him. He is home, decorating for Christmas. Quinn continues to be sneaky and suggests they make shortbread cookies. Mike tells her that her mom always made his mom’s shortbread recipe even though the cookies were terrible. That’s kind of sweet. After a lovely afternoon of baking, Mike knows she has an ulterior motive for coming by. Quinn gives him the bad news. He still doesn’t want to sing the song and is ready to lose the house over it. Then, he apologizes to Quinn for basically her whole childhood and while her mom was dying. She just jumps up and hugs him. It’s a nice moment.
Steve makes an executive decision about the show-he’s going to sing One December Night because it might be their last show and they all need it to happen. He tells Jason he cannot do the residency in Vegas. He admits something we’ve all suspected this whole time. He has Alzheimer’s. They have a nice father son moment too about this revelation. WHEW THERE IS A LOT HAPPENING IN THIS MOVIE.
Addison arrives to open the show. She is star struck. Jason the whole group together to tell them that they shot the version of One December Night without Mike. Or maybe to tell them about the Alzheimer’s business? But he doesn’t have to because Mike agrees to do the song. Oh yay! BUT THEN, Troy comes in and before anyone can stop him, he admits that they shot a version of Steve singing it alone which blows the whole thing up. He bravely tries to take the blame but the damage is done. Mike and Quinn are pretty lit up about the whole thing.
Outside, Quinn tells Addison the show might not happen. Addison is unruffled about it. I find this whole interaction pretty unbelievable. She just knows that Quinn will pull through for everyone. NO PRESSURE THOUGH. Quinn tells Troy to unload the equipment because she is confident the show will happen. Is she not super mad about the whole recording the sacred song behind Mike’s back business? Jason makes a phone call of his own. Quinn heads to her dad’s house. Are we worried he’s drinking? Oh, no he’s shoveling shortbread cookies into his mouth. She talks to him about the whole Steve betrayal business. I think we have all begun to understand why he did it. I mean, why we think he did it-for both of them. Finally, Quinn pulls out the big guns and asks her dad to do the show for her. She needs it. I mean, yeah that’s true. Maybe she should have started with that 45 minutes ago? Quinn urges Mike to talk to Steve.
Mike approaches Steve in the midst of looking for his jacket out by all the trailers. Mike is like, your jacket wouldn’t be on the ground by all of these trailers. What is going on? They head into Big Red and Steve shares his big news. They have a lovely moment of reconciliation. Mike tells Steve they fought because they’re brothers. That’s pretty sweet.
Diane calls Quinn and is very proud of her for pulling it off. Then Jason arrives to tell Quinn the Alzheimer’s news.
Okay is it concert time? Addison is singing her heart out in an adorable sparkly dress. She’s DEFINITELY REALLY SINGING, GUYS.
Steve and Mike get ready to go on. Mike helps Steve remember the words. I don’t remember Steve struggling with the lyrics from their songs at all during the whole movie but maybe it just a show of support. They introduce each other and do a fun little jokey old dude banter. It’s cute. I’m here for it. Off stage, Jason and Quinn are quite happy with themselves. Guys I kind of like One December Night the song. No that wasn’t the one. Now they’re singing it. Mike dedicates it to Quinn and her mom. This one is fine for old people, I guess. While they sing, Jason tells Quinn he has a present for her. Jason tells her he’s created a new contract to split the publishing rights between the two of them. So that was easy enough. Okay yes, I do like that song. But guys, IF he had agreed to do that from the beginning, we probably wouldn’t have needed this concert financially. I understand that we needed it emotionally. Obviously. But this, to me was the bigger issue to resolve.
Oh that isn’t the end of the movie. There is some kind of Christmas after party and Steve tells Jason a story he’s heard before. But what dad among us hasn’t done that? Quinn tells Jason she’s thinking of splitting her time between Pineville and the city. They KISS and their DADS see. OMG wouldn’t you just DIE? They all say Merry Christmas to each other and that’s the end of that! OH NO They kiss again.
Guys this movie was a lot. Hallmark tried to pile on too many sad things. I mean, add a kid with cancer who won’t make it to Christmas and we’ve got a full Bingo. I liked this movie though. It was a totally unique concept and I liked the dynamic of the kids and their dads. But it was a HEAVY movie. I am ready for more Santa Stakeout type movies at this point. I need some wild silliness and ugly sweaters! PLEASE. What did you think?