Northpole: Open For Business

Okay, so first thing you need to know is that there are several secret Christmas cheer ‘power stations’ around the world upon which Santa relies for powering his sleigh as he does his annual globetrotting Christmas Eve run. The Northern Lights Mountain Inn in Vermont is one such station, run by Grace for many years, who threw legendary Christmas Eve parties there each year. But Grace has passed and the inn has been willed to her niece, Mackenzie (Lori Laughlin, of “bribing her kids into college” fame). Mackenzie has fond memories of her childhood there but she’s a businesswoman now and she sees the inn as a money maker – if she fixes it up first.

Lucky for her there’s a handsome single father handyman (a familiar Hallmark hybrid) named Ian (Dermot Mulroney) around to nudge her in the right direction. Still, Santa is worried, so he sends intrepid elf Clementine (Bailee Madison) to help her see the value in keeping the inn open – and perhaps to help her reclaim her missing holiday spirit.

Have you ever played a win-lose-or-draw type of game with your family over the holidays? One person draws and the rest have to guess? Never be on Sean’s team. He is a very poor artist. He drew The 12 Days of Christmas and it looked a lot like this, only sloppier, and with some extra random squiggles and lines:

which he later told us were turtle doves but he couldn’t remember how many were in the song or any other thing that was in the song. Anyway. My sister on the opposing team suggested that their pencil was less pointy than ours, punishing them with a handicap. I suggested her team had 3 handicaps, gesturing not very subtly at my my brothers-in-law on either side of her. Har har. And guess what. THEY WON. It was humiliating. Thanks a lot Sean. You’re off the team and potentially out of the family.

Anyway, my point is that at the end of a vigorous and competitive game of win lose or draw, there’s a whole bunch of scrap paper with terrible drawings, and I do believe this script was cobbled together by guessing what those scenarios might have been and then stuffing them into a movie where they don’t necessarily make sense, but who cares? Is anyone actually paying attention? A prescription for a Hallmark movie is never written without an entire bottle of chilled white wine, so you’re already having a good time.

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