To inherit her father’s company, socialite Ellen must first visit his small hometown, where she learns the value of hard work and helping others.
Ellen Langford wants to go to Hawaii with her hot (but douchey) fiancé for Christmas. She doesn’t want to have to travel to her father’s small home town to deliver a Christmas letter to his business partner. And she certainly doesn’t want to get stuck in said town with only $100 to her name and—LE GASP—no credit cards. But Ellie’s always up for a challenge, and there’s something particularly magical about Christmas in a small town.
Eliza Taylor as Ellen Langford
In my head, Ellen is Clarke Griffin’s (The 100) ancestor. Clarke’s way more grounded (heh) and more capable of taking care of herself, but both women have a lot of heart and an insatiable urge to take care of the people around them.
Andie MacDowell as Debbie
MacDowell’s quiet personality seems taylor-made for playing the role of the small town aunt. (But “former singer” Debbie is not.)
Jake Lacy as Jake Collins
I didn’t recognize him, but he was apparently on Girls? He’s a little too white bread for my taste, looks-wise, and I spent much of the movie thinking about how badly he needed a haircut. I also felt no chemistry between Jake and Ellen, and we all know how well Eliza can do chemistry …
Couch-Sharing Capability: Cozy Up With Friends
Break out out the flannel pajamas and throw blankets and hunker down on the couch for this one, folks. Even if the “snow” in the movie does look more like shaving cream than frozen particles of water, it’s best to watch Christmas Inheritance with the Christmas lights blazing and friends who are willing to snark about Ellen’s awful wardrobe and Jake’s terrible hair nearby. And if your significant other is lactose intolerant, I’d suggest telling them to go do their last-minute gift shopping while you watch.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Christmas Tea
The inn in the small town Ellen visits has afternoon tea with Christmas cookies every day. I think this sounds like a tradition I can get behind. And if you’re so inclined to add a little something with kick to your tea, more power to you.
Use of Your Subscription: Seasonal / Alternative to Hallmark
Eliza Taylor aside, was it not T-minus five days until Christmas, I don’t think I would have watched this movie. (TBH, I also wanted to keep up the Stream It: Cheesy Christmas Movie Edition streak we’re on, too.) I’m not a huge Hallmark movie fan, but there’s something about this time of year that makes even the most hardened of hearts turn to predictable movies with heartwarming morals, and Christmas Inheritance checked pretty much all of the boxes.
I also give Netflix props for making a slight effort to move past the “White Christmas” mentality of most movies of this sort—both Ellen’s fiance* and her dad’s business partner are black men—but the characters of color in the movie are still relegated to minor roles. Step in the right direction, but we’ve got a ways to go.
*Side note: He’s way hotter than Jake. I really wish they would have swapped the actors.