And by the “Township of Gilford”, they mean Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada, which based on the Street View on Google Maps looks like a beautiful place to live. The sign normally says Waterfront Commons Park. I know this because they left this shot in the movie and the town square is distinctive as well as the physical centerpiece of the film.
Also, there is a British Columbia license plate later, but let’s introduce our leading lady named Lindsey Monroe played by none other than Bridget Regan.
You know, Fiona from The Leisure Class.
In this alternate universe she has a daughter from a previous marriage. That marriage came to an end because her husband died. I swear Hallmark movies kill more parents than any other movies I know about. The deal is that the mayor named Fred (Fred Henderson) wants her to work with Scott Terrell (Victor Webster) to restore the township’s historic gazebo.
Scott is an odd duck. He insists that the gazebo be restored to the exact way it used to be, complete with period accurate Christmas lights, and it was even built by his grandfather, but he doesn’t have a picture of it himself because it’s convenient for the plot. Seriously, once he tells you why he is so stubborn about having a historical reference for the gazebo you keep asking yourself why he doesn’t have one already. I mean he even promised his grandfather about the gazebo. Yet, he will harass Lindsey about finding an accurate picture of how the gazebo used to look. He eventually does find it, but it’s a bit ridiculous up till then and feels like Lindsey is playing a point and click adventure looking for the item she needs to complete his quest.
Well, anyways, we have two more people. We already mentioned the daughter…
and she wants a dog for Christmas, but instead, some random lady sells her a stocking. A magic stocking you might say. Enough of her though cause we now have Grandma Donna (Iris Quinn).
She has shown up for Christmas with a tree in tow. What’s hilarious here is that they bothered to make sure her car has a Florida license plate and bumper sticker.
Yet, there’s also this shot of a British Columbia license plate on Scott’s car.
I’m not sure what’s up with that cause I don’t really remember any specific references to say this is supposed to take place in the US. However, it’s Hallmark, so I think it’s a fair assumption they want you to believe this is the US.
Once Donna shows up then you quickly stumble across the high point of this movie. It’s not Lindsey and Scott. It’s not the little girl and her stocking that delivers plot useful items when the camera cuts. It’s not even restoring the gazebo. It’s watching Fred and Donna together.
Almost the instant she shows up, Mayor Fred knocks on the door to hit on her apparently having bought every flower at the shop for her. Really, I could and basically will just stop here and say this. The movie has the stocking delivering things from beyond, presumedly from the dead husband, to cheer up Lindsey and ultimately get the daughter a dog. Lindsey and Scott spend time together so they can end up together. The gazebo does get restored and they even get period specific Christmas lights for it. All the while we sit waiting for the scenes with Fred and Donna. They play well off each other. They aren’t wasted older actors like you see in some of these Hallmark movies. They are fun and full of life. They took what seriously is a rather dull and paint by numbers heart strings Hallmark movie and took it up a notch. I could watch a whole movie with just actors Fred Henderson and Iris Quinn together. If you’re already the Hallmark type, and you know who you are, then put up with the lackluster stuff for their scenes.
I guess there’s only a couple of other things to mention. Pay close attention to the conversation the daughter has with the mother about the dead father having wanted to get her a dog. I say this because otherwise the conversation between Lindsey and Donna at the end of the movie about the dog will leave you scratching your head thinking the daughter already knew what they say she doesn’t. I certainly was wondering and had to look back at my screenshots to figure out the subtle detail I missed.
Also, there’s a part where Donna leaves at night to go out with Fred, then we get a daytime scene with Lindsey followed by a night time scene where Donna returns from her date. Not sure if that’s a mistake or not. You’d think something simple like looking at the windows in the house when she leaves would tell you but…
some of the windows say night and the others say day, but when she returns…
those same daytime windows tell you night and in between is an unmistakable daytime scene.
Oh, well. Who cares? Donna seems to have had a really good time.
This may be called Magic Stocking and there are other plot elements here, but you are watching this for the chemistry between actors Fred Henderson and Iris Quinn. Just know that going in.