“Christmas Festival of Ice” Recap & Review

Disclaimer: I absolutely love Hallmark Christmas movies. Everything I say is out of this undying, appreciative, in awe type of love. Yes, I make fun of them, but my husband and I make fun of each other all of the time, and we are annoyingly in love.

Meet Emma Parker (Taylor Cole), an aspiring lawyer who walks around her hometown of Westford, New England like a young Luann de Lesseps. She is working with her already lawyer mother, and is currently awaiting her Bar exam results. Emma has always loved entering her town’s ice sculpting competition with her father. But GASP! it has been cancelled this year.

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Emma (de Lesseps) Parker, almost Attorney at Law

Meet Nick Claiborne (Damon Runyan), a Christmas tree farmer who has a super talented, socially awkward, seemingly invisible, ice sculptor brother. Nick Claiborne also has one scarf, and one coat. I’m not even sure he’s wearing a shirt under it. He also has a heart frozen in a block of ice thanks to…ahhh I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Nick “One Scarf, One Coat” Claiborne

When Emma and Nick meet at the town’s tree lot, Emma is in awe of the ice sculptures that he has on display. She wants to meet the artist, but Nick blames the carved creations on his hermit brother. He also acts hella weird. I’m upset that my first suspicion wasn’t that he was the ice sculptor.

I thought

hmm maybe his brother is Santa Claus. 

Then I thought

oh my, maybe his brother passed away and he’s been keeping his sculptures in a freezer all of these years and brings them out each Christmas. 

My assumptions were not correct.

Emma cannot shake the fact that the ice sculpting competition at Westford’s Christmas Festival has been cancelled. She decides to raise the money herself, a whopping $15,000, after councilman Harvey says the town will contribute a cool $5,000.

Someone explain to me what about an ice sculpting competiton costs $20,000. Is it all the blocks of ice? Do they supply gloves and scarves and hats and NorthFace coats? Maybe some Uggs? Do they give each team $1,000 each for entering?

Emma is withholding her campaign to save the ice sculpting competition from her mother. She goes about town, searching for donors and kinda ignores that she has a lot of work to do at the firm. There’s something about endowments and opposing council and law stuff, but I will be honest and say I was eating supper at this time and was more into my tartar sauce than law talk. Anyway, her mother is in the dark, but obviously just wants to spend time with her.

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Very chill and unsuspicious meeting, definitely not about saving the ice sculpture competition.

Emma goes shopping with her redheaded friend (every Hallmark movie needs one), and they stop at Nick’s tree farm. She spies ice sculpture after beautiful ice sculpture and follows them and the sounds of ice chippin’ to a barn. Ah! I’ve found Nick’s brother!, she thinks, rubbing her hands together like she’s found treasure gold! And what does she see other than

  • burgundy
  • hints of gray and blue
  • a puffed up ball of khaki?

Why, it’s not Nick’s brother at all! But, Nick. Ole’ One Scarf, One Coat, Nick, shaving away at a block of ice.

She is very upset. It’s not even because she has trust issues like most of these protagonists. She just could’ve used his help! Nick, feeling badly, gives Emma contact information to an ice maker (I think?????), and she is totally pleased. Honestly, the music goes from reality dating show look at this clown! music to reality dating show awww look they both love dogs music in 10 seconds flat.

This is where everything happens very quickly.

  • She meets Mr. Ice Maker Man, and he seems very serious about his ice.
  • The Christmas Festival starts tomorrow?!
  • She reaches her goal because someone donated $10,000.
  • She assumes its Mr. Ice Maker Man.
  • She tells councilman Harvey it’s a go!
  • Poor thing, Emma’s mom, still knows nothing that’s going on, but keeps trying to do lawyer stuff and hang out with her.

As Emma and Nick get friendlier, we find out that an ice queen, Tara the Terrible, broke his heart a year ago. They loved to sculpt together, and wanted to enter big competitions. But, Tara bought a ticket to Los Angeles, letting their ice centered love thaw. Emma thinks he needs a new buddy to make sculpting fun again. Cue ice sculpting love magic.

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“Do these safety glasses match my scarf?”

After Emma’s snoopin’ father overhears Emma turn down Nick’s competition partnership request, he kindly takes himself out of the equation in the name of their budding love.

So, Emma and Nick

  • Carve
  • Plan
  • Can’t decide what to carve
  • Knows it has to be important to the town
  • Visit a museum
  • Still don’t know what to carve
  • Finally know what to carve!

To this day (which is only about 20 hours after I watched this movie), I still do not know what it was their carving meant, or what was the inspiration. I did change a diaper at one point, so maybe I missed it then. But, do not ask me what their ice sculpture represents, because I will never be able to tell you.

During the competition, Emma finds out that she passed the Bar exam, and is super whatever about the whole situation. Then she is super upset, because she realizes that she does not want to be a lawyer. She wants to sculpt ice. She explains this all to her parents in a very frozen breath conversation. It looked like they were in a smoky casino, playing poker with dogs in hats. I finally understand why Nick never took off his coat or scarf. He couldn’t because he literally would’ve turned into a block of ice.

Emma’s mother

  • knew everything the whole time
  • donated the $10,000
  • thinks $10,000 is a normal Christmas gift
  • DOES NOT CARE that her daughter wants to quit the whole lawyer thing and become a full time ice sculptor (or maybe someone who gets a job at Town Hall and raises money).
  • is the hero of this movie.
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Emma’s mother deserved better.

They win! And as my husband pointed out, it surely has NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM GETTING THE COMPETITION PAID FOR.

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The mysterious ice sculpture, and Emma’s redheaded friend.

I rate “Christmas Festival of Ice”: ice cube tray ice straight from your own freezer, which is a 2.5 on my best types of ice scale.

The Scale

  1. Ice you slip on and fall down the front steps of your house
  2. The bagged ice you buy at a gas station that is all frozen together
  3. Automatic ice maker in your freezer ice
  4. Ice from a fountain drink machine
  5. Pellet ice that is like snow

Hope you enjoyed! Can’t wait until the next one!

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