Darcy is a former pop star whose popularity has faded and now sings in small intimate venues. When she loses her agent, she goes home to Dayton Ohio for Christmas and ends up coaching a high-school singing team with her high-school rival, Adam (Brendan Perry). How does all of this come about? Her widowed sister's daughter tries out for an opening on the championship choral team and totally blows it because of her lack of confidence. In fact, the coach didn't even let her finish the audition! Mean! This pisses Darcy off so much, that she gets all of the rejects together to form a competing team. They start out to be awful (and hilarious), but Darcy's coaching style gives them confidence, and they quickly are just as good as their rivals, if not better. The #1 team recognizes their talent and the kids propose to the two bickering antagonistic coaches that they join forces and form a new group to compete in the county(?) competition. Quite mature and nice of the kids. The two frenemies are now co-coaches.
Brendan Penny' character is quite the arrogant, self pitying, whiny jerk at first. He is obviously very jealous and resentful of Darcy's past success. And then he has a dorky nerdy thing going on as well. Not exactly leading man material, but the banter and snarkiness between the two coaches is witty and funny even as Adam himself is detestable. Thankfully, he learns from Darcy's more positive and affirming approach with the kids. When he apologizes for his harsh and insensitive methods things warm up considerably between the two coaches. He admits he always admired her. They become friends, but it's not until he shows up at Darcy's doorstep without his nerdy glasses and a bit of a makeover, that Darcy starts to fall for him. It's a cliché, but I loved it.
After a lot of work, and many disappointments, Darcy finally gets a chance at a contract with a big record label. Predictably, she has to choose between meeting the bigwigs and being with the team on their big night. I'm not sure what old Hallmark would have done, but with the new Hallmark, she goes to New York with the blessings of everyone to meet the VIPs without a second thought. She gets the contract, but instead of schmoozing the night away, which the powerbrokers want her to do, she risks offending them and tells them she has to go back to Dayton to be with her team. Good for her, and they respected her for it.
Patty Murin was adorable in this. I didn't recognize her but she usually plays the Not-so-Glamourous Best Friend roles. The two leads have great rapport. They bounce off of each other naturally while acting the fast-paced script. Besides the excellent acting, funny dialogue, and good message, this movie featured a really great Christmas song selection and some equally great singing. There was actually an original song, written by our songwriter heroine that was actually really good! I'm glad Hallmark has moved away from trying to pretend Christmas is not a Christian Holiday and embraced a few Christmas Carols that are actually about the birth of Jesus. I don't mind non-secular, but last year, a movie "la-la-la-ed their way through Joy to the World to avoid singing the words. That was a bridge too far. This all ended with a series of flashback scenes from the movie we just watched. I guess they needed some filler, but it was creative and something different. I liked it.
In Merry Measure
In Merry Measure
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Long having been based in New York City, Darcy is considered in certain circles one of if not the finest pop vocalist of her generation. The problem for her is that that generation has long come and gone, her dwindling number of fans who only want to hear her most famous song from early in her career, Sugar Rush, instead of anything new. As such, she has been without either a record deal or representation for years, she self-plugging her latest demo of new material to record companies. As this Christmas season's "A Very Darcy Christmas" series of concerts seem not to be getting her any new recognition, she decides to accept her recently widowed sister Gretchen's offer to spend Christmas with her and her daughter Megan for the first time since she was a teenager in their hometown of Dayton OH, Gretchen who is still struggling with that loss, especially hard during the holidays. Attending McIntosh High, Gretchen and Darcy's alma mater, insecure Megan learns that she has not been accepted into this year's version of the school's Herald Angels - founded by Darcy - who compete in the Montgomery County high school caroling competition. Darcy discovers that Megan's teacher who didn't even let her finish the audition is her high school adversary Adam, who nonetheless can point to results in the Angels having won the competition six years running under his leadership. Believing that all Megan needs is some confidence in understanding from Gretchen that she can sing when she thinks no one is listening, Darcy, both for Megan and herself, decides to form her own caroling group of Megan and some of the other students Adam didn't accept to compete against Adam's group to represent McIntosh at the competition. In the process of necessarily spending time with Adam, Darcy will learn where her priorities lie between that music career, family, romance and the Angels.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
November 17, 2022 at 07:32 PM