Christmas at the Holly Hotel (2022)

Comedy, Drama, Romance

In Holly, Michigan, the historic Holly Hotel was built in 1891 by Mr. Hurst, who some say still haunts the place. The hotel burned several times and was rebuilt. George H. W. Bush and his wife have stayed there. The current owners are George Kutlenios, who served in Congress for 10 years until he was defeated by the "blue wave" of 2008, and his wife Chrissy. The hotel is apparently a real place in a real town, because George and Chrissy Kutlenios are listed as executive producers, and the closing credits show other evidence.The fictional version of the hotel's story begins with many people eating a fine meal served by cheerful, formally dressed waitresses.On December 20 in New York City, 30-year-old Kathy is eating with her best friend Danielle, who is describing a romantic Christmas movie she loves. Kathy is somewhat less enthusiastic about such movies, but Danielle absolutely loves them. Kathy is a food critic who reviews restaurants for a magazine and is up for a job at The New York Times. However, she is also a great cook and could do that. Danielle is an advice columnist.Kathy gets a call from her parents who want her to come home for Christmas. She is less than enthusiastic about the holiday because her parents didn't care that much about Christmas when they were in Washington, but when they moved to this small town and bought the Holly Hotel, things changed. For Kathy, it meant being taken away from the school and the friends she knew, and not having new friends. She wanted to get out of that place and New York City is her home now. Still, Kathy makes the trip.Back in Holly, Kathy doesn't pay attention to her speed, and her rental car is pulled over by "super cute" cop Mathew (that's how she describes him to Danielle). Kathy tries to talk her way out of a ticket but she was driving 51 in a 25 zone. Mathew shows signs of being generous, but he eventually gives her the ticket.Kathy arrives at the hotel and her parents are so happy to see her, and there is a big Christmas dinner planned. There is also a big secret that they won't say any more about. Kathy's parents insist that she conduct a tour of the hotel, something she hates doing, which she also did when she was younger. The notes she must follow haven't changed over the years.Sandra, the hotel's chef, visits Kathy before she conducts the tour. They are so happy to see each other. Like everyone else who knows Kathy's cooking, she says Kathy should give up her other career and be a chef.Despite her distaste for the job, Kathy is charming and perky as she takes guests on a tour of the hotel, describing its history, several special rooms, the rumors of ghosts, and other interesting information. She notices Mathew is one of those taking the tour, along with his crotchety 90-year-old grandmother. They stay for a meal, and Grandma Williams tries to set Kathy up with her grandson, and makes a number of comments that are allowed when a woman gets to be that age but might be inappropriate for most people.Sandra gets hurt and Kathy is asked to take over as head chef because William is not ready. Kathy is not willing to do the job, but eventually she agrees.Kathy and Danielle have several telephone conversations. Danielle is so excited and thinks Kathy is living one of the movies they enjoy. Kathy tells Danielle she should try writing movies.Mathew gets a day off and spends it with Kathy, going through the various quaint stores and getting coffee, with no audio other than instrumental music with no obvious significance for the holiday. They finally visit the police station and have a meeting with the chief, who says because Mathew was hiding when he caught Kathy speeding, he was not being welcoming to visitors, but treating the town as a speed trap. That was unacceptable, and the chief tears up Kathy's ticket.Mr. Hurst finally makes an appearance, but it is not obvious he is a ghost. His wife Nora, however, appears as if by magic. He doesn't like being startled but Nora doesn't know how to control what she does. They talk about how their efforts to get Kathy to return to the hotel are succeeding and even her relationship with Mathew might be their doing as well. The two ghosts appear several more times.Mathew and Kathy have another date, this time on a carriage pulled by a horse. The horse's driver appears to be Mr. Hurst, but he is apparently alive. After the carriage ride, Kathy doesn't really want to spend more time with Mathew, but then she does anyway.Kathy is beginning to care about this place when she gets a call from The New York Times. Not only does the paper want to hire her, but she is needed right away to review a new restaurant which is opening that day. To get there, she will have to leave soon and skip the dinner, where she would have been head chef. Kathy asks Danielle to pick her up at the airport.Kathy's parents are disappointed but willing to let her have her career. Mathew is not ready to let her go and his grandmother demands he do something. On her way to the airport, Kathy gets pulled over again, and she objects strongly to Mathew doing this outside his jurisdiction.Kathy's father is having a drink when he is joined by Mr. Hurst. They have a conversation where Kathy's father describes how things were with his children. His other daughter is living in Colorado but snowed in. He also has regrets about how he raised his daughters.Without Kathy, the dinner has to go on. William is in over his head and tries to get approval for a very ordinary menu, not the five-star cuisine that is expected. Sarah seems confident, however, and the staff goes to work. Sandra is still not back. However, before what promises to be a disaster, Kathy does make her return. As Danielle frustratingly waits at the airport, she gets a call from Kathy explaining what happened, which delights Danielle.A special guest arrives at the dinner. It is the President of the United States, or Uncle Tyler as Kathy knows him, along with the First Lady. He was a congressman when her father was. When Kathy finds out, she is still in the kitchen, but she doesn't dare make an appearance dressed like she is. Kathy changes into a fabulous red dress and meets with her old friend. Mathew is there too.A female soloist sings "O Come All Ye Faithful" for the diners.As the President reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas", Mathew and Kathy go to another room and finally admit their feelings for each other, and Mathew finally kneels and hands her a ring. This makes the Hurst ghosts very happy.
  • N/A Released:
  • 2022-11-27 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • N/A Writer:
  • Joel Paul Reisig Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles: