“Relationships are complicated.”
Before going their separate ways, Averie and Jesse had a hit Christmas song called “Wouldn’t Be Christmas”. Since then, she opened a lodge, and he’s touring but not nearly as successful.
They find themselves reunited for an extended period of time at her lodge thanks to (wait for it) a snow storm closing down the roads – all while Averie is trying to win a $60,000 prize from a magazine, the inn’s super pregnant cook is about to give birth, and the inn ends up host the town’s Yuletide Festival so it won’t be canceled due to (wait for it) a flood. It’s the Hallmark movie, “A Christmas Duet” (2019).
Our Review: A Christmas Duet
So, as you can probably guess from our plot summary up above, “A Christmas Duet” is riddled with Hallmark Christmas movie cliches. While that’s not always a recipe for disaster, it is in this movie – because it’s all done so poorly.
There are two huge issues: the acting and the writing.
In the acting department, it’s just so robotic most of the time. Both the leads Avery (Charley Rose) and Jesse (Rome Flynn) just never clicked here and had little chemistry. Suzy was OK, her best moment coming when she was star struck by Jesse.
But it’s not like the actors had much to work with. The writing was pretty terrible.
Our biggest complaint about “A Christmas Duet” was that everything felt so repetitive.
There were so many scenes where either Averie or Jesse were watching an old video of the two of them performing that same song (“Wouldn’t Be Christmas”) all those years ago.
Thankfully, at least they could sing. But they reused the footage of the old performance of that song too many times.
Averie and Jesse also have the same conversations over and over again in “A Christmas Duet” (a problem that also plagued the underwhelming “Christmas Scavenger Hunt” earlier this year). Jesse asks Averie multiple times whether she misses performing together – and how many times did Jesse and Averie have to talk about him leaving the lodge?
It was pretty lame of Jesse to say he tried life and love, “and you know how that turned out.” (This attitude also annoyed us in “Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays“) Yes, one relationship failed, so the only option is to completely give up. Great attitude, buddy!
Along with the poor writing came poor pacing. Plus a pretty major continuity goof.
Let’s break the rest of “A Christmas Duet” down.
The Nice List
It Looked Nice
There were lots of decorations. Granted, “A Christmas Duet” wasn’t as visually impressive as other Hallmark movies from this year.
Basically, it looked good, not great, which puts it at low end for a Hallmark movie (but better than most Lifetime and other new Christmas movies).
Activities: never did show snowman contest. had carriage rides, making snowman, ugly sweater party, festival with concert, wreath making, snowball fight, and (underwhelming) tree lighting, multiple cookie making and tree decorating. made smores.
There’s a New Confectioner in Town
While they’re admiring their Christmas cookies, Averie references “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” when she says, “Move aside, Willy Wonka, there’s a new confectioner in town.”
The Naughty List
Aside from the repetitive issues, some things felt overly drawn out.
For example, they were building snowman days in advance. (It was also odd how they never showed who won the contest after they spent screen time gathering stuff to decorate and even showed some of the decorating going on).
Then other things moved too fast. At first, Phyllis, the magazine’s judge was cold. Then she’s suddenly opening up about her dead husband. And then she’s inviting Jesse’s manager, Dan, on a trip with her. This is all in the span of a few days!
Major Timeline Goof
With 3 days to go until the festival, Averie and Jesse had their first almost kiss of the movie. It is also on this day that we learn the roads are back open.
That meant Jesse could finally leave. But he didn’t.
In fact, an entire day of movie time then goes by. And we move to the events of the day before the festival.
At the ugly sweater party, Jesse wants to talk to Averie about what happened last night. Except it was actually two nights ago.
And it’s also during this party that Jesse realizes the roads are clear (what has he been doing the last 2 days to miss this news?).
Whatever Happened to…
- Emma? We lost track of her after that carriage ride scene, and was never really shown again after that. We were expecting her to win the snowman contest, but they never showed it (in fact, they never really showed any people doing things at the festival).
- Jesse’s dog? It sort of vanished at some point and never was any scenes.
That Closing Shot
The movie ends with the wide shot of the inn, with Suzy and Marshall holding the baby under the awning. It’s the exact same shot they showed just a few minutes earlier, when they returned to the lodge for the first time after she had her baby.
Why close on that same silly shot, rather than either another kiss from the romantic leads or maybe everyone sitting down to Christmas dinner?
The movie could have easily wrapped up everything at the concert, instead of in this tacked-on and dull ending.
You Might Fall Asleep…
The movie is pretty boring and repetitive.
The WORST List
When they make the pregnant lady walk around the day after being told to stay in bed. And then make fun of because she’ll only stay in bed 5 minutes.
If You Liked “A Christmas Duet” You Should Watch
A Christmas Duet
“A Christmas Duet” is a Christmas dud. Poor acting, poor writing, poor pacing. There’s just nothing worth seeing here. We definitely won’t be rewatching this movie again.