Five More Minutes

Well guys, here we are. The third movie of the week. Since I saw the preview and knew this movie was based on a sad country song, I’ve been trying to emotionally prepare. I figured this would be just nonstop tears. But you know what? It really wasn’t. There were some sweet sad moments, but I do feel I was adequately prepared. I did that super fun thing where I didn’t take notes again. I finished decorating my house for Christmas while I watched this one and I feel pretty pleased about the whole thing. Shall we?

The movie begins with a memory from our lead, Clara’s childhood. She is playing hide and seek with her grandpa in the bakery he owns. After the game, Grandpa Jeff tells her why he loves candy canes. He can think through a problem while he eats it and he usually has a solution by the time he’s done. That’s a cute little personality quirk.

We flash forward to the future as Clara heads out the door as an adult. She pauses to put a little candy cane on a picture of her with her grandpa. That’s a cute bit too.

Clara is an elementary school art teacher which cannot be a full-time job at any public school in America. She is very good at it though, obviously. On the way out of school, her boyfriend, Blake, a mismatch if I’ve ever seen one, asks her out to dinner. At first I think it’s just some sad fellow teacher crushing hard but it turns out that they’re actually dating. Poor guy. Clara seems happy enough to go out to dinner with him later that night though.

So, that night at dinner, Blake and Clara talk about their holiday plans. Blake has yet to meet Clara’s mother even though it sounds like they are really close. Regardless, Blake is all set to propose RIGHT THERE IN THE RESTAURANT. He has planned a proposal before meeting her family and without plans to spend the holiday together. I mean, what relationship does he think he’s in? Luckily for all of us, he drops the ring box as he tries to get it out of his coat. Clara sees it and has a quick moment of panic before abruptly changing the subject. She’s brought her mail with her to dinner, as you do, and decides to open a letter from the school. The contents are truly enough to sour the whole mood. The letter tells her that she will be let go at the end of the year because of budget cuts. So it’s a good thing she’s getting out of Dodge for a while. Or rather, heading straight TO Dodge, as it were.

Clara arrives home to chaos. I don’t know what her mom actually did at the shop while Jeff was alive but she has not been able to keep up. The house is littered with papers, the back office of the store is a disaster, and she’s working round the clock. She cannot keep up. Clara promises to help her get everything back on track.

The following day, she runs into her old high school flame, Logan. He had a whole military career and now is in the national guard. He wants to catch up over coffee or something but Clara insists she’ll be much too busy with her mom. So maybe next time, Logan!

Later, she works at the store and misses her grandpa, big time. As she leaves for the night, she wishes out loud for five more minutes with him. At home, she and her mom talk about how much work there is at the store and Clara suggests they hire someone to help.

The following morning, Clara HANDWRITES WITH CHALK a “help wanted sign.” So, three hours later, when she’s finally finished with that, she puts it in the window and heads in the back to inexplicably decorate gingerbread houses. HOW COULD THAT BE A NECESSARY TASK FOR THIS STORE? Do less you guys. Honestly.

Anyway, not a minute into this, a young man comes in looking for a job. He doesn’t have a thing on him-no resume, ID, references. Nothing. BUT he claims to have talked to Clara’s grandpa over the summer so that is good enough for her. She hires him on the spot, banking pretty hard that he is not a serial killer. IT COULD GO EITHER WAY AT THIS POINT.

But Christmas is about desperation and taking chances so, “Jay” gets right to work on deliveries, etc… His self-starter attitude allows Clara’s mom to both take the morning off and leisurely browse the town’s Christmas market. The dream, really. On his way out, after cleaning up the whole back office, he tells Clara he found an old journal. Oh, that’s interesting. It’s Jay, right? Just FOUND that journal, eh? Okay then.

At the Christmas market, Clara’s mom starts chatting with a man around her own age. They seem to hit it off and connect over both losing aging parents. She knew his mom and liked her a lot. He’s been getting more involved with the town’s business and asks if she plans to go to some planning meeting the following day? She really would like to.

Back at the store, I think Logan stops by and helps Clara with something. I don’t remember specifically. Anyway, Jay wanders in and suggests those two crazy kids head to the Christmas Tree Lighting that night. They think that’s not a completely terrible idea themselves.

At some point during this day, Clara cracks open that journal and discovers that her grandpa Jeff was really into a woman named Martha. The only problem is-that is NOT her grandma’s name. So, we’ve got a classic low stakes “Hallmark Mystery” on our hands at this point. We get some flash backs to Jeff’s memories of Martha. Does anyone notice how they don’t show “Young Jeff’s” face in any flash backs? That’s when I knew. Knew what, Cally? Oh, I won’t spoil it until the end. But I want you all to know that I KNEW THE WHOLE TIME, okay?

So anyway, they do all go to the Christmas Tree Lighting. Clara and Logan have a pretty heated discussion about how they broke up 20 years ago until they are interrupted by the Tree Lighting Countdown. After the lighting, they switch gears to talk about the journal. Logan turns into a tween girl and wants ALL THE HOT GOSS. He drives Clara home and they both get swept up in the story. Clara and her mom both arrive home with their “not dates” and have an awkward exchange at the door. Then Clara’s mom reminds her how she didn’t like how Logan ended things with her and that he signed up for a life in the army, generally. Clara is like, he’s not even my boyfriend so WHATEVER MOM.

I don’t think Clara checks in with her boyfriend until the following day. Like, a full day and a half after she arrived. This poor guy’s “did you make it?” text was left on “read” for a sold 36 hours. A guy she is so serious with, he felt ready to propose. Perhaps ol, Bah-lah-kay just can’t read a room. I don’t know. But Clara makes VERY LITTLE TIME FOR HIM.

After seeing what a great job “Jay” has done with the back office, Clara tasks him with the kitchen. Grandpa Jeff had a system only he understood. Jay is like, oh I can probably figure it out. OH, CAN YOU? Jay?

Jay continues to offer other helpful suggestions like selling some “extra inventory” at the market and taking the peppermint cookies out at the exact right time. Anyone notice how Clara’s mom never actually sees him? Just you know, saying things.

Because of all of Jay’s help, Clara’s mom has time to go to that city decoration meeting with her new pal. They get to know each other over a truly delightful looking cup of hot chocolate. He asks her on a real date but she’s not sure if she’s ready.

Meanwhile Clara and Logan get all set up at the Christmas market. Unfortunately, this is the time that Clara chooses to take Blake’s phone call so now Logan knows she has a boyfriend. This seems to bother Miss Clara BELL.

Clara’s mom eventually works up the courage to go on a date with this friend she’s made but by the end of the date, she decides she still isn’t ready.

As Clara spends more time with Logan, she realizes she needs to end things with Blake (I’m assuming.) She sends him a text that every person with anxiety absolutely dreads- “we need to talk.” And then proceeds to like, not to follow up AT ALL. So naturally, Blake just SHOWS UP. She breaks up with him and he’s like, well, I’m glad I at least got to meet your mom after all that. OKAY DUDE. So I’m glad we got that loose end tied up.

Eventually, Clara finds a card addressed TO MARTHA in her grandpa’s old room. She gets very excited about it and wants to see if she and Logan can track this woman down. After visiting 9 different houses, they get a good lead and head to the right Martha’s house. In all the excitement, Clara invites Logan to spend Christmas with her family. However, she rescinds that offer when Logan tells her he’s been called up to active duty again. So Clara leaves Martha’s card on her porch and scurries on home. So that’s the end of that I suppose.

On Christmas Eve, Clara and her mom get dinner all prepped. They seem to have an open house situation which is my mom’s dream as a host extraordinaire. In the midst of all this, they get a knock at their door. It’s MARTHA.

Martha sits down with the girls and fills in all the gaps with her and Jeff. As she leaves, she gives the girls an envelope of old photos of her and Jeff. Then, the motion detector goes off at the store. Clara offers to go check it out. ALONE. Smart.

When she gets there, she realizes its just silly old Jay fixing some of the Christmas lights. She invites him inside for a candy cane. They have a really lovely heart to heart. “Jay” gets emotional hearing about the things Martha said. WONDER WHY. Anyway, he tells her he was glad to help them out this week. He leaves and Clara knocks over her purse and the pictures Martha gave her spill out. We finally get a glimpse of young Jeff and IS ANYONE SURPRISED AT THIS PONIT? Clara runs out to find him and notices that his footprints just disappear. She looks up at the sky and sees a shooting star and thanks her grandpa.

She runs straight to Logan’s and tells him she doesn’t want to waste any more time and then brings him over to the house. The next day? Maybe? The house is full of people, including Clara’s mom’s friend and other family. Clara tells her mom she plans to look for jobs there so she can be close to Logan too. And I’m sure at some point Logan and Clara kiss but I don’t remember when! And that’s that.

Guys, all in in all, this was a lovely little movie. I thought it would be a nonstop cry fest but it really wasn’t! It was just an enjoyable, sweet watch. Nikki DeLoach remains a treasure and I thought she and her costar were a good pair. I liked the idea of her getting extra time with her grandpa as a young person without realizing it. And I LOVED that Christmas store. What did you think?

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