Melody (Janel Parrish) has just moved in next door to a single mom with two adorable daughters, the eponymous Holly and Ivy. Melody and mom Nina (Marisol Nichols) are fast friends, and the girls love Melody too, particularly because her car is an unofficial book mobile and the girls are avid readers. Soon (very soon), these two households are inseparable; Melody pitches in with watching the kids, and the kids are eager to help Melody settle in – although, to be fair, Melody has just bought a ‘fixer upper’ that feels more like a crack den than a home at the moment.
Sadly, Nina has just learned that her lymphoma is back, and even though it’s a really big ask, she has no one else, and Melody, friend of just a few intense days, is asked to be the guardian of dear sweet Holly and Ivy should mom Nina pass. In order to be approved for adoption, Melody is going to jump through some hoops, and fast – getting a job, for example, is probably item #1, and proving much harder than she’d anticipated. But getting the house up to code is also pretty crucial. Luckily, she meets a handsome young construction worker who’s surprisingly eager to lend a hand. I say surprisingly only because Melody and Adam (Jeremy Jordan) are younger than our typical Hallmark protagonists. Since Hallmark’s love stories typically emphasize love, commitment, and family over hot sex and passion, their love interests are always firmly in their 30s and ready to settle – at the youngest. Often they’re already widowed or looking for a second chance at love. Melody and Adam are in their 20s – can they possibly be ready for an instant family when they only just met days ago?
Well, in the same Hallmark universe where a young woman impulsively agrees to adopt a virtual stranger’s children, yes. But the first rule about parenting is that Adam and Melody will have to come to grips with some sacrifices, both professionally, and, gulp, romantically. Are they ready to face such tests? Is anybody?
Holly & Ivy is a bit of a surprise. It’s more about Melody’s relationship with the kids, and her promise to Nina, than any budding romance. Luckily by the movie’s end she’ll learn to embrace offers of help and support because hooo boy is she going to need it. Does this sound like the kind of holiday movie you can groove to? Then boogie on over to the Hallmark channel and enjoy the show.