Leo (Stephen Hagan) and Emily (Lacey Chabert) have been together nearly a year when he reveals a big secret. He’s been studying in Philadelphia under an assumed name, but he’s really Prince Leopold, heir to the throne of Cordinia. Prince Leo brings Emily home for Christmas, and Queen Isadora (Jane Seymour) is pissed. A lowly commoner?!?! Gross. Must protect monarchy from Yankee at all costs.
And make no mistake: Queen Isadora has a plan. The plan’s name is Natasha, Duchess of Warren (played by Seymour’s own daughter, Katherine Flynn). No one much cares for Natasha, but her peerage is suitable, and that seems to be all that matters. Of course, it’s not great for the monarchy if the prince abdicates the throne before he can become king. As the only heir, perhaps the Queen should be a little more flexible with her son. Instead she seems intent on making sure he reigns with a broken heart.
Meanwhile, Emily finds unexpected support in the castle’s staff. A kind butler tucks her under his wing, instructing her on royal etiquette. It won’t be enough to thaw the Queen’s heart, if she does indeed have one; she’s set on humiliating Emily to drive her away. Long live the Queen.
Not to worry: the romance genre guarantees a happy ending. I have a good feeling this one’s going to work out.
Sarah’s (Lacey Chabert) been away from her firm and her life for a while now, wrapping up loose ends from her mother’s death a few months ago. Before she returns she plans to spend the holidays at a very quaint little inn. The inn is owned by the very handsome and luckily single Ben (Stephen Huszar) and these two are about to have a very good reason to spend lots of time together, apart from already being under the same roof for Christmas. Sarah and Ben have discovered that like, her, all of the inn’s five guests received a special invitation to be here over the holidays, and no one knows where these invitations came from. Not from the inn itself, certainly, and of course the inn can’t find any booking and reservation information that would indicate who the mysterious benefactor is. But the invitations do bear the town’s postmark, so the answer must be local. What a fun little mystery to solve, although, strictly speaking, if it was me in Sarah’s shoes I would have wondered a little harder if the Snowflake Inn was really about to become the Murder Inn. It seems reminiscent of a horror movie plot if you ask me. Also: that’s 5 grown ups who did not question a bossy piece of paper that came anonymously in the mail, ordering them to spend Christmas at some inn. Ask more questions, people!
This is the third movie executive produced by Blake Shelton and based on his song “Time for Me to Come Home” that he wrote with his mother, Dorothy Shackleford. The first movie, 2018’s Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas, and the second movie, 2019’s Time for You to Come Home for Christmas, and now this third one are all independent of each other and have a different story lines, actors, and settings.
Will the mystery be solved by baking cookies? Will the guy from Cool Runnings come out of his shell? Will Sarah and Ben’s budding relationship withstand her being better than him at chess? And would anyone believe that these 5 strangers turn out to have some connecting event in their past? Test your knowledge and your faith at the good old Hallmark channel. Get it while it’s hot.
This movie is achingly bad from the very first. Lacey Chabert, aka, the littlest Party of Fiver, aka one of the mean girls, aka hasn’t worked since “stars” as a single mom who has to give up her dream of being a fashion designer in L.A. to move back home to Ohio for Christmas, with her young daughter in tow.
Things look up very briefly when Kathy Najimi makes a brief appearance as her bubbly aunt, but it’s fleeting and as soon as Najimi’s offscreen, things go downhill rather fast.
So fast in fact that before I know it Mariah Carey is now making my day much worse, appearing as the PTA mom who’s about to make Lacey Chabert’s life even more unbearable, as if being exiled to Ohio wasn’t bad enough. Now she has to put up with some old rival from high school one-upping her and flaunting the lifestyle that dentistry bought her. Some very talented directors have occasionally elicited some not-terrible performances from Carey (I’m thinking of Precious here, and I’m not sure what else) but whoever directed this monstrosity is clearly cowed by her. She’s more wooden than a nutcracker and she’s making hand gestures like she’s Celine Dion, live in concert.
The movie unfolds exactly as a Christmas movie must: little girl finds acceptance by singing in the school pageant, mom falls in love with the music teacher, a major department store wants to buy her designs but she’s already so happy in Ohio she doesn’t need to pursue her other dreams anymore. Oh, and the school janitor may or may not be Santa Claus.