The Christmas House

Alright this was probably the most anticipated movie of the weekend. I was really looking forward to it. I really enjoyed it so I don’t think I’m going to have a ton of snarky commentary so I apologize in advance if this recap is boring.

A lawyer in a very Christmasy court room is questioning a witness. Our lead, Mike, is obviously an actor. DEEP CUT. Oh WOW. The show is called HANDSOME JUSTICE. WOW. I love it. The crew all chat after the finale. Mike gets up and makes a nice little speech about the team and the show. His boss, Catherine(?) pulls him aside and wonders if they actually will get another season. We’re not sure even though the ratings are amazing.

Mike takes a call from his parents. He tells them everything is SUPER GOOD. The parents tell Mike that they have a REALLY BIG project to do. It sounds like maybe they do a big Christmas light show. His brother and his husband are coming to help tomorrow so Mike needs to get his butt home. After twenty years, they’re bringing the tradition back! Mike decides to head there the next day.

The boys head off their plane. Brandon and his husband, Jake talk about their adoption plans. Brandon doesn’t want to tell their family yet because he doesn’t want to get their hopes up. They run into Mike at baggage claim. Mike is trying to sweet talk an airline worker into finding his bag by revealing his celebrity status. Nobody cares that Mike is on a TV show. Jake and Brandon pretend to be super fans. I love it. Jake doesn’t seem to understand the work involved in the Christmas House.

Then the brothers race to be the one to drive the rental car. Mike wins because Brandon runs into a luggage cart. Again, I love these brothers. It’s so perfect.

At home, their mom looks through an old photo album. The boys all arrive. Doesn’t anyone pick anyone up at the airport? Especially one where you walk off the plane to the airport building?

In his room, Mike looks at an old photo of himself doing a magic act. The girl in the photo is back in town…ever since the divorce. Then the mom blows a whistle to get the boys all organized to do Christmas House prep. Jake starts to suck up to the mom. He says he is thrilled and honored to participate. He just doesn’t know any better yet!! Their dad took a power point class at the library to prepare this presentation. Oh fantastic. He leads the boys through a power point presentation. They have a whole digital plan for the interior decorations. They move all their furniture out of the house…TO WHAT END?! Do they charge? Why would anyone do this? Oh good. For some reason there is a photo of young Mike with one eyebrow in the mix. They also have 12 dozen of every baked good for guests. Brandon asks if “majestic Mike” will be performing. What is this rated? In general, the boys are all good sports about this whole business.

In the morning, Mike is wearing a…woman’s shirt? And tight joggers. Oh, that’s right, the airline lost his luggage. Luckily, his old girlfriend, Andy is there chatting away with his mom so she sees him dressed that way. Mike does end up finding better clothes later. His mom blows her whistle again. Someone take that away from her.

Mike and his dad head into town to get some supplies. Mike asks why they suddenly wanted to do the Christmas House again this year. And then his dad asks why he didn’t stay in touch with Andy. Then the boys decide to race to unload the boxes for $20. But Mike gets waylaid by coffee. Andy, though, decided to hire movers. SMART. Uh oh. Andy spills that the parents are selling the house! Mike asks why they didn’t mention that yet?! TOO BUSY. Andy tells Mike not to be too hard on them.

Mike asks his brother why he thinks they’re selling the house. Brandon is not as obsessed with the house as Mike is. A dorky kid approaches Mike and says he’s seen his show. Noah has NO CHILL. Andy tries to do damage control but it’s too late.

Brandon sees his mom baking and he remembers baking with her as a kid. Oh! She’s making rosettes! Brandon has his own bakery now which is lovely. She asks if she can come visit Brandon and Jake in Denver sometime. Brandon is like, yeah we’d love to have you guys. And she’s like, it would just be me. So SOMETHING IS UP.

The mom gives more instructions and makes a kind of snide comment to Bill. I NOTICE. Mike, Andy and Noah head to the tree lot. Noah helps them pick out trees. Andy opens up a teensy bit about her life. Noah’s dad lives overseas. That’s new. And she wants to hear about LA. He says it’s not very glamorous. Mike gives Noah some tips about picking out a tree.

Mike’s boss calls and tells him that Handsome Justice is cancelled. How could that be? It looked like SUCH A GOOD SHOW.

At home, the mom puts up decorations alone and reminisces about opening a new special ornament from Bill while the boys are little. It has all their names on it. Mike brings in another tree. Phyllis lets Mike hang the first ornament even though she always does it. Each tree in her house has a theme. She puts Mike and Andy on garland fluffing duty. I learn a good tip about fluffing garland. Mike offers to watch Noah while Andy goes and shows a house. They all say “fluffing garland” about 50 more times each.

Bill, Mike and Noah set up a Christmas village or train set situation. They tell Noah about the magic shows Mike used to do in the yard with Andy. Noah wants to learn magic from Mike. NOT THAT KIND OF MAGIC, MIKE!

Outside, Jake asks Brandon about all the twinkle lights. Jake wonders if they will be decorating as a family of three the next year. Brandon is very worried their adoption won’t go through. They have a nice moment being glad they’re there with Brandon’s family.

Inside, Bill hands Phyllis a teapot. He misremembers when they got it. She seems to get a little weird as they reminisce about it.

The next day, Mike stops by to see Andy. Andy says that Noah wants to ask a girl to be his magic partner. Andy says she is trying to compete with someone who is used to being the only game in town. He offers to post something on his social media account. He apparently as 1.2 million followers. Then he gets a request to do a new ad.

Brandon cooks that night. Mike tells everyone that he gave his magic kit to Noah. Brandon says that Andy broke Mike’s heart in high school. Mike shares that his show got cancelled. The parents exchange a LOOK.

Mike takes Noah to a magic shop. The owner is just as weird as you would imagine a magic shop owner to be. After the magic shop, Noah and Mike work on an ad for Andy. He posts it on his social media without telling her. It’s FANTASTIC. But you can totally see her kid’s face so I would not be cool with that. Noah heads to their house and does magic for them. It makes Bill and Phyllis flash back to encouraging Mike to make Andy his magic partner. Noah gets the job performing at the party.

So while they are fluffing garland, Mike asks if Andy liked the video. She does not find it as amusing as I did.

Bill tells Mike they aren’t looking for a house until the New Year. That seems WEIRD, right?

Mike asks Brandon if he thinks their parents are acting weird. Brandon thinks he’s deflecting because of Andy. Brandon apparently does not NOTICE ANYTHING. Mike says he can’t even think about trying to get together with Andy right now. Then they throw decorations at each other.

Inside they decorate gingerbread houses. IT’S NOT FUN YOU GUYS. I just tried it again to be sure. And I was right. And they DON’T LOOK LIKE THAT. Phyllis heads outside and cries. Mike follows her. Something to do with this Christmas mouse. Phyllis says it’s hard to be retired. She kind of opens up to Mike and admits she and Bill are going to separate after the holidays. And then they seemingly blow a fuse and everything in their house starts catching on fire. A little girl screams for no reason.

The next day, Mike and Brandon wonder if they should cancel the whole event. But, Jake fixed it! Mike starts to take charge of the rest of the planning. Phyllis hands him the whistle.

Andy tells the boys it’s tamale night. That sounds good. Brandon really wants the recipe. Phyllis and Bill talk about how they used to talk about everything. Phyllis says they’re not in sync anymore. It sounds like Phyllis is just struggling with being retired. Bill has been retired for a little long and is quite content. He’s found all kinds of things to fill his time.

Everyone heads to Andy’s family’s house for dinner that night. Andy’s mom says the kids still seem like kids to her. Bill makes a dad joke to Noah. It’s great. Phyllis is REALLY going through something though.

Later, Mike and Andy reminisce about their old magic show. Then Andy gets an email from GAIL her nemesis. She wants to know how Andy knows the Handsome Justice. Then Mike remembers having a necklace prepared to give to Andy via magic trick. Okay, they have THIRTY YEAR OLDS playing these high schoolers. The magic trick doesn’t work and he turns around and Andy gets swept away by another full sized grown up.

Andy tells Bill and Phyllis they have a potential buyer. Noah tells Mike he is so lucky to get to live here.

Mike vents to Brandon about everything he’s thinking. He says he doesn’t even want to go back to LA. And he asks why Brandon is so calm. Brandon shares that they’ve had three adoptions fall through. They are waiting to hear about one more but just can’t get their hopes up. He gives Mike some nice advice.

Bill and Phyllis talk about someone wanting to come see the house. Phyllis complains about all the stuff Bill is so busy with. She has to do everything around the house because Bill is always gone doing his retirement activities. Apparently for her to get those same things…they have to sell the house and end their marriage. That makes sense.

The weird magic shop owner is the potential buyer. Mike follows behind he and Andy on the house tour and suggests there are all kinds of things wrong with the house. Andy assures Mike she won’t steer his parents wrong on the house. Then, Andy and Mike go have a drink. While they’re out, Mike tells her about the gift he was planning to give her but then she got swept away by a different guy and they started dating. Then Andy says she’s seen every episode of his show.

Bill and Phyllis talk to Andy about the magician’s offer. It expires on Christmas Eve for some reason. Bill says he thinks they should list the house and probably accept the magician’s offer? I think that’s where we landed. Impossible to know though, because Bill just abruptly stands up and walks out.

Then Mike’s boss calls and says he needs to participate in a meeting in New York to fight for the show. ON CHRISTMAS EVE.

Then Mike asks Andy to help Noah with the magic show.

Bill and Phyllis talk inside. Phyllis says Bill surprised him today when he said he wanted to list the house. He tells her that he just wants to do whatever makes him happy. She seems impacted by that.

Noah practices a magic trick with Mike. He does a good job. Andy overhears Mike give Noah some good advice. Andy tells Mike that Noah’s been happier the last two weeks than he’s been in a long time.

Mike walks home and offers to help Bill with the lights. Mike realizes that Bill must have spent hours learning magic so he could teach Mike. Mike admits he knows they are separating. Bill admits he lost sight of what’s important. He forgot to take care of his wife.

Andy has a flashback after looking at a picture in her room. It’s the same one Andy keeps looking up at the mistletoe and back at Mike. He turns around to fix it and for some reason Andy just walks away when another guy approaches.

The next day, the stage is all set up. There is a really cool sign and stuff. Mike then realizes his meeting is in the afternoon. ON CHRISTMAS EVE DAY! These show business people.

Jake thinks a Christmas Eve open house party to list the house is a great idea. It’s actually not though, right? Oh! They found a fixer upper house that they can work on together. A project they can share. So they are not going to separate. Then Jake gets some NEWS. Their adoption finalized today! I’m very excited for them! But that’s not how it works! Perhaps they mean the biological parents relinquished their rights. But let’s not worry about that right now. They are going to be parents!

Andy and Noah talk about the magic show that night at bedtime. Noah says that Mike told him he used to have so much fun performing with Andy.

The next day, Mike plans to head to his meeting. They wait an HOUR to go in. The New York executive tells them they aren’t cancelled. But they need to freshen the show up. Catherine and the nameless studio exec want to just chat away all afternoon about new ideas for the show. Mike zones out and thinks about Andy. Mike is finally like, I have to go! Catherine is like, GIRL for real?! Mike gives a little speech about family and why he needs to be with them. Can you BELIEVE THAT GUY? ON CHRISTMAS EVE DAY?! HE must not be committed to the show.

The Christmas House is PACKED. It looks so so amazing. What a waste though, to only do it for one night, right? You’d want it up for at least a few weeks?

The weird magic shop owner approaches Andy and is like, I want to make an ALL cash offer RIGHT NOW. Dude how good is business at the magic shop? Andy tells the family. Mike is basically still missing the whole thing. Then, e makes it back just in time for Noah’s magic show. Mike’s CAPE is nuts. Now it’s magic show time. Then it’s time for the grand finale. The assistants go in the box and SANTA comes out! And it snows!

Back in the house, Mike has one last trick. Andy tells Mike she doesn’t want him to move back to LA. His magic trick works! And he gives her the necklace. He also says he’s not going back to LA. They flash back to their weird “younger” versions of themselves. And then THEY KISS.

Phyllis and Bill talk. Bill gives Phyllis a snow globe with their house in it. Then THEY KISS.

Brandon and Jake have a snowball fight. Everyone is on track!

It must be Christmas morning. Brandon makes cinnamon rolls. Marvelous Jim had a change of heart and no other offers. Probably because he doesn’t actually make any money. Then Mike reveals HE wants to buy the house. Also, he can do a spin off show in NEW YORK! So that all worked out nicely. Then Mike and Andy kiss again! And we get to see Jake and Brandon with their new baby! And Bill and Phyllis out hiking together. And the next year, they’re all celebrating Christmas together. Mike, Andy and Noah even wear magic jammies. We end with an amazing commercial by Mike.

Well DANG IT THAT WAS CUTE. For real this is probably going to be my favorite movie of the year. It was such a fun idea for a Hallmark movie. I loved the brothers’ relationship. Their silly competitiveness was so hilarious. And all of Mike’s OVER THE TOP acting in EVERYTHING. It was all so great. I also liked that all three couples were kind of going through something different. And of course that everything worked out at the end. So yes, loved this one. You should all definitely watch. Let’s see how we scored: 6/20 Not to bad!

  1. Single Parent
  2. Christmas Baking
  3. Snowball fight
  4. Christmas puns
  5. Nonsense drama
  6. Christmas montage

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