Hallmark begins its Christmas countdown with You, Me and the Christmas Trees. It’s the kind of cosy Christmas romance that fans of this phenomenal Christmas tradition know and love – but is it worth a quick look, or do you have to watch half of it on the Saturday night before this year’s Lacey Chabert film?
Hallmark star Danica McKeller plays Olivia:
A Connecticut carpenter who has made a name for herself as a Christmas tree whisperer. Benjamin Ayres (last seen on Cranberry Christmas in 2020) plays Jack, the owner of Avon, Connor’s old Christmas tree in Connecticut. But the fourth generation of tree farming could be the last. Jack doesn’t understand why all the trees are dead! It’s good that Olivia works only a few hours away – and doesn’t want to go home to her mother’s busy Christmas gala. Of course, he’ll take the time to get to the root of the problem with the Jack tree – and that’s it. Jack and Olivia will find nothing else – let alone feelings for each other and the meaning of Christmas.
I mean, you should give it to Jason Hervey as a rival to tree tycoon Dwayne Colson. He is aggressive and will stop at nothing to make one of his trees light up the city on Christmas Eve! Plus, meeting McKellar and Hervey’s Extraordinary Years is a gift in itself.
The first line of the dialogue does mentions that the annual Christmas gala, followed by the annual Christmas tree lighting (100th!), the annual Christmas crafts market, the all-day PJ tradition, the annual Christmas cocktail competition, the old tradition of decorating the Christmas tree. To the 1920s and the annual prize exchange game with the wrong rules. You can’t trade items once you’ve unlocked them! You, me and the Christmas tree can’t go 5 minutes without introducing a new tradition.
You have to choose: steal items or unlock new gifts!
This is how you do it. The 2021 proposal starts with a film that gives you everything you’d expect. From a traditional Hallmark film, with elements of modernity to give it a fresh feel. The film’s location is in Avon, Connecticut, a surreal place, and all the interiors have a cosy classic Christmas atmosphere. The city has such a hectic holiday schedule that we expect from these films. Does Avon need a last-minute Christmas crafts market every year? Should the cocktail competition be an annual event in itself? Yes, and yes. And there’s even a sweet date that Jack accidentally gets ahead of Olivia when the two of them meet. It’s a love beat that leads to love and juice!
But YM&CT (as Hallmarkies are called) offers something completely unexpected when we see Olivia and Jake fall in love. On the one hand, Olivia is not a busy woman who has left her small town for the big city. It was his career that drew him to Jack, and that is something he loves about him. You have to love it when a Hallmark holiday movie interrupts the first romantic kiss. And the main female character screams, “This is how we can tie nutrition together! Olivia is a big brain (you bet there’s a cup in the warehouse in this Hallmark movie). And Jack is the funny, kind of simple one. He likes Christmas trees, doesn’t he?
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McKellar and Ayres had fun on screen together, playing out their scenes with genuine friendliness and down to earth charm – the kind I’ve always appreciated in these films. Primarily if they are based on some deception or if the person is very possessive or lacks chemistry. My only gripe: why does everyone at Avon wait until a week before Christmas to buy a tree?