A California Christmas

Joseph is the attractive son of a wealthy classic Cali SF real estate baron power couple. Unfortunately he sleeps with too many women and rides too many motorcycles, so the matriarch of his family sends him to Petaluma to buy a ranch to make room for a new shipping facility. He has three weeks to close the deal until he is financially cut off, but things become complicated when he meets the beautiful Callie, the lead ranch hand. Forced to work long hours from a Airstream with no power, Joseph begins to charm her, her sister and her dying mother (her dad is already dead), before learning that her fiancé is also dead. 

Meanwhile, Callie has another suitor (Connor) who has violent streaks. After Callie’s latest rejection, Joseph confronts Connor, and the pair engages in an intense fist fight at the local watering hole. Many punches are exchanged and both leave after Callie threatens them with a broken beer bottle. Callie and Joseph start to develop feelings for each other as their relationship blossoms while watching each other do labor work on the ranch.

After a few days of peeking at each other, Callie decides to show Joseph her “favorite place on the ranch” which happens to be an abandoned vineyard left behind by Callie’s late father. The vines were imported by Callie’s ancestors from France and were able to produce good quality wine, however Callie doesn’t sell it but instead decided to save it for gifts. Later, he approaches her to confess the truth and ask her to sign the contract, they share a passionate kiss on the farm, while Joseph tussles with the guilt of his false pretenses. When about to reveal his motives to Callie, they are interrupted by Callie’s sister, informing them that Callie’s mother is dying. After a slow-mo shot of the hesitant lovers running her to the hospital, Callie’s mom miraculously survives. 

It is now Christmas, and the holiday spirit looms heavy atop the growing tension. Joseph is reminded of his childhood trauma, leading him to woo Callie by fixing her dead father’s motorcycle. As he takes her on a joyride to her shift at the local watering hole, they agree to a late night tryst after her shift ends. While waiting for to meet up with her, Joseph dramatically rips the contract he has been sent to secure. He is finally in love.

Meanwhile, Joseph’s mother is on her way to Callie’s farm as Joseph prepares to admit his initial bad intentions. Him and Callie dance the two step while Connor watches, as Joseph’s old associates come to warn him. At the same time, Connor googles Joseph’s mom and learns the truth, which he promptly texts to Callie. Ironically, as Connor is texting this to Callie, she is shirtless in a field with Joseph. 

The next morning, Callie checks her texts while Joseph’s rich mother shows up at the farm at that exact moment. Joseph’s mother reveals the con, pressuring Callie to accept the deal to pay off her mother’s extensive medical bills. Callie refuses the offer while kicking out Joseph, though Joseph pleads that he has changed and offers to help save the farm. 

After being run off the farm, Joseph’s butler / sommelier tries the wine Callie’s Dad had made on the ranch before he passed. Surprisingly the wine is of great quality (brought from extinct wine branches from Bordeaux), which Callie and Joseph attempt to replicate by replanting the Bordeaux vines on her property. A prominent wine expert orders the remainder of her father’s wine and leases the vines Joseph planted, thus saving the family farm.

With money to keep the farm, Connor throws Callie a party in the old barn. Connor reveals that he had invited Joseph to the party, at which he apologizes for lying while flirtatiously winning her back (during which Connor has left with Callie’s mother). They embrace, share a beautiful Christmas kiss and spend the rest of their days basking in the sunlight of the eternal Cali Christmas.

So I watched this last night while the kiddo slept. There was only one quick moment that eluded to sex but other than that its completely kid friendly although I really don’t think they will be interested because of the story line. Any who, my thoughts on this film was that it was a cute romance movie that happened to surround the christmas time but frankly it would have worked anytime of year. I love that Joseph stood up to his mom and help Callie grow her fathers dreams without taking over. Plus the bromance between Leo and Manny was fantastic to watch. Honestly that deserves a movie of itself. I felt they carried the movie with comedic relief. And Connor was annoying an pushy. He needed boundaries that Callie kept putting up but he refused. It was toxic but of course they needed a beta villain to keep the story long enough. It was cute but not sure I would watch it again.

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