“Lights, Camera, Christmas!” Recap & Review

Maybe it’s the coffee, but my heart feels full. Either way, I’m about to type a lot because this movie is so FUN! 🥲

Kerry Divine doesn’t want to be the lead in a Christmas movie. No, she’d never ever want that. In fact, she doesn’t even watch them. So, yeah, it’s safe to say that she’s super annoyed that the Dazzle+ Original, My Favorite Santa, is filming in her hometown of Twelve Oaks, Colorado.

But, Kerry’s #1 problem? She’s Christmas movie heroine material. Poor thing’s got it all!

  1. Failing business
  2. Perky mom
  3. First Christmas without a loved one
  4. Cute hometown
  5. Regrets about dropping out of fashion school
  6. A hunky hunk of burning love meet cute-ing the heck outa her.

She’s got the big six! Kerry’s about to be in for a rude awakening, because she’s a natural. She was born for this!

Kerry wants no part of it!

And, who’s this hunky hunk of burning love? He’s

  • Brad Baxter 
  • THE Brad Baxter
  • BrAd BaXtEr
  • “Call me Brad.”
  • Braaaaaaaad Baxter!
  • Brad Baxter—the King of Christmas Movies. 

Basically if he were real, he’d have the most insufferable social media presence. He’d be an immediate unfollow! But, not only that, this dude is a meticulously curated yet painfully unaware Instagram profile come to life!

He’s a walking/talking cardboard cutout. He’s the picture that comes in the frame. A mannequin with moving eyes. #Sponcon IRL. He’s straight up product placement! He’s the guy from a Folgers ad sitting on the kitchen counter sipping coffee, 🎶the best part of waking up🎶 on a loop in his brain. He is who you hope your favorite Hallmark actors aren’t.

BUT this guy isn’t real life. This is a Saturday night and my TV screen is glowing. Brad Baxter as a Hallmark-ish Christmas movie actor filming a Hallmark-ish Christmas movie in an actual Hallmark Christmas movie is good. Is fun. Is fresh and clean. I like him because he ain’t real and this is all hilarious.

(It must be said that in my college days, I would’ve despised this guy, but also would’ve been absolutely desperate for him to think I was cool. He reminds me SO MUCH of someone I knew but I cannot say his name because he is very Google-able.)

As I mentioned earlier, Kerry’s clothing store, Retrofit Exchange, isn’t doing well. They’re getting all those MONEY’S DUE! letters and the HEY REMEMBER WHEN I SAID LAST WEEK THAT MONEY’S DUE?! bills, which isn’t great because she ain’t got no money to give them! But, that’s about to change because Brad Baxter and Mariah Marquez, the leads of My Favorite Santa, just walked in and drooled all over her designs. Why is this super duper fabulously amazing? Because the set’s costumer just quit, and Mariah—what an angel—suggests Retrofit.

Things Happen Quickly:

  • Production buys out the entire store!
  • Kerry is asked to come to set to help!
  • She’s asked to be the temporary costumer!
  • Then she immediately gets the real job as My Favorite Santa’s costume person???! Wow!

All the while, Kerry is like no? no thank you? i don’t think i’m good enough for this? i don’t want this cute little happy christmassy life. why is the king of christmas movies talking to me and giving me nonstop compliments? i feel hesitant. But, she’s wrong. Kerry is perfect for this job—instantly coming up with a new snazzy Santa suit, casually writing a puffy coat kiss scene, picking good reindeer scarves, and getting a movie star to fall in love with her even though he has a strict no-dating-coworkers policy.

will we ever be able to see My Favorite Santa because i need it

Pssssssst! There is some juicy drama on set. Capital D-R-A-M-A. Caleb, the movie’s producer, and Jill, the movie’s writer hate each other. Like, we can’t talk to each other so we have this poor woman give each other our messages even though we are standing 12 inches apart type of hate. I heard Brad say that they were married and made 20 Christmas movies in 10 years, were the perfect team, but now they are done-zo, separated, O-V-E-R. But, Jill wrote this movie years ago and Caleb was already part of the contract so they have to work together now that it’s finally sold. Everyone’s miserable around them! It’s so bad, friends, you wouldn’t even believe it. Will they fall back in love or kill each other before filming is over? Scared to find out!

…maybe kill? 😟

Caleb returns half of the clothes he bought from Retrofit which causes Kerry’s stomach to fall to the center of the earth. As a consolation, however, he gives her a bunch of Balsam Hill set dressings. WHICH IS HILARIOUS because I honestly bet all of those decorations cost the same as half of her merchandise, if not more. Balsam Hill is gorgeous but for the 1%. I am not a part of the 1% 😔

Brad’s veneer is starting to crack in the best way possible. He is still charming but losing the Campbell’s Christmas Green Bean Casserole Commercial constipated smile. Kerry is warming up to Metamucil Brad.

WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT SENTENCE?!?!?! I’ll just type anything, won’t I? And why?! But, I’m keeping it. You all need to know who I really am. No more Showbiz Emma. Just ole diarrhea typer Emma. I think I’ll put that on a business card.

ANYWAY, Kerry is getting the hots for Brad and I don’t blame her, because he is showering her with attention and compliments and he’s nice to her starstruck mom and he’s casually playing the piano. Go, girl! And he asks her on a date! A DATEEEEEEE. And it is an amazing one?? Like I’m flabbergasted because the date is inside a Balsam Hill commercial. It’s on a set. There is even a guy sprinkling snow behind a window. It’s so fake, but their chemistry and conversations are so real! No, wait. It’s actually less commercial and more of a perfect scene caught in a snow globe.

Some Career Things Happen:

  • Kerry applies for a fashion job in NYC
  • Brad is deciding if he should take a role in the edgy indie movie, Ryan’s Game, in London!
  • Kerry gets an interview!
  • Brad wants Kerry to come with him to London and be the costumer for Ryan’s Game!
  • Kerry gets the fashion job!
  • Brad turns down Ryan’s Game because Not-TMZ acts like this is a bad move for King #CountdowntoChristmas even though why would anyone care?
  • Kerry turned down the NYC job to work with Brad soooooo whoops, buddy.

Now they’re fighting. No, more than that—they’re straight-up over.

But, guess who isn’t fighting or dead or in jail?! Caleb and Jill! Working together brought them closer, and now they are getting all lovey dovey. Let me tell you that I genuinely love them.

I guess this is where I must mention that this whole movie has been framed by a movie premiere/Q&A with the cast and crew. So, this movie has mainly been flashbacks. I probably shouldn’t have casually left this out. I also shouldn’t have left out that Brad Baxter’s Santa beard in My Favorite Santa is a white goatee and the rest of his facial hair is still the normal color and it’s my favorite thing about this movie. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. But, back to the premiere/Q&A stuff because it’s important:

  • Caleb and Jill have signed a deal with Dazzle+ to make more movies!
  • Brad ended up taking the role in Ryan’s Game!
  • Mariah is in My Favorite Santa Too as the first female Santa Claus (Uhm, I actually am though because in Senior Year HS Speech class, I campaigned for that and won, so, sorry Mariah!!!!!!)
  • Kerry moved out to LA and works as a costumer with Caleb and Jill!

🎶It’s time for the after-party🎶

This next paragraph is going to be written as insanely as it is shown in the movie:

Kerry and Brad make up but in a platonic way. They do some apologizing, and as the apology gets more intense the music SWELLS and keeps getting louder and bigger the more emotional Kerry and Brad get and then BOOM the music is LOUDER and Brad is there at Kerry’s back and now they’re making out, not just making up, and oooh more music!!!! And now they’re out in beautiful green screen heaven, and Brad says “who’s your favorite Santa now?” and there’s kissing, and the green screen gets more green screen-ier, and Kerry turns to the camera AND WINKS.

OH MY GOSHHHHHHH. I saw people complaining about how this ending was rushed and weird and obvious green screen and I’m like…have you EVER SEEN a Hallmark movie?! Have you been watching this loving parody of one? Most of these movie’s endings are rushed and in front of a bad green screen. This is so funny! AND Kerry is finally letting herself be the lead of a made-for-TV Christmas movie. She’s fully embraced her new, happy, reality! It is the perfect ending and HILARIOUS. I scream-laughed. Amazing.

The End!!!!!!!

I rate Lights, Camera, Christmas! Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole in The Christmas Doctor which is a 4.5/5 on my scale of Product Placement. Nice!

The Scale

  1. Turkish Delight in The Chronicles of Narnia (not real product placement, but a major disappointment once tried after it was so hyped up)
  2. The Partially Hidden Taco Bell Wrappers in The Nine Lives of Christmas (I personally LOVE this because I LOVE that movie, but it’s at 2 because we weren’t supposed to see them)
  3. Ovaltine in A Christmas Story
  4. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in Home Alone
  5. The Balsam Hill scenes in Lights, Camera, Christmas!

I honestly don’t know what else I need to say? I obviously loved it because I genuinely love Hallmark Christmas movies. Thankfully, the cast and crew who made Lights, Camera, Christmas! definitely do too. If Lights, Camera, Christmas! would’ve been made by snarky snark-buckets, then this movie would’ve been a pile of turds. But, this movie was made with love. Because of that, it was hilarious, warm, full of depth, and a pile of…iced gingerbread hearts?

Kimberley Sustad is always lovely. Just wonderful. She brings so much humor and sincere emotion to everything she’s in.

This is my first exposure to John Brotherton and I loved him. So funny. His ability to take Brad Baxter from 2D to 3D was effortless and masterful.

Okay, I should be done because my browser keeps telling me that “this webpage is using significant energy.” Sorry, computer.

Thanks for reading! I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know!

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