”I just think if you want something to happen, you have got to make it happen. Otherwise it’s just way too easy to let life slip by and pretend there’s nothing you could do about it.”
Country music star Laney Blu visits Baxter Mountain, the small town where she grew up. She plans to stay only for a night to visit her mom before heading to New York for a big concert. But a snowstorm hits and she’s stuck.
She finds herself reunited with her ex-boyfriend, her ex-best friend, and more of the town’s residents she hasn’t seen in years. And she ends up trying to put together a concert to save her father’s theater in the 2019 Lifetime movie, “Sweet Mountain Christmas”.
’Twas Sweet Mountain Christmas
This is your pretty typical person gets stuck unexpectedly somewhere for Christmas meets lost love thrown together by circumstances beyond their control.
The main plot revolves around Laney coming home and making amends with her past. Love is rekindled with Robbie, her ex-boyfriend who is now the mayor/snow plow driver. She also resurrects her friendship with Lori, who is also Robbie’s brother. And she proves that she’s off her “high horse” to more locals in town.
Thanks to this process, Laney finds her true path, inspiration, and realizes she must be authentic. She’s country, not pop.
Sadly, this was one of those Christmas movies where stuff happens, but there’s no real plot to speak of. There are threads, but they never really turn into much of anything compelling or memorable.
Although the acting is solid, the actors don’t have much to work with. “Sweet Mountain Christmas” is a bland and uninteresting Christmas tale.
The Nice List
Laney and Robbie have good chemistry. She’s full-figured and realistic and he’s handsome.
They make a nice couple, once they get past the bitterness of the past and Robbie realizes she never really had all those boyfriends – it was all fake.
It Feels Christmasy (Mostly)
Scenes are filled with lots of snow and decorations most of the way through.
It feels like the town is Christmasy. As the movie goes on, it feels like Laney is slowly acclimating to Christmas and being home.
Laney’s house is likewise slow to get decorated – they don’t do so until three days before Christmas. And, sadly, all the promises Laney’s mom makes at the start never come to pass – sure, they get a tree, but there is no lawn Santa and they never do binge watch those Christmas movies.
Thumbs up for the Dolly Parton Christmas music throughout the film. And Laney and Lori team up for a couple of Christmas songs – “The First Noel” and the closing number.
Near the end of Lori’s pre-concert freakout where she walks away saying she’s going to throw up. Robbie tells her “1 minute.” Lori shouts back: “Stop being so bossy.”
The Naughty List
A Giant Build to Nowhere
Everything that matters really happens in the last 10 minutes or so.
Yet the ending felt sudden and was a letdown.
The concert, which is meant to save the theater, ends up being pointless because Laney buys the theater.
Plus, all that time Laney spent recruiting musicians for the big concert was equally pointless.
Did we see any of them perform? No (other than Lori, who did a duet with Laney). So why spend all that time and effort getting invested in them?
The WORST List
The Pacing Is So SLOOOOOOOW
The first 30 minutes were slow. The first hour was slow. (You might just fall asleep.)
It took 95 minutes into the 2-hour airing of the movie for Laney and Robbie to ask each other if they were dating anyone.
The accents don’t sound authentic most of the time. Stretched over the entire length of a movie, it was just too much.
Um, Helicopter, Hello?
OK, there is only one road in and out of Baxter Mountain. We get it.
However, Laney’s manager, Danny, and personal assistant, Beth, can’t seem to figure out another way to get her out of the town. Even though it’s no longer snowing.
Ever heard of these flying machines called helicopters? Fairly sure a big country star like her could get one of those.
Sweet Mountain Christmas
“Sweet Mountain Christmas” hit a sour note with us. It felt like a 10 minute song that had no business being 10 minutes when it easily could have been trimmed to 3 minutes. With so many other options for Christmas movies, it’s highly doubtful we’ll be returning to Baxter Mountain ever again.