Some of the best feel-good original movies are those that stem from real life experiences. They bring a deeper sense of connection to the surface. That's because those true or lived experiences may resemble your own or remind you of feelings you've long since forgotten. With Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas in full swing, is Entertaining Christmas based on a true story?
Though Hallmark has a lively catalog of original movies and those adapted from books or based on real life people and experiences, Entertaining Christmas looks to be among the lighter, fluffier works of fiction. I'm not saying that as a bad thing. Actually, the holidays are the perfect time to kick back and forget about the stresses of the world. It's a time to be grateful for things like Hallmark movies, fluffy socks, and hot chocolate. It's a time to reflect on the year behind you and to make plans for the years ahead. Entertaining Christmas is the perfect reason to stay indoors on a snowy night and enjoy the holiday season (as opposed to fighting off strangers for the last discount toaster at the mall). If you haven't indulged in all of Hallmark's movie blessings a) where have you been, b) what could possibly top cozying up on the sofa for a festive movie night? and c) It's time to redeem yourself, starting with Entertaining Christmas — even if it's a total work of fiction.
This fun-filled festive film, according to Hallmark's synopsis, follows "cookbook author, crafting expert, and TV personality," Claire, who's known to the world as a true perfectionist. It shows in everything she does. But once she begins thinking about retirement, she decides to position her daughter, Candace (Jodie Sweetin) as the new Livingston brand spokesperson — even if she has none of the same talents as her successful mother. The girl isn't crafty, she probably can't even boil water, and appearing on TV is the literal worst. What Candace needs is an opportunity to prove she can do this — which of course she can, as these things tend to go in this type of movie. I'm not hating on this type of set-up in any way. Actually, most, if not all, of Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas provides much-needed levity during an already stressful time.
Back to this magical opportunity: You know how things go viral super quickly on the web? Or when you ask on a social site and get the exact answer you were looking for? This happens to Candace when a young girl asks for Claire's help through an online video she posts. She wants help making sure her deployed dad feels welcome and special upon his return and there's no one better than Claire. Well, until Candace is sent in her place. Now is the time for that aforementioned magical opportunity to shine. The hope is that she'll do well enough to become the rightful successor to the board of directors of her mother's businesses. Of course, things don't always go as planned, but I'm positive this one ends happily.
So, maybe an original movie doesn't have to hit all the real life beats to be entertaining. It won't keep you from feeling all the feelings, or rooting for Candace to succeed. Honestly, that's the best fiction anyway — one that connects you to the story and characters so deeply, it feels like a true story.
Watch Entertaining Christmas on the Hallmark Channel Saturday, Dec. 15 at 9 p.m. ET.
After experiencing a traumatic c-section, this mother sought out a doula to support her through her second child’s delivery. Watch as that doula helps this mom reclaim the birth she felt robbed of with her first child, in Episode Three of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes, launching Mondays in December.