Christmas in Evergreen (2017)

Really, Hallmark? Magical snow globes? Is that where we’re at? Cause if it is…I love it! Maybe it’s something to do with my soy duck dinner, which I’m digging right now, but Christmas in Evergreen has just what I want in a Hallmark movie – likeable people and a not-so-ridiculous plot. Okay, so the magical snow globe is ridiculous, but it’s not an essential part of the plot even if it is used as a cheap device to hurry things along.

The wish granting orb brings Allie, Ryan, and Zoe to Evergreen, Vermont, a cozy little town that loves Christmas. Somehow these places exist all over America, my dimple of a town excepting. It’s a perfect village, the kind that’s covered in snow and hosts a Christmas extravaganza every year. They’ve even named their café after Kris Kringle, and it houses the snow glob that grants people’s wishes.

Allie (Ashley Williams) loves her hometown. She has her own veterinary practice and helps run the festival, but she’s decided to move to D.C. to be with her boyfriend, Spencer (Marcus Rosner). After carrying on their long-distance relationship for two years, they want to settle in one place. There’s just one problem – Spencer is totally not the right guy for her. That much is obvious the second we see him rocking a power suit in his corner office overlooking the Mall. When he tries to entice her with helicopter rides and swank parties at the Hamptons, it’s clear he doesn’t stand a chance. Look, if your girlfriend drives her grandfather’s vintage pick up truck, she’s not interested in your damn helicopter ride.

Along comes Ryan (Teddy Sears), a big city guy with a small town sensibility, and a cute daughter. He and Zoe (Jaeda Lily Miller) are on their way to Florida for a tropical Christmas cruise. Despite his attempts to hard sell warm beaches, palm trees, and all you can eat buffets to his skeptical daughter, his real intentions are clear. Ryan books the cruise to escape from memories of his wife, who died last year and who loved the holidays. He thinks being around traditional Christmas festivities will only make Zoe sad, but snow and trees and gingerbread houses are exactly what she wants. She gets her wish when a snow storm cancels all flights. The two of them head back to Evergreen with Allie, who is also stranded.

It’s pretty easy to guess where things go from there. A few more wishes on the snow globe lead to a rock slide, ensuring that no one can go in or out of town. That of course means Allie and Ryan have no choice but to spend the holidays together. The people of Evergreen must also rally around each other if their annual festival is going to happen. Credit to the two black women, Michelle (Holly Robinson Peete) and Hannah (Rukiya Bernard), who first of all live in Vermont and secondly take charge in a big way. Hallmark’s learning. Maybe next year they’ll feature a Latina BFF in a movie about a sledding competition in Maine.

So besides a lot of decorating and driving around, not much actually goes on in Evergreen. But dammit, I love that everyone is super nice and amenable. Allie and Ryan are people you’d invite to your Christmas party, and they’d even be game for your ugly Christmas sweater theme. Williams should appear in more Hallmark movies. Give her a whole series. She’s warm, lively, and comforting, which is, against our better judgment, why we tune in.

 

Released: 2017
Dir: Alex Zamm
Writer: Rick Garman
Cast: Ashley Williams, Teddy Sears, Holly Robinson Peete, Jaeda Lily Miller, Marcus Rosner, Barbara Niven, Malcolm Stewart, Lynda Boyd, Chris Cope, Rukiya Bernard
Time: 83 min
Lang: English
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Channel
Reviewed: 2017

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