What we’re really missing in a lot of film protagonists is a distinct sense of ambivalence toward the situations unfolding about them. But Mary’s here to change that: she makes finding out your aunt has died and left her suburban house to you is about as interesting as discovering there’s some leftover casserole in the fridge.

Still, she does care enough about the house to stop her boyfriend Rick (with his on-again, off-again Bostonian accent and specialism in heartless law) trying to sell it. Why is this? It is because she used to visit her aunt whilst her parents were still together, their break-up having rendered her unable to visit places/express emotion ever again. What’s more ludicrous is that neither of her parents seem happy with the divorce, prompting me to wonder why the hell they decided to do it in the first place. Probably to give Mary a relatable vulnerability, as dictated by the powers that be at Hallmark Channel.

Mary suddenly realises there was a producer behind the breakdown of her family all along!
Mary suddenly realises there was a producer behind the breakdown of her family all along!

Regardless, the broken family effect has been great on Mary: she has no knowledge of how to make friends (sue them) or eat cookies (with a fork), but she can be saved by a combination of love and unconfirmed historical theories. Archaeologist Everett (about as hunky as daytime TV can allow) is convinced the first Thanksgiving happened in Mary’s back garden and she’s powerless to resist this wild hypothesis. It’s no wonder Everett still lives with his parents, but darn it he’s keen on proving that pilgrims and native Americans sat in that exact spot- something he never actually proves in the end but nobody really cares so it’s fine.

What Everett should do is become a blogger: Ashleigh (who by the way is SUPER ANNOYING- she wears a pink jacket but she’s not joining our cool club with her attitude) blogs daily and needs no other job to finance her massive house and nice clothes. She even runs off with Rick on a cruise- a nice example of the movie trope “pair the spares” which implies only horrible people go on cruises. Avoid them just in case, guys.

The whole film half-asses its way through the plot, and it’s up to the soundtrack to work overtime and play the love melody every ten minutes so we know Mary and Everett are going to end up together. We all know their acting wouldn’t guarantee as much.

Rating: Ho/ Ho Ho Ho.

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