‘One December Night’ is the latest Christmas movie playing on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries starting from November 13 and spans one hour and 24 minutes.
This holiday flick stars Bruce Campbell, Peter Gallagher, Bret Dalton, and Eloise Mumford. Clare Niederpruem directs it from a script penned by a collaborative effort between Eric Brooks and Sib Ventress.
The narrative follows Steve Bedford, played by Bruce Campbell and Mike Sullivan, a role embodied by Peter Gallagher, a retired duo who used to be quite the hit in country and rock genres during their heyday, calling themselves Bedford& Sullivan.
However, the band isn’t together anymore as they called it quits a decade ago, and we must say, the split wasn’t on good terms.
After separation, Steve spent his time touring solo while performing all the tunes written by his former bandmate Mike. On the other hand, Mike became some sort of hermit after his wife died, wallowing in grief and self-loathness. The duo’s relationship is still sour, to say the least.
However, in an attempt to bury their hatchet and move forward, they are set to jointly perform in an upcoming holiday concert which not only will see the two friends turned foes share the stage after 10 years but will also be broadcast live on national television.
The challenging task of wrangling Mike’s ego and Steve’s disinterest lies in the hands of the former partner’s children hands, Jason Bedford, played by Brett Dalton and Quinn Sullivan embodied by Eloise Mumford.
Both kids are also in the music industry, and they are motivated by personal and professional reasons to make sure that their dads take the stage together like in the old times and reconcile live in front of the whole world.
And if audiences think that Jason and Quinn are going to go through this challenging experience without realizing that they are way more than just childhood pals, then one needs to see more Hallmark holiday movies.
‘One December Night’ brings back memories of the Australian comedy ‘Palm Beach,’ starring Sam Neil, Richard E. Grant, and Bryan Brown. It also exudes a similar vibe to another title from Hallmark, ‘Christmas Sail,’ as both are about childhood friends discovering romance while helping out their folks.
The performances from the entire cast are astounding and authentic. However, more props go to Brett Dalton, who has spent his career playing an increasingly stoic and evil character in Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ He definitely portrays are believable romantic lead in this feature in such a charming way that one quickly forgets the awful atrocities his character in the Marvel Universe have committed against their beloved heroes.
For audiences looking for Christmas traditions in this movie, there are none as the film focuses more on the reunion of the former pals who haven’t seen of performed with each other in over a decade.
When one looks at the title, it doesn’t really make sense in the first half of the movie, considering the central theme. Then it does all of a sudden. The title really works because while Christmas is the reason for the reunion and there are plenty of holiday decorations in town, putting the word Christmas in the title would feel like a stretch because the movie isn’t really about the holiday hence the word December instead.
A lot of success for this title comes from casting Campbell and Gallagher. They are the perfect duo for the characters as they exhibit similar but opposite energies that ‘One December Night’ utilizes in surprising ways filled with fun.
With Gallagher embodying the broody Mike while Campbell takes on the charming pompous goofball Steve, the plot pushes these two actors out of their comfort zones portraying sides of these two stars audiences haven’t experienced before.
Then, there is Dalton and Mumford, who are fantastic as the good-looking career-driven love-struck duo who are a constant in Hallmark movies. They make a solid pair that brings a lot of heart into every scene.
The narrative of ‘One December Night’ is really what makes this movie a great one. The story is one that one couldn’t predict. Steve and Mike are complicated, flawed men who are both at turning points; there’s a level of nuance to their relationship and how it’s affected by this high-pressure, incredibly public situation.
The dialogue is excellent; the musical performances sprinkled throughout the movie are fantastic. It is astonishing how Gallagher sounded singing the title song. Jasmine Forsberg, too got to show off her vocal talents a couple of times as well.
Towards the end of the movie, audiences start thinking about the symbolism of Mike Sullivan being able to sing a tune about his late wife or lose his family home which translates to, either he deals with his grief there and then or alienate himself from the people who are still there in his life loving and supporting him every step of the way.
Overall, ‘One December Night’ is a fantastic movie. All the ingredients are honestly dosed well with a gentle touch presented in a credible manner resulting in a captivating production. The acting is good. The pace is excellent. The pathos is as genuine as can be, which makes the movie enjoyable to watch.
One crucial aspect to remember is that this title is a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film, which is slightly different from how many Christmas movies from the channel look.
Movies like ‘One December Night’ get the freedom to veer off the rom-com path and forge their own way, which allows incorporation of plots and genre beats that are not associated with usual Hallmark movies.
The tale of two aging feuding rock stars trying to find their way through painful memories back to healing is indeed contentious, filled with humor, and pretty heartwarming.
‘One December Night’ is way better than a good Hallmark holiday movie. It is a title that one would want to revisit every holiday season. It’s a fantastic feature for one to enjoy with their entire family.