Chaos Attraction

Christmas at Pemberley Manor

2018-12-18, 6:06 a.m.

Not much happened on Monday. I've managed to catch one full Hallmark movie at my mom's house lately and it was a good one!

Christmas at Pemberley Manor:

We’ve got one William Darcy, businessman who tries to make jokes and nobody gets that he is making jokes. He’s got the family estate, Pemberley, of course, which he is about to sell and have torn down because no one’s lived there for years. (Actually, he says “the board” wanted it sold.) And then there’s Elizabeth Bennet who comes down to the town the estate is located in to plan the Christmas festival. She decides to come to the defense of Travis, Darcy’s new and very very very nervous assistant who genuinely feels afraid that he’s going to get fired if he screws up the coffee. She marches up to Darcy’s car, not knowing who he is, and points out that essentially, she’s been there and done that (her boss is not a peach) and it sucks to live in fear of being fired. Darcy takes this very well and chill because he knows he’s bad at joke delivery. Elizabeth is cheerfully smug about both telling the guy how she felt and how she will never have to deal with him again.

So when the town gazebo literally falls into a hole due to a broken water main in the town square, Elizabeth and company have to come up with an alternate location for the town of Landon to have the festival. Heeeey, maybe we could use that fancy estate before it’s torn down! “We could string Christmas lights over the big wrecking ball,” says George the mayor. So Elizabeth goes balls in and politely argues with Darcy to let them use it before it’s torn down, but he doesn’t want to ruin the sale by having people walking around. She coolly tells him he’s going to end up on one of Santa’s list, but “not the right one” and stalks out. This girl has some chutzpah for Hallmark. I kinda like her even if she seems a wee bit full of herself. Likewise I kinda like Darcy because while he’s cool (as in chill-like), he at least knows he doesn’t pull off making jokes too well and doesn’t really mean to scare his assistant on his first day.

Darcy’s property caretaker Christopher and Travis the assistant (and uh, some business types involved in the sale, saying it would help to get goodwill with the town) talk him into caving in, and five seconds later Elizabeth is ON IT. As long as his, name is kept out of it.

Naturally Darcy is a typical Hallmark dude who works on Christmas, doesn’t seem to super remember any nice Christmases he had at Pemberley, his mom was dead and his dad sounds like an abandoning icicle. Well, until Elizabeth makes him get a tree, anyway. Elizabeth, for the record, actually finds Darcy funny when he makes a crack about how his business associates might not take it well if he jumped up and down with enthusiasm. She didn’t read that he was funny on the Internet! They hang out and make cookies and generally have fun, so that’s good. You know it’s a good Hallmark movie when they actually give the relationship time to develop like that.

Travis the assistant and Jane the assistant (to George) hit it off and bond over preciseness and filing systems. This gets next to no screentime but is darned cute for the 30 seconds or so that they get.

George the mayor is actually a decent fellow in this one (some cousin of his? unsure) and he says that Darcy’s deep dark secret is that he secretly donates to charity a lot. He and Elizabeth went on ONE date but she wasn’t feeling it after that, and apparently he has decided to hang around in the friendzone. Sigh.

At the festival, Darcy is photographed there, unbeknownst to him, and then some article is written about him being there. He didn’t want to have his name involved but he ends up being totally cool and chill and nice about it, anyway. But what this leads to is Elizabeth’s boss, Caroline Bingley, getting rather annoyed at Darcy and Elizabeth getting credit for the event. Caroline is, well, an attention whore. So she rolls into town, starts finagling Darcy and Elizabeth has to politely tell Darcy that now she needs to be behind the scenes now. Darcy says she’s been doing great, should be running the festival and maybe he should knock on her boss’s car window....I wish. Poor Elizabeth is politely cowed at her boss-she’s been so confident early on that it’s a bit shocking for her to just be like, “Oh, I’m surprised she didn’t change even more of it” and “I’m content with being in the background. She’s the one that belongs out front.” After Darcy goes on a carriage ride with Elizabeth, guess who else wants to too.

There’s a lot of people who drop out of the festival performances at the last minute, so Elizabeth gets to sing in the show. Or as her boss puts it, “If you were looking to make up for this whole Darcy thing....” Geez. Then Caroline tells Elizabeth to go on her vacation a day early, before the festival even ends. Elizabeth is all, “Are you firing me?” and NO, there is no Christmas firing, whew. She just wants Elizabeth out of the way so she can show off, sigh. George tries to talk Caroline out of this, but she won’t listen to him.

Meanwhile, George decides he’s going to ask Elizabeth out again and Darcy is all, “I think you should go for it.” Poor clueless Darcy, he thinks Elizabeth and George are better suited. Christopher the caregiver gives him a talking to and says, “You can get what you wish for, but you have to ask.” I think you can deduce that this doesn’t get anywhere.

Before Elizabeth is forced to leave town, she finds Caroline taking down the festival. Whaaaaaaaat? The sale has gone through and now the company who bought the estate wants everyone off it for liability reasons--they no longer care about getting the town’s goodwill. Elizabeth is all, let’s ask Darcy, and Caroline’s all, he’s left for NYC already.

I haven’t mentioned yet that there’s a bit of Christmas wish discussion going on. Elizabeth wrote a letter to Santa due to her niece, asking for love this year, which is mentioned early on. She decides to use her Christmas wish on the festival. Travis is called and put to work on delaying Darcy. We find out that the sale isn’t 100% done until the board votes on it, so technically Darcy still owns the property until then. Eventually he has to admit to Darcy why they haven’t left yet, and that he really should get together with Elizabeth. They go back to town, where Elizabeth has recruited people to set up the festival again. She points out to Caroline that this festival is bigger than just the two of them, and Caroline goes along with it, which made me think better of her.

Oh, wait, is Christopher the caregiver Santa Claus? He just straight up says to William that he should get the hint and fulfill Elizabeth’s Christmas wish already. How does he know about this letter? HMMMMMMM. So yeah, probably?

Darcy cancels the sale, decides to partake in Christmas, and (since someone else dropped out again) reads from “Twas The Night Before Christmas” in public. I thought you didn’t like speaking in public, Elizabeth says? Well, he had to do something to make it to the nice list. They kiss in front of the house.

I really liked this one, it is now in my top Hallmark shows. The actress playing Elizabeth is fun and charismatic to watch. I enjoyed her personality. I also enjoyed how the two of them weren’t really “at odds” in this one. William is a quieter dude but good at heart and never anything but kind even though he is playing Hallmark Dude. Kind of reminded me of the dude in Christmas Incorporated. I think the dude in CI is cuter (nice eyes on him), but they both had the same pleasantly quiet, I enjoy watching him sort of demeanor. I liked how Caroline was a showoff but not vindictive, I liked Travis and Jane even though they aren’t in it much. I liked that George was nice but felt sorry for him not ending up with anyone. Overall I really enjoyed watchng it!

In other news on this, check out this this link featuring an... interesting 3-way art photo of the actor playing Darcy.

Here’s another review. And another. And another. And another. And it got covered on the Hallmarkies podcast.

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