After watching Becoming Santa, it was time to continue cleaning out the DVR by watching The Spirit of Christmas, which originally premiered on Lifetime on December 19th.
According to the imdb, The Spirit of Christmas was originally titled Hollygrove. I imagine that, as often happens when Lifetime picks up a film, the network changed the title to make it a little more “Lifetimey.” And The Spirit of Christmas is a totally appropriate title. It takes place during Christmas and some of the main characters are spirits. However, I have to say that I really prefer Hollygrove as a title. Hollygrove sounds like the title of one of those gothic romances that my sisters and I love to read, the type where the covers always feature a woman in a nightgown staring back at a big dark house. (The house is usually sitting on a cliff and waves are crashing below.) This film may technically be a Christmas film but, at heart, it’s really a tribute to those wonderful paperback novels.
Kate (Jen Lilley) is a broker who, when we first meet her, is relieved that her boyfriend is breaking up with her. Kate doesn’t have time for love. Instead, she’s all about her career. She also doesn’t have time for Christmas and, therefore, she doesn’t complain when her boss asks her spend the early part of her holiday driving out to a deserted inn and assessing the property.
The inn’s pretty nice but nobody wants to spend too much time there because, according to local legend, it’s haunted by its former owner, a bootlegger named Daniel (Thomas Beaudoin). Well, you should never be too quick to dismiss local legend because, in this case, it’s true! Spending the night at the Inn, which she believes to be deserted, Kate is shocked when she runs into Daniel wandering around the hallways!
Daniel, as she soon learns, was murdered 90 years ago on Christmas. Daniel is hanging out around the Inn, still trying to figure out who murdered him and mourning his lost love, Lily (Kati Salowsky). As Kate helps Daniel try to solve his murder, she finds herself falling in love with the spirit with the hipster beard. But the holidays are nearly over, and with them Daniel’s time on Earth. And, of course, Kate’s boss is demanding that she wrap up her appraisal and get back to work…
Anyway, I totally loved The Spirit Of Christmas. Unlike some of the other Lifetime holiday movies, The Spirit of Christmas managed to mix the holidays with everything that we love about Lifetime movies — there was romance, there was murder, there was interior design, and most importantly, there were elaborate historical flashbacks. Thomas Beaudoin had great chemistry with both Jen Lilley and Kati Salowsky and the whole film ended with a wonderfully romantic dance scene. (And I absolutely loved that red dress that Kate was wearing!) This was the perfect mix of Lifetime and the holidays.
Definitely, keep an eye out for The Spirit of Christmas!