A Christmas Masquerade (2022) Movie Script

Hi, Nina.
What can I do for you?
Absolutely, yeah, I'm sending
it over right now.
Happy Holidays!
Hey, Lara.
Julianne, hi, thanks for
dealing with Nina,
but can you pick up my dry cleaning
before it closes?
Sure. I'll just grab Nora
and I'll be right over.
I'll mull you some apology wine.
- Hi, Nora!
- Hi, Mom!
Hi, sweetie!
You had a good day?
- Lara, we're here!
- Hey, I'll be right down!
Can we get one like that?
Are you going to help me carry
it up three flights of stairs?
- Sure.
- Come on, Lara's waiting.
Let's go, let's go, let's go!
- Here you go!
- Wow. Spoon, please.
I thought you were joking when
you said you were mulling wine.
Why would I joke about
something so serious?
Besides, you're finished
for the day and I made you
traipse all the way back here.
I'm your assistant, it's my job!
You don't have to go
to any trouble.
So what's in it?
It's a treasured
secret family recipe...
that I found online.
Wine, sugar and cinnamon!
Mm, what's not to love?
Oh, right. I need to finish getting ready.
Where am I going again?
The Hudson Benefit.
Oh, and then the Fitzgerald
festive drinks.
Mm-hmm and then a quick appearance
at the MADAM Christmas party,
if you can stand it.
Bringing this week's grand
total to eight holiday
events so far
and it's not even
the weekend yet.
You're a trooper.
So what are you gonna wear?
Mom, why don't you go?
Very funny.
You never go to Christmas
parties. You should go!
Then aunt Lara can stay home.
It's not that simple, bub.
People are expecting to see Lara.
Tonight, but you can definitely
go to another party for me.
- Really?
- I don't think so.
Hey, there's a big pile
of invites in my office.
Why don't you go choose one
for us to send your mom to!
Be right back!
Don't give me that look.
You know it would do you some
good to get out
and let your hair down.
My hair is perfectly fine how
it is, thank you!
Come on, you deserve a party
and it certainly wouldn't do
your career any harm
to make some new connections.
My career? What, are you
trying to get rid of me?
- No.
- Because you know I'm perfectly happy working for you.
And I'm perfectly happy
with you working for me too,
but I also want what's best
for my friend.
A job, with flexibility where I can pay
my bills on time and be there for Nora?
This is what's best.
Okay, forget I said anything.
- Found one!
- Mm!
All right. Let me see.
The Carson Centre
Christmas Masquerade Ball?
Nice try, kid.
Lara said I could pick any.
Nora, it's a very important
event and Lara has to be there.
I absolutely do not
have to be there, but...
I did say I would
meet a potential client there.
You know what, he probably won't
even show. You should go.
You're going in my place.
I've decided.
- What are you gonna wear?
- Yeah?
We're gonna go shopping!
- Hey, sis!
- You're late.
Ah, yes, but
I come bearing gifts.
Hmm, that better
be non-alcoholic.
Of course not.
So, where is the dotting
What's so funny?
I'm just picturing
John in Vegas.
- He's working, dummy.
- Ah.
Like most adult males,
he has a career.
Oh, I'm about to have a career.
Look, you are looking
at the future Vitanian
Ambassador to the United States.
- If the panel approves you.
- Oh, come on!
The Ambassador's been
a Karlsson since...
1800s. Yes, whatever,
the 1800s, exactly!
You really think Dad'll retire
and they'd appoint somebody else?
Instead of you? Sure.
Ah, no, no way. Dad would
never let that happen.
It would be far too
damaging to his massive ego.
And besides, I'm the next
Karlsson in line.
Mm. And you're not
a popular appointment.
This might have passed you by,
Michael, but um...
you have something
of a reputation.
A reputation? Moi?
That's what you get
for dating American models
the last 20 years.
Oh, don't be ridiculous.
I mean, they haven't
all been American.
I'm serious. The appointment
committee is not a shoe in.
You need to work for it!
Ma'am, yes, ma'am!
Ten days, Michael, they are meeting
on the Eve of Christmas Eve!
- I know that.
- You need to up your game.
Consider it up!
Okay, then you can join me at the Carson
Centre Christmas Masquerade Ball tomorrow.
- Great, I love a Masquerade.
- Great!
And you can finally meet the PR
specialist that I've hired there.
Mm... Helena, on second
thoughts, tomorrow night...
Come on, you know how
much I loathe PR people.
Not this time.
Hm. That was easy.
Oh, you're here already?
Dinner's gonna be 20 minutes.
That's perfect, Mom.
It could be on the table
now if you'd let me know
that you were on the way.
It's not good for Norushka
to be hungry.
- She's not hungry, so...
- We had a hot chocolate.
Why were you buying a hot
chocolate at this time?
It was at Aunt Lara's.
And Lara said that Mom can
go to the "Maquerade" Ball.
Masquerade, baby.
at the Carson Centre.
Oh, my...
The Carson Centre
Christmas Masquerade ball?
You're going? Ah!
It's tomorrow night, no?
The third Saturday of December.
How does Babcia know when it is?
Well, we used to take your
mama when she was a little girl.
Every year.
- Mom, you went before?
- Not inside.
She used to sit with her
little pencil case,
making drawings of all the
guest presses as they arrived.
Oh, my, what are you gonna wear?
I don't know yet.
The red dress! The one you
made at fashion college.
Show all the guests
how talented you are!
No. No, no, no, it's too old and I haven't
even looked at my sewing machine in months.
I'll just borrow something from
Lara. It's not a big deal.
Not a big deal? Well, try
telling that to little Julianne.
She'd be thrilled.
Look, it'll be fun,
but I'm not gonna stress myself
out trying to be something I'm not.
I'm a guest. No one will even
notice I'm there.
Mm-hmm, now that, that could
never happen.
Ah, here we go.
One hour and I'm out of here.
The whole Ambassador thing
is probably overrated anyway.
Oh, sure.
Yeah, mmhmm.
You shall go to the ball.
Excuse me!
Hi. Would you mind
taking a photo?
Uh, sure.
There you go.
But I... didn't have time
to pose.
Ah, no, I'm sure it's fine.
I'm sorry but...
would you call this
a good photo?
Right, well, if you're gonna
say yes to the job,
you should at least try
to do it well.
Oh, well, you only asked me to
take a photo, not a good photo.
Oh, so it's your policy
to do the bare minimum?
What's that suppose to mean?
I don't even have
both my eyes open!
Well, that can't be blamed
on the photographer now, can it?
- I think it can.
- I don't think so.
All right, well,
agree to disagree.
But I'm willing to give
you a second chance.
What generosity.
Uh, okay, uh...
You're ready?
Um, yeah.
- Okay.
- Okay.
Yeah, yeah, this one is way
better, it's...
Oh, Michael! Let me introduce
you to Isabella and Tomas Berg.
Isabella sits on the appointment
committee and Tomas is a trade envoy.
Ah! Well, a pleasure
to meet you.
Again. Tonight.
Uh, great masks!
Yeah, we have met before,
haven't we?
You dated our daughter.
Oh, yes, right!
And how is Liza doing?
- Lydia.
- Lydia!
Lydia, that's what I meant!
- She got married.
- Ah!
To a very nice man, thankfully.
Good to see you, Helena.
Oh, yes.
You dated Lydia Berg?!
It was a long time ago.
- How long?
- Two, three years.
That is not long enough.
She's the daughter of an
appointment committee member!
Okay, I know that now.
Did you end it or did she?
What do you think?
Michael! You better
still be friends!
Let's just say I'm not at the
top of her Christmas card list.
This is not good for your
appointment campaign!
No kidding.
Thank you.
There! There's Mom!
Mm, really?
no, that's somebody else.
Look, she's wearing pink,
What about her?
Oh, no, that's Helena
Karlsson, but...
Oh, is that... one sec.
Is that...
That's him!
Ah! Are you sure?
Yeah, look!
They have the same chin.
Oh no, no, no!
What's the matter?
Everything's fine,
I just need to catch your mom
on the phone.
- Hello?
- I need you to do something for me.
Nice to speak to you too.
Michael Karlsson is at the ball.
Should that name mean
something to me?
Kinda need a little
bit more information.
He's the diplomat
I've been trying
to sign as a client for months.
His sister said
he would be at the ball
but he's cancelled me every time
we were meant to meet so I
didn't think...
Okay! It's fine,
I will speak to him.
Okay, great. Great!
Okay, I love you. Thank you.
What does he look like?
Oh, yeah, um...
Okay, so he's about 5'10,
medium brown hair,
really blue eyes, a strong jaw!
Velvet jacket?
Yeah! And a black mask.
How did you know
about the jacket?
I'm looking at him.
Go get him.
Oh, I, I don't... I just have
to go talk to a client.
I'm gonna need to see your ID if
you want to get to the VIP lounge.
Um... so that's my ID.
I recently...
well my hair grew very fast
since I took that photo,
but everything else is exactly
the same so, you know.
What are you looking at?
- I'll announce your arrival.
- Oh, no, no!
- It's part of the VIP service.
- Really, it's not necessary.
Lara Kaws, ladies and gentlemen!
Lara Kaws?
- Hello.
- Helena.
Muah, muah!
It's a pleasure to finally
put a face to the name!
Great mask! This is my brother,
Michael Karlsson.
Michael, this is the illustrious
PR specialist Lara Kaws
of the Park Avenue Kaws'!
- You are?
- Yeah.
I'm sorry,
do you two know each other?
We met briefly, just now.
And unfortunately, ladies,
it's gonna have to remain brief.
I'm gonna get out of here.
Pleasure to meet you, again, Miss Kaws.
Enjoy the rest of the evening.
I'm sorry.
Oh, don't be, at least he
said goodbye this time.
He really does
want to work with you.
Well, you know how to reach
us if he changes his mind.
Oh, you're going? I mean, don't
leave on Michael's account.
No, I'm not,
I have a sitter waiting up.
You have children?
I had no idea.
Yeah. One... a girl.
Can't believe I didn't know
you were a mom!
You're so mysterious.
Great to meet you.
Merry Christmas!
Me... Merry Christmas.
Yeah, I'd like to go now,
please. Thank you.
- Hey...
- Oh, hey.
I'm sorry, she insisted
on sleeping out here.
Hmm, it's okay.
I'll carry her to her room
when I go to bed.
Do you wanna drink?
Won't we wake her?
No, no,
she's a very deep sleeper.
Just like her dad used to be.
I'll go get changed and then
I'll be right out.
Okay, Cinderella.
You look beautiful.
Thank you so much for watching
Nora, but there was really no need.
My mom would've been
more than happy.
Okay, nonsense, it's good to
give her a night off
and I love spending time with
your family, especially Nora.
She's an angel.
Well, she's 10 going on 20,
I wouldn't exactly
call her an angel.
She is. She's perfect.
Although there must be
something wrong with me,
because tonight reminded me
how much I'm craving a little
more angel-free time.
You don't know
how lucky you are.
No, I do. Wait,
what is this about?
Nothing... I just...
Okay, 'cause it sounds
suspiciously like someone might
be changing their mind about
being child-free by choice.
Well, I... might be
reconsidering my position.
Are you sure this isn't just
a case of Stockholm Syndrome?
You did just spend
the whole evening with Nora.
More importantly, hello?
How did things go with
Michael Karlsson?
Right, uh... about that.
He might think I'm you?
What? How?
Well, there was a mix-up with
this security guard and your ID
and, well, it just seemed easier
to let it go.
Hey, if we land him as a client,
what do I care who he thinks I am?
Yeah, right...
Oh... he didn't sign
up as a client, did he?
No... I'm sorry.
He was thoroughly uninterested.
And rude.
Oh, sounds like classic
Michael Karlsson.
It does?
Well, yeah!
I think his playboy credentials
might just outstretch
his diplomatic ones.
Not ideal for a wannabe
No! But hey, if he comes back,
we can switch lives,
you can take over
the account and be me.
- While you do what?
- Well, I can do you!
And Nora can help me decide
if this Mom thing is a go.
But I think you might be
pulling the short straw there.
How dare you talk about
my goddaughter like that?
- Mom!
- Coming, honey!
Just think,
one phone call
from Michael Karlsson
and this could be you!
Sounds perfect!
Oh, it does?
Don't get your hopes up.
Good morning.
Good morning.
There is coffee in the pot.
Decaf, for the pregnant lady.
Pancakes are on the way
and that's fresh squeeze orange juice.
When you texted me to meet you, I thought
you'd fallen and bumped your head.
Am I in the Twilight Zone?
No, but, you are about to enjoy
a delicious breakfast in the apology zone.
Thank you.
Look, I'm sorry about
the way I left yesterday.
- And about being rude.
- And yes, about that too.
But, look, I'm ready to take
this whole Ambassador thing seriously.
From... now.
And you know what?
No need for a PR person,
I've got this covered myself.
- You got it covered?
- Mm-hmm.
It's you, yeah?
Oh... they startled me.
Look, that was a set-up!
And now, it's time to be set up
with some positive press.
I'm calling in the troops.
Is there bacon?
It will never cease to amaze
me that someone so talented
would insist on being
an assistant.
Did you want me for something?
Did we hear from
Michael Karlsson?
Hm, unfortunately no.
The rudest man alive has failed
to reach out so far.
Well, there's still time.
I'm sorry, I, but we're more likely to
get a visit from Santa than one from him.
Lara Kaws PR,
how can we help you today?
Lara, is that you?
It's Helena Karlsson.
Helena, hi!
Look, I'm sorry about last
Don't, no, no, no!
There's nothing
to apologize for!
I know my
brother can be a little...
he really does want
to work with you.
Could you meet tonight
to start strategizing?
- No!
- Yes!
- Tonight?
- Tonight's perfect!
Oh, great!
who am I talking to?
This is... Lara's assistant.
- Oh!
- She's free from seven.
I'll email the details over.
I'm free from seven, am I?
We did have a deal!
That was a joke!
Not for me.
I really wanna spend some more
one-on-one time with Nora.
Oh you could spend time with
Nora whenever you want.
It's not the same.
I wanna see
if I can do it on my own.
And you can do that!
Without me having to spend
the run up to Christmas
with the world's rudest man.
You don't have to like the
man! You just...
need to work with him for...
two weeks! Less.
Look, he normally
hates PR people.
Wow, you're really selling this.
I am! And he hates them!
And he's arranged
to see you again.
His sister has.
It's the same thing.
Come on, this could
be a big deal for us.
You secure Michael Karlsson
as a client and that would mean
a lot more interest
in the company.
And... a big Christmas bonus.
I don't know.
Plus... you could use this.
For whatever you want!
And... you can stay in my place!
'Till Christmas!
You... you don't have
to do that.
If you're gonna be me,
you should at least
get some of the perks.
Don't worry.
It's gonna be perfect.
Come in, come in.
So lovely to see you.
Wow! Your place is gorgeous!
Ah, well, it'll do for now.
But, not for long.
I thought Michael could take it
over, when he's appointed.
If he's appointed.
Well that's what I'm here for.
Where is he?
Uh, he's...
He's... not here, is he?
I'm sorry.
He will be here.
Can I order us some
food while we wait?
- Sure.
- Okay, follow me.
Just through this way.
So, I think you were school friends
at Trinity with my friend Madeleine?
- Um...
- Oh, Wittington?
Yeah, she said you were close
with a scholarship girl?
I can't think of her name...
Don't be... it's fine-
- Jul, Jules...
something polish.
It was so long ago, I don't...
Michael, Michael!
We're in here.
Ah, miss... Kaws?
Mr. Karlsson.
What are you doing here
in my sister's apartment?
I'm here for our meeting,
which you are late for.
Oh, that's funny because I didn't schedule
any meeting with you.
Well, then there appears to be some
miscommunication here.
- Michael...
- Oh!
Please don't go.
He really does need you,
he just...
He just doesn't know it yet.
I'm afraid I only stick around for people
who understand when they're in trouble.
Oh, he does!
No, I don't think he has a clue.
Good luck with the appointment
committee, Mr. Karlsson.
- Thank you.
- Yeah, you're certainly gonna need it.
I'll see myself out.
Go after her.
I can hire my own PR person,
thank you very much.
Okay, well, it's five days
before Christmas and anyone
worth speaking to
is already booked.
Exactly! I don't even know
who this woman is!
That's the point!
She's notorious
for not being in the press,
but her clients always are!
I mean, she's the best
in the game!
It is a miracle that she said yes and that
she stuck around this long.
Look, Helena, I...
Don't worry! If you'd rather
hire some 20-something
inexperienced intern from
Long Island, have at it!
Lara, it's me, um...
That did not go well.
Can you give me a call
when you get this?
Can I help you?
Well, that depends,
can I apologize?
- Sure.
- Great.
Are you gonna apologize or...?
I'm sorry, I'm an idiot.
Will you give me another shot?
I really don't wanna
let my sister down.
Let me, let me! Let me get that.
He'll get a cup for himself too.
Oh, no, no, I'm fine, thanks.
No, he could definitely
use a little more sweetness.
Yeah, I...
I don't like
to give out my real name.
- Ah...
- Yeah.
Well, this will be the first
hot chocolate I've had since childhood.
- Woah!
- It's good, right?
That is incredible.
See what can happen
if you just listen to me?
Okay, good point. Well made.
- So, should we talk...
- Do you wanna walk?
Yeah. A walk sounds good.
Great, um...
So, why don't you tell me
a little bit about life in Vitania?
Oh, Vitania?
Wouldn't really know,
I haven't lived there since I was 18.
- And now you live in LA?
- Yeah.
But you wanna be
the Vitanian Ambassador?
- That's the plan.
- Okay.
Well then, we just need to focus on
reconnecting you to Vitanian life.
And how do you suggest
we do that?
Well, we could have you spending time with
the Vitanian community here in New York.
Oh, well that's gonna be tough,
'cause I think you can
count the Vitanian families on two hands.
Great, you can host
a Christmas lunch!
You're joking?
Lunches aren't really my style.
Yeah, to be frank,
life as a
candidate for Ambassador
doesn't really seem
to be your style either, yet...
You think I have a shot?
We just need to focus
on showing you in a positive,
professional light in the run up
to the committee meeting.
Fewer fallouts, more families.
Exactly. Responsible...
Oh, shoot...
Is everything okay?
Um, yeah, I...
I didn't realize
how late it was.
We should wrap this up.
Is nine PM considered late
in diplomatic PR circles?
I don't know about that,
but it does to my daughter
and our sitter.
I've missed her call to say
Look, I gotta go
catch the subway.
Oh, no, no. Take my driver.
No, it's fine, I...
I insist.
Please. Come on.
Ah... okay, okay.
Oh! Okay, Nora,
it's time to go to bed.
No! It's time for you
to show me the choreography!
You're the one who said we should stop
watching TV and do something together!
So let's do something!
I said that an hour ago and you
wanted to finish watching the movie.
I know! But, just, repeat
after me, it's so easy!
- Oh my gosh.
- Come on. Come on!
One, two, three...
Do it, come on!
Okay, okay!
- One, two...
- One, two...
Oh, no!
Oh my God...
Three, four...
Okay, okay!
Your mom is gonna be calling
to say good night soon,
don't you think you should
at least be in your pyjamas when she does?
- Good point.
- Yeah.
But you need to practise
while I'm gone.
- Okay...
- Okay.
Wait... one, two,
three, four...
Thank you so much for the ride.
My pleasure.
- Hi, I'm Nora!
- Hi.
- Nora...
- Do you work with my mom?
I... do.
And you're like, a Prince?
A Prince? No.
But you're from Vitania
and you're gonna get a job
because of who your dad is?
I like her.
Oh, I'm... so sorry.
Oh, I'm... the sitter.
I'll take this one up to bed.
Well, there's a kid
I could bear to have a conversation with.
Probably not for more than five
minutes, though, kids are not for me.
Oh, I... I feel like
an Ambassador
will have more than
the occasional interaction with children.
Really? Yikes.
You know, maybe this
isn't a good idea.
What? No, wait, wait,
no, I was just joking.
Didn't sound
like you were joking.
I was, I was, I swear.
Look, let me prove it to you.
Tomorrow morning
you can bring your daughter.
- No, I...
- You won't regret it!
Can we go?
I think we should go.
Please, Mom!
There you go.
Settled, then?
See you tomorrow.
Bed, now!
I'm so sorry, after we called
and you didn't answer,
she just wouldn't settle, I thought maybe
it would best if she saw you tonight.
We'll be out of your hair first
thing in the morning. I promise.
I'm not sure that's possible.
I think I just agreed to spend the
morning with Nora and Michael Karlsson.
- What, "Hmm"?
- Oh, just, "Hmm".
No, no, that was
definitely a loaded, "Hmm".
Nothing, just...
It's 10 PM and you're not
at a cocktail bar with a model.
looks like Lara's magic
has already started working.
Yeah, so...
I am a world class negotiator.
People are scared of me.
But could I get your
10-year-old daughter to go to bed?
Not a chance!
Well kids can smell weakness.
Maybe I'm not cut out
for mom life.
No! Don't say that!
Nora is a headstrong 10-year-old,
but babies, on the other hand,
they arrive as perfect
little squishy balls
and they just... pop!
Stay where you put them.
Yeah, but, apart
from the crying...
Oh yeah, apart from the...
constant crying.
Should we just call this off?
What? No! I'm just...
adjusting. That is all.
Me and Nora can head home
first thing.
And lose Michael Karlsson
as a client? I don't think so!
You're the first PR person he's ever been
willing to meet with for longer than 20 minutes
and he's booked to see you...
Again, tomorrow!
Well, when you put it like that.
We should at least
hear what he has to say.
Maybe he'll surprise us and
turn into the dream client.
I'm sure everything
will work out perfect.
As long as Nora doesn't blow
your cover.
- Is that him?
- No.
Is that him?
No, that is not him,
making him officially 25 minutes late.
- Woah.
- What?
Oh my God!
- So big.
- I know.
Oh my God!
- Good morning.
- You're late.
Oh, yeah, sorry, old Misty here wouldn't
get going until she had a full breakfast.
Horses these days, am I right?
Come on, Mom.
Sorry about doing something
so tourist-y,
I thought somebody
might enjoy herself.
They've been giving carriage
rides since the park opened in 1858.
All the horses that
you see in this park,
they all live in stables
right here in Manhattan.
In fact, this is the first
place that a Vitanian came
when they visited New York City.
Oh, that's nice.
- Yeah.
- Oh, look, Nora.
- Woah!
- It's beautiful, isn't it?
This is so cool!
Mmhmm. It is, isn't it?
They have the best hot
chocolate in this park.
Oh, we're done already?
Yeah. Sorry, kiddo, but maybe your
mom can take you out another time.
No, she says it's way
too expensive.
I don't think I've said that.
- You have!
- No, I think it's impressive,
teaching Nora
the value of money.
Well maybe that's something I ought
to be working on with you too.
You don't need grand gestures
to win people over.
An Ambassador needs consistency,
integrity, honesty...
It's not as much fun
as a carriage ride, am I right?
Are you gonna take the whole appointment
committee out on a carriage ride?
No... wait, should I?
Can we go one more time?
Sorry, kiddo, old Misty here has
other appointments to get to.
Come on, honey.
Let's get you home so that Michael
and I can get to work, okay?
- Okay.
- Uh, yeah... about that?
I have a lunch
that I need to get to.
It's with a bunch
of old college buddies.
Are any of these buddies
They are not.
Well then,
you're gonna have to cancel.
I can't do that, we've got a
booth at Greenby's.
And are the Greenby's servers
gonna appoint you Ambassador?
I can't get out of this, Lara.
Okay, then,
what time are you finished?
Tomorrow morning.
I see.
- Is it?
- Course it is.
Have fun. I guess I'll just
start my holidays early.
Merry Christmas, Michael.
Good luck with all of it. Alone.
What are we gonna do now?
We're gonna go back to Babcia's.
- How it's going?
- This isn't gonna work.
Wait, what? What happened?
It went... fine.
Everything was great.
I thought I'd won her over.
- Okay, then what happened?
- Nothing.
She's ridiculous!
- How so?
- She wants me
to cancel on my
boy's Christmas party.
I'm sorry.
Is this some type of joke?
No, look, it's been planned
for months, I can't
drop out now.
Oh! But you can drop out
on Lara? Oh, I knew
you'd take her side!
Dad phoned this morning.
- He did?
- Mm-hmm.
He saw your photo
on the internet.
He's not impress, Michael.
Do you really wanna
risk losing Lara?
Are you really not gonna work
with Michael anymore?
Depends if he takes
my advice or not.
Will he?
- Well, he'd be stupid not to.
- I don't think he's stupid.
I like him, he's nice.
Looks can be deceiving, baby.
Are you gonna stay here tonight?
I don't know. I'm not sure,
maybe not?
You don't mind spending time
with aunt Lara, do you?
It's only until Christmas.
And you know you can call me
whenever you need me.
I don't mind.
I like Aunt Lara.
But she's not
as good as you, Mom..
Come on.
One more measurement, we're
gonna find you a perfect dress...
- Hi!
- Oh, hey, friends!
What is going on in here?
Lara is being very helpful.
But far too generous.
Well what's the point
in working in PR if you can't
pull in Christmas party favours
for your friends?
This is all for Christmas Eve?
I told her nothing fancy,
it's just a little party.
And I told her,
it would be my pleasure.
Or we could just this whole
thing at my apartment.
Oh, no, thank you,
but this is already
more than enough.
Come on, it would
be my pleasure.
Thank you.
But Christmas wouldn't be
Christmas without being at home.
Besides, it takes far too long
to get to Manhattan!
You make it sound like
crossing the Atlantic.
And I already did that once.
Hey, should we go grab a coffee?
Go. I can make coffee
for you here!
No, it's fine, Mom.
We need to talk business.
Oh, well, okay.
Suit yourselves.
We won't be long.
- Look at this one.
- You like it?
And Nora really didn't blow
your cover?
Even after he called you Lara?
No, no.
She just didn't seem to notice.
Michael teaching her all about
the horses probably helped.
Well, call me crazy, but it seemed
like you were having a good time.
Well, until the end.
That's the thing.
Every time I think he might be a
decent person to work with,
he reveals his inner idiot.
Michael, hi.
What's he saying?
I'm sorry, I didn't quite
catch that?
I said, I'm sorry for before.
- He's sorry.
- Sorry?
You were right,
and I cancelled my lunch.
Perfect. I am glad you came
to your senses.
so, should we meet here, or?
I'll have a courier
bring over your homework
for the afternoon.
Oh. What, you're not
gonna be joining me?
no, I'm afraid not,
but don't worry, I will see you
first thing tomorrow morning.
And there will be a quiz.
It's okay. Okay.
A quiz. Hm.
- Yeah, on your homework.
- Ah.
I'll send over the address
for tomorrow.
Don't be late.
Okay, this... boss persona
suits your vibe.
I don't know what
you're talking about.
What are you gonna send him?
Uh, background info on
the appointment committee,
there's actually a lot to learn.
Um, I thought it would do him
good to spend the afternoon alone,
thinking about what he's done.
Hear, hear!
So what should we do?
Oh, I think it's about time
you got to enjoy some
alone time, don't you?
- Really?
- Absolutely.
Have fun.
I wish I could have seen
his face.
Me too.
Okay. Thanks. Have a good day.
Oh, hey, no.
Let me take that.
Everything okay?
What would you like me to do
with the others?
Oh she's...
she's joking, right?
- Oh boy.
- Yeah.
She's a Taurus...
and Scorpio rising.
- Eh!
- Ugh!
Why do I need
to know this stuff?
Surprised to see you here
so early.
Your message said 6:30.
- You were here at 6:30?
- No.
Okay. Yeah, you're good at this.
So what are we doing here?
You'll see.
Can't help but think there aren't
gonna be any Vitanians of note here.
I wouldn't be so sure
about that.
Ms. Berg! Hi.
Nice to see you again.
Isabella please.
I must say, I was surprised
to hear from your team.
Oh, uh, I think it's
this lunar eclipse in Gemini.
You know, it's got me...
re-evaluating what's important
in life.
- You're a Sagittarius, no?
- Uh, rising, yes.
But the rest of my chart
is pure Pisces.
Of course. Fascinating.
Well, you're welcome
here anytime.
We can always use helpers.
- Oh, well...
- Oops.
Happy to be here. Heh.
And, uh... I'm hoping if I'm
gonna be in New York more often
that I can make this
a regular thing.
Carry on.
That was... impressive,
but you probably shouldn't be making
promises you don't intend to keep.
Nah, I wouldn't do that.
If this is where I'm needed,
here's where I'll be.
Would you like it? Yeah.
Okay, great.
Here you go.
Enjoy, yeah.
Don't you think you've maybe had enough
chocolate cereal for before 9 in the morning?
No. This is only
my second bowl.
I used to have, like,
three when I was tiny.
I used to have competitions
with my dad.
- Aw. Did you?
- Yeah.
He used to always let me win.
Okay, well, why don't we go
to the playground?
When you're done.
I looked out before,
and it's totally deserted.
I think I'm a little old
for the playground.
And it's probably deserted
because it's a Tuesday.
And everybody's at school.
I thought you said it was
a holiday?
Oh, uh, you have a little um...
Flour on your face.
Ah, I have something...
Can I, uh...
Uh, so, I mean, shouldn't we
be posting to social media
or taking some pictures
or something?
No. We should avoid the whole
virtue signalling narrative.
With the appointment committee,
it's best to work on word of mouth.
Any photos or comments need
to come from other people.
That sounds smart.
Well, you can count on Isabella
Berg telling everyone she knows,
but even with that, a visit to a soup kitchen
is not gonna generate enough chatter.
Are you ready to work hard?
Oh, I was born ready.
Good, 'cause we have
the Elders of Vitania
to meet first who are
notoriously difficult to impress.
I hope you're hungry.
Why does that sound
like a threat?
It's not a threat, it's just
an invitation to sample
the best Vitanian schnitzel
sandwiches the city has to offer.
Uh, I don't know.
What's wrong with the little
schnitzel sandwich?
You think I managed to maintain
this figure eating bread?
I don't know, do you think you can
manage to maintain your popularity
after disappointing a Vitanian
national treasure?
- Okay. Alright.
- Okay.
That... that is delicious.
Carlo asked if you wouldn't
mind sampling another,
but for a photo this time.
Oh, for you Carlo, anything.
It's great.
It's really good.
You're doing incredibly well.
Oh, well, we're doing
incredibly well.
I couldn't do any of
this without you.
I owe you a lot.
Um, we have a clear afternoon.
Is there anything you'd like
to go over?
Yeah, actually, um, there's
a place I'd like to take you.
If you're okay with that.
Yeah, sure.
Okay, let's go.
Are you gonna tell my mom about
me missing school this morning?
I haven't decided yet.
Please don't. I'm sorry, I'll
do anything you want me to do
just to make up for it.
Well, I suppose you could help me make
some Christmas decorations as an apology
for being so sneaky.
Doesn't sound like much
of a punishment.
Come on, you.
I've never been to this part
of the park before.
Yeah, it's a little off
the beaten path
but I think that's why my Mom
liked it so much.
A gift from Vitania
to the children of New York.
Yeah, it's like a whole
Vitanian garden
in the spring time.
There are just flowers
My mom would bring us here
when we came to the city.
And she had me convinced,
for years,
that they had planted the
flowers as a welcoming for us.
It makes sense.
Well, of course you believed
that a garden
was planted in your honour,
I don't think you would
have recognized me as a kid.
Why not?
I was quite a gentle, sensitive
soul until my mom passed.
She's definitely responsible
for any lingering good parts.
Well I'm sure she'd be really
proud of the man you've become.
Yeah, I'm not so sure
about that.
I'd... hardly have been able to point
out Vitania on a map a few weeks ago.
You're breaking my heart, Kaws.
That was then, this is now.
Now I am a fountain
of Vitanian knowledge.
Although I think I would still struggle
to name another high-profile Vitanian.
You kidding?
Other than little Aviva Benzi?
Wait, Aviva Benzi
the teen singer?
My daughter is obsessed
with her.
Yeah, yeah. Her and everyone
else in the world.
I mean she's...
I don't know,
one of the most famous
teen singer the last decade.
- Really?
- Really.
Really, she's in town for
a concert tomorrow night,
you have arranged a meeting,
haven't you?
No, no...
I haven't...
and I am so sorry,
I had no idea, but...
I am sure there's something
I can do.
Everything okay?
Yeah, yeah.
Did you know your dad was
in town already?
I did not.
He told me he wasn't coming in until
the appointment committee decision.
I guess he didn't want
to include me in his plans.
Oh, I'm sure that's not true.
No, it's pretty textbook
for my father.
You know, why spend time
with your only son
when there are other, more
important people to schmooze?
Should we focus on securing
these Aviva Benzi tickets?
I think it's a great chance
to show you're connected
to Vitania's future and, well, I would
hate for you to miss out because of me.
You know what?
Don't worry about it.
I don't really wanna go.
You... You were doing so well.
We're so close.
Let's not kid ourselves here.
The appointment committee is
only gonna take me as seriously
as my father does,
which is not at all.
I appreciate it but...
I think I'm just gonna go.
Do you like this one?
Yeah. Let's sing
our Christmas song.
I love Christmas food
Hi, it's me!
I love Christmas crafts
- Oh, hey.
- Hi Babcia.
Oh, wow, these are looking
very impressive.
Thanks, Babcia.
You made these yourself?
Yeah! Shall I teach you how?
Aw, so clever.
I love home-made decorations.
The three ornaments
are home-made, aren't they?
Well yes, but they're old.
The apples were made by Julianne
when she was a child.
Ah, that's what those are.
Did you used to make snowflakes
when you were younger, aunt I?
I did. It was something I did
with my nanny though,
and she stopped working for us when I
started middle school at Trinity so...
a long time ago.
You're still pretty good though.
Your nanny must have been
a good teacher.
Yeah. Yeah, she was.
How about this one?
Oh, look who it is.
Have you eaten?
I'll make you some food.
No, no, I'm fine, Mama.
Aw, the place looks great
in here.
Hi, honey.
Can we have a quick work chat?
Things have taken a turn.
Oh. Sure.
Let's go to my place now, Nora
and Viktoria can come later.
You're back!
Did you know Dad was in town?
I did.
Mm. Okay, so just me out
of the loop then?
I didn't want to dampen
your mood.
You're doing so well.
Has he reached out to you?
No. No.
He's probably too busy boring everybody
with the sound of his own voice
to even think about
checking on his own children.
That sounds like Dad.
I don't know why you do this.
Let him get to you.
You've always been like this,
since you were teeny.
Just desperate for him
to approve of you.
I think I gave up on that
a long time ago.
Oh you just wait until
the gala dinner
after the appointment committee.
Even he'll be impressed with
how far you've come.
I don't know, it just feels
like another perfect opportunity
for him to be publicly
disappointed in me.
Don't say that.
You've done brilliantly
since Lara came on board.
Yeah, maybe, but tomorrow
night Aviva Benzi's in town
and I'm gonna be the only
Vitanian not in attendance,
I don't know, maybe I should
just cut my losses now.
No! Don't do that,
just stop it.
Stop self-sabotaging yourself
the way you always do.
- Uh, I don't know...
- You're doing well!
Listen, are you not the most famous Vitanian
export since the schnitzel sandwich?
- I think that's debatable.
- No!
I don't. You are.
So just like, pull it together
and figure out a way
to meet Aviva Benzi yourself.
I don't know.
If you don't do it for yourself,
do it for Lara.
You owe it to her
not to bow out.
- Oh, it's your mom.
- Oh, you can answer.
Hey, Viktoria, it's Lara.
Are you okay?
Oh, I actually don't know.
Let me check some reviews
and I'll send you a message.
I won't be long. Bye.
Your mom wants to know if I recommend
the Polish fish monger nearby.
Would you?
I have no idea.
Is a Polish fish monger special?
No, but I would watch out
for a carp in your bathtub.
- Carp?
- It's a Polish tradition, we have it on Christmas Eve.
And you keep it in the tub?
I'm sure she wouldn't. She hasn't
done it since before Nora's dad died.
I'm sorry, I can't get my head
around this,
you keep carps in the tub?!
Just forget I said anything.
Okay, yeah. You're right.
We have more important things
to discuss.
I think I'm gonna do it.
Do what?
Have a baby.
By myself.
- Really?
- I mean, okay, so,
being with Nora,
it's been hard at times,
but it's also been wonderful.
And it showed me that
I do really want this...
to be a mom.
Do you think I could do it?
Of course I do.
Even though I'll be on my own?
No. You'll never be
on your own.
You have all of us as.
And so will your baby.
Okay then, I guess that's
that decided.
I'm gonna do it.
I'm gonna be a mom.
A brilliant one.
Okay, enough about me.
What are we gonna do about
this Michael Karlsson situation?
Ugh, I don't know.
I just, I tried and failed
to get these tickets but,
more importantly, he seemed to
lose faith in himself altogether.
I'm sure you can bring
that back.
Look at everything you've
managed on your own so far.
I wouldn't be so sure
about that.
If he's lost the faith,
then we need to keep it for him.
Let's get to work.
- Alright.
- Cheers.
Ugh, who on earth is that?
I'll get it!
Leave it, Mama!
Uh, who is it?
It's Michael.
I'll... be right out!
Um, it's business, Mom, okay?
So when he comes, just don't call
me Julianne, okay? Or me Lara?
Yeah, don't call either
of us by our names.
In fact, why don't you just
go wait in your room?
- It's time to start the day!
- Okay, coffee? She could make some coffee.
In the open-plan kitchen.
Oh, actually, I could really
use your help in...
for a minute, Viktoria.
You two are being
really strange.
No, no. Just...
Really, really strange, girls.
I'm sorry to just turn up
like this.
- It's fine.
- No, it's not.
I should have called first.
I'm sorry.
Look, I just wanted to apologize
for the way I left yesterday.
No. No, no, no,
there's no need to apologize.
I should be the one apologizing, I tried all
night to get those Aviva Benzi tickets...
About that.
I got us tickets.
I thought maybe Nora would like
to join us.
You said she was a fan.
Not as big of a fan as me!
- Hello.
- You have Aviva Benzi tickets?
We love Aviva Benzi.
She's so talented.
I'm sorry, who are you?
She's my babcia.
Did you say you have tickets
to see Aviva Benzi?
I do.
Would you like to join
your mom and me there?
Can't we all go?
Oh. Um...
I'm not sure...
You know what but... maybe your
grandma can take you instead?
No, no, no. No.
What about your meet-and-greet
with Aviva?
Oh, I'm sure we can work
something out.
They were very helpful on
the phone yesterday,
it seems somebody's
revolutionized my PR or something.
So, do you want to go?
- Yes!
- Yeah!
Okay. Well, I guess we
all ought to get ready then.
- Oh!
- Come on!
Thank you.
Do you want to come in?
Is everything okay in there?
Are you aware there's a...
a fish in your bathtub?
I just wasn't expecting
to see a fish.
Neither was I.
She hasn't done this in
a long time.
She's done this before?
Yeah. It's a Polish thing.
Oh, I didn't realize Kaws
was a Polish name.
It's not.
How long does it take to get
to the concert?
- Um...
- Is it far?
Or we should...
Mom, we're ready!
You weren't kidding about
them being fans.
Uh, sorry, no hot chocolate.
Um, thank you so much for today.
I'm pretty sure it's been like
the greatest day of her life.
Your mom's or Nora's?
Oh, my Mom's. 100%.
Nothing else comes close.
Seriously though, it was a
really kind thing for you to do.
Well, I think it was necessary
after the way I left yesterday.
Throwing self-pity parties is not
my most attractive of qualities.
Well, I'd say you have a few
others in your favour.
Um, you know you're doing
incredibly well.
Oh, uh, I mean, that's all...
that's all down to you.
No. No, no, no,
it was a team effort.
- Would you want to...
- Should we...
- No, no, you.
- No.
- Please, please.
- No, you. You.
You go.
I actually... I can't remember
what I was gonna say.
Nora and I should take you
to lunch to thank you for today.
Oh, uh, actually, I have a lunch
scheduled with Aviva Benzi,
but why don't you join us?
Oh, you are full of surprises.
Uh, yes, we would love to.
Should we go tell Nora
and Babcia the news?
After you.
I don't want to jinx it, but I'd say Aviva
Benzi publicly endorsing you on her socials
has pretty much sealed
the deal...
Nah, no, no, no.
Don't... don't say it.
Although I'm pretty sure Nora
won Aviva over for me.
Well, maybe I should start marketing
us as a mother-daughter duo.
- Oh, yeah, yeah. Definitely.
- Yeah? Mm-hmm.
Do you think you could source
matching outfits?
I make a lot of Nora's clothes
so I don't see why not.
You're joking?
Did you make that coat?
No, no, no. No, no, no.
Wait, wait, wait.
This is too unfair.
You can't be brilliant at PR
and make stuff like that.
It's not that hard. My Mom
taught me when I was little.
So why get into PR?
It's complicated.
Well, I'm listening.
Uh, I was working in fashion
until Nora's dad died.
And then my priorities changed.
I had to be there for her.
And you couldn't do both?
Nora had to come first.
Well, I think you're brilliant.
And to build up your PR business
so quickly.
I wish I had your focus.
Well, I'd say you could
be pretty focused
when you put your mind to it.
Thank you.
What did you want to be when
you were little?
I don't really know.
I don't remember.
I mean, I think it was always
expected of me
that I become the ambassador
one day but...
You know, to tell you the truth, I don't
think I ever wanted it until this week.
- No?
- Yeah, after watching my dad, you know?
It was always about him,
the speeches and parties.
I don't know, it wasn't until
I met you that I realized
I could actually help people
with it.
I think you will make
a wonderful ambassador.
I think you'd be wonderful
at whatever you wanted to do.
But I'm glad you're this.
Otherwise, you and I would never
have had the chance to meet.
Hey, um, look.
There's a big gala after
the appointment committee
makes their decision.
Would you like to join me?
Yeah, I'd love to.
Um, well...
I won't be able to stay late
because it's the night before
Christmas Eve
and Christmas Eve is a very big
deal in our family.
There's a whole party
to prepare for, so.
Maybe I can come
to that party too?
I... If I'm invited.
Yeah, okay.
I'd like that.
Come on, Mom!
I should get going.
Um, good night.
- Yeah... have a good night.
- Yeah.
You think these roses are too...
I think that sentence doesn't
make sense.
- You know what I mean.
- No, I don't.
Do you think Lara would
like these?
I don't know.
Do you like Lara?
- I don't know what you mean.
- I mean,
I think somebody might have caught
feelings for their PR specialist.
I don't know what
you're talking about.
Here. You take these.
I'm gonna get something a little
more fairy tale.
Good morning!
How are you feeling?
Good. Fine.
Now, what's that?
Nothing, just trying to calm
my mind.
What time are we expecting
to hear the news?
There should be a call
from the appointment committee
before they announce it at
the gala dinner.
Back at the Carson Centre.
Are you going?
Are you nervous?
No, no. I think we did
a good job.
They'd be fools
not to appoint him.
I meant about telling Michael
who you really are.
Do you think I should tell him
tonight too?
I'm sure everything is gonna
be fine.
Especially if he likes you
as much as you like him.
Well, no we're just...
We're just friends.
Oh, look, the Hudson River
just froze over.
Oh, that's funny.
- You like him.
- Stop.
Are you causing trouble?
Is it too much?
No, you look incredible.
These are for you.
They're gorgeous.
And these...
Are for Nora, seeing as
she can't come to the ball.
Thank you.
She'll love them.
So, uh...
how are you feeling about
the announcement?
You know what?
Surprisingly calm.
We did the best we could.
Michael, um...
There's something I need
to tell you.
Our car's waiting.
I'm... I'm sorry.
You wanted to say something.
No. No. It's fine.
It can wait 'till later.
We should get going.
Did you smile?
- No.
- No?
- Let's just go for another one.
- Okay.
Oh, he wants another.
Oh, another one?
Congratulations my boy.
You look almost as surprised
as I was.
- Wait, did...
- I'm sorry, have they made him ambassador?
Yes. The committee just passed
on the news.
I assumed you'd heard.
No, I hadn't.
We did it.
- We did it.
- We did it. - Yeah.
You're amazing.
Yeah, um, sorry, of course.
Dad, this is...
the incredible, Lara Kaws.
No it isn't.
Excuse me?
That is not Lara Kaws.
You're her assistant,
aren't you?
Yes, I never forget a face.
You were in the office the day
I hired your boss
to pull my feckless son
into shape.
I never imagined she'd actually
do it.
I imagine she decided her
assistant was more your usual type.
Michael, um...
Excellent idea, I must say.
She certainly had
your card marked.
No. No, you see,
you're wrong.
this is, um...
This is Lara.
Aren't you?
You lied to me?
I was trying to tell you before.
So you... you work with my
father and then you lied to me.
- I can explain everything...
- I have no idea who you are.
You do. You do. I'm...
You're a liar.
Ugh. Don't.
Great dress. Vintage?
Wha... sorry?
Sorry, no. I made it myself.
Heading home already?
Yeah, I think so.
Here, take this.
My card.
I know talent when I see it.
We should work together.
- Oh, no, I don't...
- Take it.
And take my car too.
My driver's parked
right outside.
It looks like you could do with
a comfortable ride home.
Thank you.
Mr. Ambassador.
Where's the lady of the hour?
I'd thank you for
introducing us,
but it turns out it was Dad
all along.
So, he was involved
at the beginning, sure,
but does that really matter now?
I thought you would understand.
Uh, I do.
But don't let him ruin
your night.
You don't get it, do you?
Dancing. Dancing!
Figure skating!
Figure skating.
Figure skating.
Uh, reindeer!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!
Oh, I've got it!
No, I don't got it...
No, no, no.
- Gold!
- No.
- Snowing!
- Look, look, look.
Mom, come and guess!
It's over.
It's time to go home.
Thank you.
We will have to do lunch.
Oh, Michael.
Um, this is Cara Marshall.
A fellow fashion buyer,
though more high-end than I.
- Oh...
- Pleased to meet you.
Um, look, I'm gonna get going.
It's your night.
I don't really feel much
like celebrating.
Yeah, can you bring
the car around?
No, I know I said I was gonna
be here for a while but...
You know what, actually,
forget about it.
I'll walk.
Thank God!
I was terrified.
You have ignored every one
of my calls.
- I had to clear my head.
- You couldn't even let me know that you were okay?
I am pregnant!
I apologize.
What is this about?
Something happened with Lara?
She's not Lara.
She's Lara's assistant.
- What?
- I don't wanna talk about it.
Well, she's obviously all
you can think about.
She betrayed me.
Betrayal's a strong word.
She lied to me...
for our father.
Is that what she said, or Dad?
Have you spoken to her about it?
You like her.
She likes you.
Don't you think you should hear
what she has to say about it?
It's that time of year
When Santa comes
Bring that cheer
He ain't coming
by boat or plane
Is that the...
Try not to think about it.
Hey, at least
you're smiling now.
Any word from Michael?
And I know he doesn't want
to hear from me.
- Can I just have one, Babcia?
- Hm, you know the rules.
Christmas doesn't start until we
see the first star in the night sky.
Have you seen the first star
in the night sky?
Now, where should we place
the absent guest?
- The absent guest?
- It's a tradition.
We set an extra place setting in
case someone shows up unexpectedly.
It's not gonna happen.
I'm gonna open the wine.
Mom, it's Michael!
I wasn't expecting to see
you here.
I would have been here sooner,
but, uh...
I had a hard time figuring out
where you lived
because I didn't know
your real name.
How did you find me?
I may have had some help.
I am an ambassador now,
after all.
I am so sorry for everything.
I wanted to tell you for
so long and...
I swear though, I had no idea
about your father. I know.
I might not have known
your real name.
I think I got to know the real
you over the last couple of weeks.
I think you have too.
I think...
the real you went through all that
because you actually care about me.
I care about you, do I?
I think you do?
What else do you know?
Well, I know your name
is Julianne.
And that I've wanted to do this
for a really, really long time.
I see the first star!
Mom! It's Christmas!
Should we...
Two more minutes.