WinterFest

Amazing Winter Romance

Amazing Winter Romance premiered on January 20, on the Hallmark Channel.

We begin with intro shots of kids running slow motion through a GIGANTIC SNOW maze. And there is a lovely fire pit in the middle. That looks awesome.

Our lead, Julia is in a yoga class. She is about as good at yoga as I am. Actually, no she is worse.

At work a woman double fists smoothies. She gives Julia one that looks like its been half drunk already. So that’s weird. Julia seems to be a columnist or writer at a magazine or something. She seems to be in a state of ennui. She is not inspired and all her articles have been garbage apparently. So, her boss decides to send her back home to get inspiration. Her boss is like, frankly you’ve been really sucking lately so you need to figure it out.

Julia hits the open road. She ends up in WILLISTON. Which is literally where I am from in North Dakota. I am legit freaking out over this. This is obviously not filmed in Williston but I think it is supposed to be my home town!

Julia walks into a coffee shop and sees her friend Nora. She needs some hot chocolate and those famous brownies. Same. She keeps hearing people talking about the snow maze. She gets back on the road and heads to her parents’ house. She gets her mom up to speed on everything happening in the big city. Her parents are like, I wish you would just move home. Also, why did she drive home? Why wouldn’t she fly? Her mom mentions asking “Nate” about all the snow they’ve been getting.

She drives over to…Nate’s? house? And a dog, Theo hops around in the snow. Nate is surprised to see her. Nate is there with his niece, Ava. Julia says she needs to see whatever it is that Nate built. Nate used ALL that extra snow to build a snow maze. Truly top notch idea.

Ava takes off into the maze. Then, Nate uses a shortcut to take Julia to check out the fire pits in the center of the maze. Nate says it takes about an hour to get through but he built a bunch of emergency exits. Apparently Ava’s parents split up.

Oh they have a super cute set up in the middle. Just a free for all of ice cream, cookies and other items. Oh, the ice cream is homemade even. This must be North Dakota. What other type of people would eat ice cream outside in the winter? Nate shows her the plans and gives her the rundown. Apparently Williston is HOPPING in the summer? But business is slow in the winter? What industry is there, in Hallmarkland? What is bringing people to Williston in the summer? Is it the humidity? The bugs? The friendship?

Nate and Julia establish they are both single. And they are both sorry they didn’t stay in touch. He asks if she’s going to be in town for a while when his dog happily starts barking and prancing in the maze.

At home, Julia goes through her photos from the day. Then she puts a blanket on her dad in the living room. Her mom says her dad has been plowing SO MUCH snow. She tells her mom she only sees Nate as a friend. Then her mom says a weird quote of her dads? In a weird voice. Good news, Julia has one too. It’s uncomfortable.

The next day, Julia wanders around town snapping photos with her phone with it’s Boomer case. She helps Nora unload her car. Nora reiterates that summers are busy there. A stranger, Skye, hugs Julia because a handshake is too formal. Oof. Please don’t hug people hello. Respect their boundaries and personal space. It’s not polite. Skye is VERY enthusiastic about lots of things. She is also really bad at art.

Julia heads back home. Her dad has to head out to plow because they got TWO INCHES of snow. Julia is going to help out! She and Nate bet each other how long it will take to plow a parking lot. They make a giant snow pile and they comment how the kids will love this at school. And let me tell you, YES they will. Giant piles of snow were my favorite thing as a kid. Then, they go play on the swing set. Overly enthusiastic Skye shows up with something in a thermos for Nate. Skye clearly feels threatened. About her friendship with Nate, about her connection with Williston. She is so weird. Oh and then Julia thanks her for the tea even though she didn’t bring any for her. Was that a savage dig? Julia and Nate have a weird moment reminiscing and decide to head back to work.

The next morning, Julia tries to be a good sport after only getting 4 hours of sleep. Her mom has made some truly beautiful looking muffins. She heads to the maze. She sees Nate’s sister, Brooke, there. Brooke brought her class to the maze on a field trip. Nate engages them in a snowball fight.

Later, she FaceTimes with her boss and she LOVES the article. Julia isn’t fired! Yay.

Julia goes back to the Maze looking for Nate. Wow there is even a Sheldon in this movie. Just like in actual Williston. Nate is nowhere to be found. Julia continues to take phone pics with her Boomer phone case. Nate dares her to sled down a steep hill in jeans. She’s like are you kidding? No one wants frozen jeans. Are you insane? But then he double dog dares her so she has to. Oh wait no, SHE double dog dares him.

The sledding hill does seem super aggressive. But Nate is just fine so one learns any lessons about the danger of snow sports. Nate wants to show Julia something. Inside the tent is a guest book so people can write down about their experience. Actually he describes it and then Julia says, so like a guest book? And he says kind of…and then describes a guest book. So what are we doing here, guys? Anyway, then he says he heard that if you write something down, it stays with you. Yes, I think I heard like ALL OF MY TEACHERS EVER say that to me to ensure I would take good notes so I could pass a test. Hello isn’t that the entire point of the written word. Alright so I’ll give Nate a little pat on the head for that comment. But Julia goes the extra mile and smashes a big handful of snow in his face.

Later, Nate, Julia and his niece, Ava, who has one of the most annoying chidlren’s voices of all time, head to Nora’s for some ho cho. Look, it’s my blog so I can call it ho cho okay? Call it hot cocoa on your own blog. Julia is super jealous and uncomfortable with Skye and brings her up again. Nate and Nora are like, ::cat hiss noises:: Nora says she’s from Switzerland but has managed to completely lose her accent in the twenty years she’s lived there. After the hot chocolate, Julia decides to take a walk. Ava tells Nate he should tell Julia to stay longer.

Julia runs into Skye. Literally. She notices that Skye has something from a bakery in New York. It’s a care package from her parents in New York. Then Skye complains about how awful New York is. But I have so many questions. Did she just randomly move to this small town? Was she previously part of a failed Hallmark movie where she moved to Williston at the end but then she and the guy didn’t work out? Is she in witness protection?

Back at home, Julia’s dad shows her a snowmobile he bought without consulting his wife. He doesn’t want her to worry about his safety. But I guess he doesn’t care if she had other plans for the THOUSANDS of dollars he spent without talking to her. Like hello you could have gotten her the PELOTON she asked for. Just saying.

The Maze is just hopping. Julia asks how he actually built the maze and he says it was a team effort by the community. That’s nice. I really do like the snow maze concept. I want to go to one and I want to get hot chocolate after. Oh wow, it even has a snow angel segment. Is Julia making a snow angel in corduroy pants? Oh please no. I hope she has snow pants on. Ava makes a theologically incorrect statement but she’s a child so I’m going to give her a pass.

Back at home, Julia does some work on her laptop. All this time, I thought that photo of her and a young boy on her dresser was some yet to be mentioned brother but now I realize it’s Nate.

Julia calls her boss and her boss is like, your articles are finally good again so you should just stay there.

How does Nora manage this place and the shop in town. That VERY GOOD DOG is there just hoping people give him a little bite of something. Julia is like, dog, can you have fries? And he gets sad and just runs off. Now she feels like she has to find Theo the dog in the maze. But she also told Nora she’d watch the place. She leave a trail of French fries but the dog comes back around and eats them all. Julia panics. The dog gives zero bothers. I’m not sure why she felt she had to track down the dog? He seems perfectly fine wandering around the maze and finding his way in and out.

Skye shows up with her art class. How did she get a job teaching art if she’s so bad at it. Then both ladies are little snarky and passive aggressive to each other for like…living in different towns?

Julia gets a call from her dad. He needs help running the plows. Nate agrees to go too. Skye wants to come by Nate’s house later to tell him her “big idea for the maze”. Oh bless her heart.

Back at her house, she shows Nate the snowmobile. Nate is like, let’s take it out! Aren’t they supposed to be working? Or helping. Oh these idiots. Then they stop and stare at a bridge. Again, aren’t they supposed to be working? I’m more mad about that than them taking the snowmobile out without asking her dad.

Nate asks Julia if she misses home. He’s like is Chicago home? And she’s like well I don’t know. Probably not. Nate tries to give her some advice. Then Julia finally comes to her senses and is like we better beat my dad home!

Back in the garage, they furiously wipe down the snowmobile. They are just so casual about this. Oh no. Dad shows up. And they are SO busted. They both throw each other under the bus. He tells them to go. Go where? Nate invites Julia over for dinner.

Oh here we learn that Julia got lost in a corn maze so she is legitimately panicked about being in the maze. Ava wants to go back to the maze and make s’mores. Skye arrives and gives Julia an awkward hug. She only hugs Julia. Her GREAT IDEA is lights. Why didn’t she just show up with these lights like at the maze one day. Also, Skye brings like 5 lights and is like, Nate will you help me put these up? And Nate is like, yes lets go put up this sad half bin of lights.

Ava and Julia have a weird heart to heart as they fill up ice lanterns.

Ew they all call Ava “monkey”. Nate asks Julia to help put up lights inside the maze. She is like naaaahhhhhhh. Oh will her jealousy override her fear. Skye is SO WEIRD. Also, is she 22 or 45? I can’t tell. Skye says Williston is really starting to grow on her. But isn’t she like, weirdly obsessed with the town. As Nate and Skye turn a corner, Julia looks like she’s climbed up a wall of the maze. Julia is like, I should probably write my article. And Skye is like, K BYE.

Later, Julia and her mom hand wash dishes even though they have a massive modern house so they must have a dishwasher.

Back at Nate’s house, I wonder what in the world time it is? He says that Skye just let after they finished up the maze and so it must be the middle of the night. Nate’s sister is like, dude both girls like you. And Nate is like, whaaaaat?

Julia starts her article. And reads what she types out loud. Does anyone do that? I don’t. Maybe I should. I do like her purple sweater. Wait, now it’s the next day? Nate is over. Julia says she’s stalled out on this article. How many articles is she going to write about this maze? Nate invites her to take a little break. Julia’s parents sing that song from Beauty and the Beast…something there that wasn’t there before.

And now it’s night again? I thought it was just morning? Anyway, now they’re ice skating. She is pretty terrible for someone who just said they played youth hockey. Super cute ice rink though. And a cool light up tunnel? Nate is like, you HAVE to go through the maze. Whatever he says sparked her inspiration so she runs home to write the article instead of going through the maze. EVERYONE IS READING HER ARTICLE.

The next day, her boss tells her that EVERYONE is reading the article and there is even a hash tag happening. Williston is about to be flooded with visitors. Sure, Jan.

Later, Nate and Julia take care of some horses. They decide to take them for a ride. Boy, what can’t this girl do? They talk about the maze. And then Julia brings up Skye and goes overboard in being cool and is like I dare you to ask her out on a date.

That night, she stands outside with just a blanket around her. No one does that. Her mom joins her and asks if she’s going to go back to the city. Her mom is like, are you happy in Chicago? And her mom is like you probably aren’t happy. You should move back here and marry Nate. And Julia is like chill mom, there’s still 30 minutes left of the movie.

At the maze, Nate and Brooke have a heart to heart. He’s like, yeah she told me to go on a date with Skye. And Brooke is like yeah she’s just being dumb. Oh good that saved us some time. Thanks Brooke!

Outside, there is TONS OF TRAFFIC. Oh her little ol article brought ALL THESE PEOPLE. The maze is just JAM PACKED. Oh help me Ronda. The news is here now. Julia tries to escape but Nate won’t let her. Nate says he plans to bring the snow maze back every where if there’s snow. Julia shares that she has to head back. She’s like, K Imma go pack. Nate chickens out and says “Thanks for everything.”

Back at her parents’ house, Julia packs up her suitcase. Oh, that’s right. She drove here so she can leave whenever she wants. Her parents are SO dramatic about her not living in the same town as them. Julia asks her dad tons of very logical questions. Like, what would I do in Williston? And he’s like, no idea but we just want you to keep living here regardless.

Skye and Nate hang out after the maze closes. Skye is like I could really use a hot tea. Yuck. He agrees to join her and she needs to chill. Julia walks up to the maze right after Nate turns the lights off and decides to walk through. She holds a sparkler as she goes and looks at all the kid artwork int here. Oh there’s ice sculptures in there. Oh no, her sparkler fizzled out. But she made it! She didn’t get lost or panicked. She runs into the barn area to write in the guest book.

Then she heads to Nate’s house and she wants to talk to him. Brooke is like, oh Nate’s not here. Julia is like, oh is he working with my dad? Julia, you know your dad is at home? It’s the middle of the night? Brooke is like, dang sorry. He’s out with Skye. She’s bummed.

At the coffee shop, Skye asks if Julia is leaving. Skye is like so obsessed with living in a small town. Julia walks by and sees them talking. And she sees Skye put her hand on his arm. Then Nate gives her the “Listen, Skye” spiel. Skye admits that she’s been trying really hard to make this work. Living in Williston. So apparently, she’s going to move back to New York. Boy, what a roller coaster for ol Nate. He decides to go for a drive.

The next morning, Julia’s mom packed her lots of snacks for her drive. Her dad does some dad things. Why doesn’t anyone fly in these movies?

At Nate’s house, Brooke is judgy about when Nate got home the night before. Brooke is like well why did she seem so bummed last night? Go finally tell her how you feel, you big dummy! Instead, he heads to the maze and reads the guest book.

Julia’s parents drink sad lonely cups of coffee. Nate shows up. Apparently that’s just his car…with the shovel on it. Nate is like, I tried a calling her but she didn’t answer. So Nate decides to catch up with her with a road stoppage. Very elaborate. Or was that just a coincidence? Julia gets out of her car for some reason. Oh, no he planned it and now all the people stuck behind Julia are paying the price. Nate tells Julia how he feels. He’s like stay here. Why couldn’t he go to Chicago? It would make so much more sense for him to go to Chicago. What is she supposed to do in Williston? For heaven’s sake. Anyway, they kiss. Oblivious to all the cars that are trapped behind Julia’s car.

Brooke is running another class at the maze. I think she is going to lose her license. Nate and Julia decide to race against the kids in the maze. They are knocking them over and breaking bones. They get to the middle of the maze and kiss again. And then decide to have a snowball fight. And that’s it.

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