#11 Christmas Inheritance

christmas inheritance 1Netflix is stepping up their game this year! Not only did we have A Christmas Prince, but now we have today’s installment, Christmas Inheritance, which I swear, just by reading the little blurb before you hit “play,” I’ve seen before…several times, on my favorite channel in the past few years. But we’ll see, won’t we? Christmas Inheritance stars Eliza Tylor, who I know is from the CW’s 100 – only because that usually is on after a show I watch, and I hear her voice a lot before I shut the tv off to put my kids to bed.

Interesting note – on the Netflix screen, it’s this image, of her, with that guy on the left, and there’s another guy on the right. Why did we cut out the guy on the right for the poster of this film? I don’t know. Apparently Andie McDowell is in this, as well. Glad to know she’s got a job that’s not just for Loreal.

We open at a Toys For Tots Gala, but Eliza Taylor, who plays Ellen Langford, the party heiress of the Home & Hearth  is no where to be found – why? because she’s turning cartwheels and showing off her control top pantyhose in front of some douchebags with checks. Home & Hearth is apparently another Hallmark knock-off, and her dad runs the company. She is also engaged to a guy named Grey Pittman – who is the guy who is missing from the poster. Mystery solved – he’s the one she has to leave in order to be happy!

She needs to learn about the spirit of the company – learn about the small-town folks who buy their gifts – so her dad sends her on a business trip to deliver the Christmas Letter to Snow Falls, which apparently is where the company started. She can only go with $100 in her pocket, and she has to go incognito. Her fiance is icky and can’t understand why anyone would want to work for their living, other than stock trading, or whatever he does.  And oh my goodness, party heiress has to take the bus! And can’t take her credit cards! How will she cope? It’s a challenge her father hopes she passes. She seems to be excited to do it, so maybe there is hope for her?

Snow Falls is a delightful small town, where the bus is met by Dickensian carolers.

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Isn’t every bus met with this quartet?

Her suitcase is hit by a vintage green taxi, driven by the other guy from the poster – who has a VERY unfortunate haircut. It’s a one-taxi-town that doesn’t have cell reception.  Where is this place? I’m sure even Siberia has cell reception.

Her Uncle Zeke runs an inn – the charming kind that has Christmas trees in every room. In another life, I’m going to run one of those.

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The town is named Snow Falls, so I guess that’s why they don’t plow. 

Taxi driver also is the manager of the inn, and his very generic name is Jake Collins. But Uncle Zeke is not there! She has to stay to put a Christmas letter into Zeke’s hand, and so she’s stuck. In a place with huge guest rooms with roaring fires, but with no room service or cell service.

Andie McDowell shows up as the owner of Debbie’s Cafe, and Jake’s aunt. Turns out she also dated Ellie’s father once upon a time. I think this is Chekov’s gun. And Jake hates Silent Night? Who hates that song? He’s beating up the juke box. Where is Fonzie when you need him?

Ellie just freaked out by a fur-covered hot-water bottle. Why have those if there is a freaking fire in the room, and I’m assuming, also a radiator? Seems dumb.

Ellie’s fiance is a giant turd, and wants her to come home for his office Christmas party, and since she can’t go home without seeing Uncle Zeke, he will have to hang out with Karen from Accounting. That bitch!  And since Uncle Zeke is not there, and she only  has the $100, she is now helping out at the inn as the maid. Her first room is a pig sty. Who does that to small, quaint, country inns? She’s cleaning in a sweater dress and four inch heels. So no wonder that she sucks at it. (She just blew up a vacuum cleaner).

To get out of maid duty, she claims to be a baker, and of course, she is not. Andie McDowell just asked her to separate the eggs, and she doesn’t know what that means. But with her keen eye, Andie McDowell has discovered her true identity, and after warning her not to hurt her beloved nephew Jake, she decides to help Ellie learn to bake.

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Andie McDowell is awesome, and has great hair.

Backstory on Jake – he’s divorced, his wife was a Wall Street banker who left him, and now he’s bitter. Now we know. I think that was the backstory of the guy Matthew Goode played in Leap Year. Except that was in Ireland.

The inn is full with other people who need help because they lost power and it’s too dangerous to be in the cold. Ellie just redeemed herself a bit by helping the lone homeless guy in Snow Falls to get shelter from the storm.

Jake is an artist! He does that movie artist thing, where he just shades in one area, making it look like he drew something but he totally didn’t. And magically, the freezing, dangerous blizzard is over and they are walking in the snow. And we hear the reason why he hates Silent Night – because that’s what was playing when his wife dumped him! They have a heart-to-heart in some forest, and she tells him that she closed herself off because her mom died, and being with him has made her realize that she can’t do that anymore…and just before they kiss, she stops because she’s engaged? Because they have to wait for the kiss until the end of the movie?

Next morning, the snow from this blizzard is magically gone from all sidewalks, so she can run in her heeled boots without falling. It’s a miracle. She’s going to help with the Silent Auction on Christmas Eve, because now she’s all about helping. Because Jake is super nice. And because it’s Christmas. I guess.  Now, if this is a small town, and they do this Silent Auction every year, why the HELL wouldn’t all the small business owners already be doing something to donate to this thing? Makes no sense. She just got the grinchy Apple Store guy to donate an Apple TV. She’s so good at this, y’all!

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Do they look happy to see Mr. Fiance? I should say not.

During their very heartfelt hug, guess who shows up?  Grey Pittman, the dirtbag fiance! And now Jake is super depressed because even though he knew she had a fiance, he is bummed that now there’s competition.

Ooooh, Jake is giving a speech about how she’s been up-front and honest, and how he’s been closed off from people – but he doesn’t know that she’s been lying about her name because of a bet with her dad!  The deceit!

After she tells fiance that she likes being treated like a regular person, not a rich girl, he basically says, that’s great, but you’ll never be one of them. Captain Von Trapp said that to Rolf in the cemetery during The Sound of Music, but it had a much different meaning behind it. I love that movie. I think I need to watch it again.

Oh, snap, dirtbag fiance outed Ellie as the party heiress to Jake! Because they’re both drinking and he sucks – and that sends Jake off to Google to find all about Ellie’s bad behavior. Oh the angst. He hates the fact that…she’s rich? She lied about her name? She has a reputation? It’s probably all of them. They say their good-byes, and now Jake is sulking, listening to Silent Night.

Ellie and Fiance have it out, and she leaves him in his shiny red car and hops the bus back to Snow Falls, sans engagement ring, just in time for the Santa Dinner and Silent Auction, which features a tiny band, and a very spirited singer of Jingle Bells. She sees Jake and tells him she ditched Fiance, and how the people of Snow Falls are so awesome and taught her so much.  All in a few days.  The magic of small towns at Christmas.

The Santa at the Santa Dinner is Uncle Zeke. Now Ellie has inherited the entire Home & Hearth company, because she learned all about friendship and love. Oh, and her father made it to the Santa Dinner, and now he’s being reunited with Andie McDowell. Chekov’s gun, indeed.

And Andie McDowell sings!!!  And guess what she sings?!?!  Silent Night. Yup. And now Jake is ok with the song.

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See how ok he is with the song? They’re dancing!

So, there you have it. Netflix has outdone themselves with the set dressing on this movie – there are almost as many Christmas trees as Miss Christmas. And probably more snow than in all of the movies I’ve watched so far this holiday season. The beauty of Netflix means I can revisit Snow Falls and watch this again, if I choose…which…I probably won’t. Once was enough, just so you don’t have to.

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