When Ava’s love-of-her-life boyfriend decides his promotion is more important than time together and tells her to go on a retreat — by herself — she reluctantly leaves New York and books a rental property in California during the Christmas holidays.
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This is a delightful and inspiring movie about good, caring people and a sweet romance that happens at Christmastime. With the most elegantly decorated Christmas scenes complemented by multiple aerial shots of elaborate displays of Christmas lights, this movie will not disappoint the most discriminating Christmas movie viewer. The full orchestral music throughout is punctuated by seasonal songs containing lyrics that enhance the story. The cinematography is superb and the cast is perfect with Vivica A. Fox as charming and caring as only a genuine good friend could be. Performances are believable and there is good on-screen chemistry that draws you up into the story. Everything about this movie is CHRISTMAS with a cute puppy segment included.
It’s Christmastime in New York City and everyone is walking around happy and smiling except for Ava (Anna Marie Dobbins) whose self-centered boyfriend, Dean, is obsessed with getting that promotion and hanging out with the CEO in Las Vegas, and suggests Mia find a “Christmassy” retreat of her own where she can decompress — without him. Ava is so disappointed.
Three thousand miles away, in Tinsel, California, 10-year-old Mia Miles (Rylie Coe) and her dad, widower for seven years, Mason Miles (Marc Herrmann) are looking forward to Christmas together. Mia is relentless in reminding her dad all she wants for Christmas is a puppy. Deb (Vivica A. Fox) is a family friend and watches over Mason and young Mia while gently encouraging Mason to find someone to share his life with. Ben (Jensen Atwood), Mason’s good friend, is also encouraging Mason to date, but Mason is just not interested and still mourns the loss of his beautiful wife.
Dad says Mia can take over the “guest house,” do whatever she wants with it. Gleefully, and with purpose, she goes behind his back and lists it as a Christmas holiday “rental,” just as Ava clicks on the link and books it! “See you Tuesday, Ms. Miles!” Dad is NOT happy when Ava arrives at the door and Mia is immediately grounded. But since Ava has come all the way from New York, she can stay.
As Ava continues to experience small-town hospitality and shares similarities with Mason, she is brought back to a simpler life where good morals and principles are the pillars that bring, and keep, family and friends together. And as Mia and Deb continue to scheme to bring broken hearts together, both Mason and Ava are beginning to see a possibility for them that no one could have anticipated and Ava might just have discovered where her heart truly belongs and the many reasons why.
A beautiful Christmas movie to watch with the entire family and Dove-approved for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
Taking chances can be an exciting and rewarding part of life and having the courage to seek out what makes us truly happy, despite the odds, is the most rewarding gift we can give ourselves.