A Christmas Proposal (2021) Movie Script

[piano plays gentle intro]
Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is
to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight
Oh, jingle bells,
jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh,
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh
A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean
and lank...
You know, I've been his manager
for the better part of a decade,
and his voice never
ceases to amaze me.
It's Maria, right?
- Mm-hmm.
- Gabe Meyers.
It's nice to meet you, Gabe.
I have to say,
I have never worked for a man
who actually sang
for his supper.
Well, Shawn was saying
that you have
greater aspirations
than simply being
- a personal chef.
- I do.
I am saving up to create
my own line of food trucks
featuring a mix
of world cuisines.
Well, you certainly are
very good at it.
Thank you.
- [song ends]
- [cheering]
Thank you.
Did you talk to Shawn
about getting him to invest
- in your food truck?
- MARIA: Not yet.
I'm trying to figure out
the best approach.
Direct always works in my book.
I know, but I just...
I don't want to come off
as opportunistic.
It's not being opportunistic.
It's opportunity knocking.
Now, go, answer the door.
I hear you, okay?
Oh, Brook, I-I got to go.
[whispers]: I got to go.
- Sorry to interrupt.
- No.
Yeah, I have some news.
First, the good.
Your dinner was the hit
of the century.
Oh, good.
And second,
I just got confirmation
that Shawn has booked a tour
on the East Coast,
and he leaves
right after the holidays,
and we can't bring you along.
But, um... [sighs]
I quit my sous chef job
because I thought
this job would become permanent.
Yeah, that's the nature
of show business.
But I'm sure somebody
as talented as you
will have no problem
landing on their feet.
this covers you up until
the end of the month,
and Shawn added
a little something extra
on there for Christmas.
It's very generous.
Actually found it
very refreshing
you didn't try
to hit him up for money
to invest
in your food truck company.
[chuckles softly]
Merry Christmas, Maria.
Merry Christmas.
Thank you.
You know the best part
of these work parties?
- Leaving.
- [both chuckle]
Where do you like to go
when you leave?
Home, to my husband.
[Julian chuckles]
Lucky him.
- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
Oh, to be you,
hotshot lawyer by day
with a girl of the moment
by night.
What will it take for
a guy like you to settle down?
[laughs] Settle?
I don't even know
what the word means.
Well, your oldest pal
wouldn't mind finding out.
Maybe, for a change,
you could be my wingman.
Listen, I'm happy to help you
however I can assist, Manny,
but settling down
sounds like giving up.
[scoffs softly]
All right, so tell me,
with your father stepping down
as managing partner
in the New Year,
any idea of who he's naming
as his replacement?
I wouldn't be canceling
my trip to Aspen
to spend the holidays
with my family
if I didn't think
it was gonna be me.
Your brother seems confident
he's on your father's
short list.
Yeah, that's just
Bennet posturing.
I think my father's wise enough
to know that I'm
the better lawyer.
You'd think, right?
But knowing for sure
is a whole other ball game.
He's pretty tight
with Judge McKinley.
I'm seeing him tomorrow
regarding something else.
If you want, I could
casually probe the witness.
Counselor, please proceed.
[Julian chuckles]
Ding dong, merrily on high
In heaven
the bells are ringing...
Cheer up, Maria.
You know what they say.
When one door closes,
another one opens.
Yeah, well, in my case,
the car door,
if I have any chance
of chasing my food truck dreams.
See, that's your problem.
You don't chase a dream.
That means it's getting away.
Oh, profound.
Thank you, Brooklyn,
but one life-coaching class
at The Learning Annex
doesn't exactly make you
an expert on life.
Maybe not, but this
tunnel vision of yours
is definitely killing
your fun gene.
No, it's there.
It just, uh, laid down
- for a long winter's nap.
- Yeah, right.
Whatever happened
to the girl voted
"life of the party," huh?
I miss her.
Oh, wait, that was me.
But you were always my plus-one.
I know.
Come out with me tonight.
Rebecca's having a holiday party
with tons of singles. Huh?
- Come on, come on, come on!
- Okay, okay. Fine.
I guess it wouldn't
kill me to, like,
you know, take a break.
Because I already RSVP'd
for us both.
You had this planned
from the start, didn't you?
- Yes.
- Of course you did.
I'll see you later.
- Bye.
- Bye.
MANNY: Julian,
what are you still doing here?
Rushing to get out.
Uh, the last train leaves
in 30 minutes.
- Where are you headed?
- To my meeting with Judge McKinley
to find out what your fate is.
"Fate." Manny, fate is
for people without a plan.
And my plan is to use
every billable minute
on this train wisely.
Wise would be
not showing up late.
Yeah, you're right about that.
That is not the mood
I want to put my dad in.
Don't worry.
I'll make it on time.
See you.
- Oh, I love it.
- Yeah?
But the party doesn't start
for hours.
Hours I can spend cashing in
on holiday travelers
eager to get home
the weekend before Christmas.
Ah, yes.
I wish I had your work ethic
and your ability
to pull off pleats.
They always make me look
like a human shower curtain.
That is not true.
What time you want to head
to Rebecca's party?
I don't know.
She says 10:00,
but I don't want us
to give off a desperate vibe.
Got it. Well, why don't you
text me when you figure out
what time sends
a confident vibe?
["Christmas City" by Stuart
Roslyn and Matthew Foundling]
[horns honking]

Hope you enjoyed your ride
with Driven.
Happy holidays, ladies.
What? That tip might as well
be a lump of coal.
Come on.
[cell phone chimes]
[cell phone whooshes]
Maybe one more for the road.
I don't have far to go.
- Maria.
- Yeah.
Okay, great.
Uh, where do I get in?
The back or the front?
Uh, well, you're welcome
to sit in the back,
but the front has more legroom
and heated seats.
- Sold. Great.
- Okay. Do you need a hand?
No. Thank you.

All right.
- Hi.
- Wow, that was fast.
- Ah.
- [chuckles]
What, does the rideshare app
enforce a dress code now?
- [chuckles] Funny.
- [laughs]
Well, you look nice.
Thank you.
I am, uh, on my way
to a Christmas party.
And you are on your way to...
- Briar Ridge.
- Briar Ridge. Yeah.
Wow. That's like a hundred miles
outside of Seattle.
Well, I missed my last train
because of traffic.
Uh, is that gonna be a problem?
Uh, for me,
I got dressed for nothing,
and for you, you're gonna get
hit with a major surge charge.
Yeah, I'm not worried
about a surge charge,
but if we could get rolling...
Love to.
Soon as I can, I will.
Either way, it's still quicker
than the local train, so...
Welcome to help yourself
to some waters in the back.
There's candy canes
in the glove box.
That's cute.
Uh, no, actually,
I would really like
some peace and quiet
so that I can get some work done
during the drive.
What do you do?
I'm a corporate attorney.
You like it?
It has its pluses and minuses,
- like anything, I suppose.
- Hmm.
How about you? You enjoy
driving strangers around?
I do. Yeah.
Everybody has a story.
You ask them the right question,
they open up.
So you like to chitchat
while you work?
- Yeah. [laughs]
- Yeah, my, uh...
my work doesn't leave me
much time to... to chitchat.
Okay. Sure.
Not a problem.
Do you mind if
I at least call my friend,
let her know that I'm probably,
most likely not going
to show up tonight?
Yeah, I... a text
would be much quieter.
Deck the halls
with boughs of holly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
'Tis the season to be jolly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la
[over car stereo]:
Don we now our gay apparel
All right.
I am officially off the clock.
Okay, so, um,
what's in Briar Ridge?
I have to go home
to spend the holidays
with my family this year.
- That sounds fun.
- [chuckles]
[sighs] How about you?
Um, my best friend
Brooklyn and I
kind of started
our own holiday tradition
since neither of us
have family to visit.
So every Christmas Eve,
we kind of splurge
and have dinner
on top of the Space Needle
and set our intentions
for the New Year.
Friends, they are the...
the family you get to pick.
Some of us have no choice.
Uh, what's this?
I'm a personal chef,
and that is my future.
You want to own a food truck?
I do.
My dream is to combine
traditional food
from all over the world
and create plates
that will bring people
a little sense of home.
And I want to bring it
to wherever they are
at a price they can afford,
food truck.
You got me hungry now.
[both laugh]
Got over an hour before
my father rings the tardy bell.
Uh, I-I really don't feel
like arriving there early.
Okay. What do you want me to do?
Drive around in circles
for a couple hours?
I've got a better idea.
I can't seat you.
I don't have a table
until 10:00.
I'm sure if you check
with Paliotti,
he'll, uh...
he'll squeeze us in.
- Tell him Julian's here, please.
- Oh. Oh, oh, okay.
- JULIAN: Thank you.
- MARIA: You really don't know
what the words "can't"
and "don't" mean, do you?
I can, and I do, and I'm hungry.
Oh, Julian. Buon Natale.
[Paliotti chuckling]
Good to see you.
This is Maria.
She's a chef, as well.
Oh, you cook
and are a feast for the eyes.
What a combination.
- Oh.
- [Paliotti chuckles]
My family's been
coming here since I was a kid.
He used to think I was
- the chef on the pizza box.
- JULIAN: That's right.
I used to ask him,
"Make the face. Make the face."
[chuckles, smacks lips]
Well, do you, uh,
even have a name
for this world food truck
of yours?
I do, actually.
Pita Pan.
What? What does that even mean?
Pita Pa... It's like a...
It's just a play on words.
It's, um...
It's terrible.
That's what it is.
It's terrible.
I mean, you need something
that speaks about
what you're doing,
something that embodies
your concept.
You know,
something like Pangaea.
That's a word that describes
when all of the continents
were together, right?
That's what you're trying to do
with your food on one plate.
Bring it all together. Pangaea.
- Pangaea?
- Yeah.
Okay. I will, uh...
I will consider that
when my dream finally
becomes reality.
- You're welcome.
- [cell phone chimes]
You know, I've kind of noticed
you don't exactly
seem excited to get home
to your family for the holidays.
You know, my family's tradition
has become about sitting around
with pasted smiles
on their faces.
Well, if you don't mind me
asking, then why are you going?
My father is stepping down
as head of our family firm,
and he's going to name
his successor
at a client's big
Christmas Eve Gala, so...
[chuckles]: Mostly,
I'm going to remind my father
that I'm a better lawyer
than my brother Bennet.
Here I was thinking
you were excited
to spend the holidays
with the folks.
- No.
- [cell phone ringing]
- Sorry, I have to take this.
- Sure.
one chef to another,
how was the fettuccine?
My grandmother's recipe.
I have a question.
MANNY: Your dad thinks
you're an incredible lawyer,
but he's not sure you're ready
to become managing partner.
What does that mean?
Not ready?
He feels the position
needs to cast
a more mature light.
More mature light?
What? What, like married?
And if you wanted to give
the menu a... a holiday flair,
you could do something like
puree roasted beets
with the Alfredo sauce
and then sprinkle
with a little goat cheese
on top,
and that would make a...
a festive winter alternative
kind of vibe.
So he's going
with my brother Bennet?
I cannot confirm or deny, but...
it looks like
he's leaning that way.
Thanks, Manny.
My brother Bennet, he's been
trying to one-up me for years.
Now he's trying to play the
whole "married with kids" angle
to win over my father.
Are you sure that's why
he's picking him over you?
I'm twice the lawyer
that he is... twice the lawyer...
but for my parents,
it's-it's all about image.
Always has been.
They wanted me to get married
right after
- I graduated law school.
- [cell phone chimes]
Perfect timing.
"Hey, it's Mom.
We're headed to the airport...
me, your father and Bennet...
to pick up Daphne."
Yeah. All right.
"See you soon. And by the way,
I've got a big surprise
for you all this Christmas."
What-what does that mean?
It means that
I'm quitting the firm
and I'm taking
my clients with me.
New Year, new me.
Just because this turned
into a holiday downer for me
doesn't mean that I'm gonna
pass my loss on to you, so...
Ho, ho, ho. There you go.
A little something extra
for your Christmas stocking.
Thank you.
I'll, uh, get your stuff.
Hey, I-I can...
I can get it.
I got it.
Hey, Julian, again, um,
I know this is
none of my business,
but whenever I get upset,
I wait at least a day
- before making a decision.
- You're right, Maria.
It-it's not your business.
Look, I appreciate the concern,
but you don't know my family.
Fine. All I'm saying is
maybe take a little bit of time
and-and let fate be your guide.
You really are one of those
people that just always tries
to find the best in others.
That must be so disappointing.
- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.

[lock beeps]
[engine starts]
[vehicle driving away]
[cell phone chimes]
Seriously, Julian?
["Carol of the Bells"
by Warren Dean Flandez playing]
Hark, how the bells
Sweet silver bells
all seem to say
Throw cares away...
You left your phone in my car.
Bringing good cheer
to young and old
Meek and the bold
Ding, dong, ding, dong
That is their song
With joyful ring
All caroling
One seems to hear
words of good cheer
From everywhere
Filling the air
Oh, how they pound
Raising the sound
O'er hill and dale
Telling their tale
Gaily they ring
while people sing
Songs of good cheer
Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry,
merry Christmas
He left the door open.
Must be his rental car.
He's probably
just getting settled.
WOMAN: Still no reason
to leave the door open.
Anyone care for an aperitif?
Hi. Um, who are you?
Um, I'm Maria.
Oh, she must be
Julian's surprise.
Hi. I'm Helena Diaz.
Uh, this is my husband Charles.
An absolute pleasure.
And, uh, this is our son...
- Bennet. - BENNET: Yes. I see
my brother has told you
about me...
I hope some of it good.
Bennet, be a dear
and get some eggnog
- for our guest.
- Oh...
Daphne, this is Maria,
Julian's girlfriend.
- Actually...
- What? I had no idea.
Oh, it totally makes sense,
The only way that Julian would
ever get involved with somebody
is seriously on the down-low.
Oh, where are our manners?
Please, let's go into
the living room and sit down.
If I could just find Julian
and-and give him his phone.
Oh, he can wait for his phone
while we get acquainted.
So, Maria,
please tell us about yourself.
Sure. Okay, uh, j-just...
First, there-there's been
a tiny misunderstanding.
Ah, where have you been?
And why have you been hiding
your charming girlfriend?
I beg your pardon?
We were just about to get
to know your little surprise.
Uh, what has Maria told you?
Not much other than
her first name.
Yes, but she seems delightful.
I'm dying to know more.
How long have you two
been seeing one another?
- Not long, uh...
- What?
But it's not about the length.
Rather... it's about
the quality of the time.
Right, uh, Maria showed up
right when I needed her, and...
and since then, we've been
practically inseparable.
I-I wouldn't say that.
CHARLES: Julian, when
you said you had a surprise,
I had no idea
that it would be this.
Oh, it's-it's kind of like
Maria was telling me tonight
after dinner at Paliotti's.
Sometimes in life,
you just have to let fate
be your guide.
DAPHNE: He took you
to dinner at Paliotti's?
Wow, must be pretty serious.
[Julian chuckles]
Well, Maria's
a budding entrepreneur.
She's a personal chef
with a dream of having
a line of food trucks.
You mean like a roach coach?
Really, Bennet?
Why do you have to always try
to belittle everything?
Why so sensitive, Jules?
Didn't mean to offend anyone.
JULIAN: Well, then stop
interrupting and allow Maria
to continue telling us
about her Pangaea food truck.
Pita Pan. It's Pita Pan.
And, uh, actually,
food trucks are a great way
for chefs to share their passion
without the sky-high rents
and huge overhead.
I think that's
rather industrious.
Good for you.
Thank you.
Food's always been
a passion of mine.
And now a second passion
of my own.
How sweet.
- Julian, can I...
- Oh, I'm so sorry.
You know, Maria's a little
peaked from the long drive,
and I told her I would
get her an aspirin.
Um, why don't you come with me?
Anything to steal a kiss.
All right,
what is going on down there?
Your family thinks
that I'm your big surprise,
and you are going along
with the lie.
I haven't lied.
They asked how long
we've been seeing each other.
"Not long." That's true.
Have we been inseparable
the last few hours?
I'm letting fate be my guide.
Wow, you are such a lawyer.
Look, my family seems to be
in love with you
for some reason.
And now you're blaming this
on me?
The only thing
that I am guilty of
is coming back here
to return your phone.
Don't you see that's fate?
You could be the key
to me clinching
managing partner,
and I won't have to quit.
I'm not gonna lie.
I'm not asking you to.
I'm just saying go along
with their assumption
through the Christmas holiday.
You scratch my dream,
I'll scratch yours.
How about I make a sizable
investment in Pangaea?
Pita Pan.
And you can't be serious.
Oh, I am. Name your price.
No, this is crazy.
Says who?
Trade in your dreary
holiday plans
and come spend Christmas week
with the Diaz family.
Besides, I-I can't
let you go now.
It's snowing.
I mean, th-that would be
reckless and irresponsible
and a slap in the face
to what is quite obviously fate.
Okay, just knock it off,
Julian, all right?
This isn't like trying
to get a table at
your favorite restaurant,
so stop trying to fast-talk me.
I will stay one night,
and I will think about it,
and we will see
how I feel about it tomorrow.
Luckily, I had some
dirty gym sweats in my bag.
And unluckily, all I had
were dirty gym sweats in my bag.
Great... another situation we can
quickly remedy in the morning.
Um, slow your roll,
counselor, okay?
I only agreed
to spend the night.
Right. Yeah.
So good night.
Yeah. Good night.
What am I gonna tell my parents
about us sleeping
in separate bedrooms?
Tell them I'm old-fashioned.
That's great. That's...
They're gonna like you
even more.
Make yourself at home.
Make myself at home.
Oh, I'm not angry, Maria,
just disappointed.
Not so much with you but...
with the turnout
at Rebecca's party.
It was eight singles, all right?
Eight. All women.
Ugh, well, I'm still really
sorry I wasn't there with you.
you would not believe
the night that I am having.
So it turns out
that the last ride I picked up
is this big-shot attorney
who wants me to stay
at his family's place
in Briar Ridge
and pretend to be his girlfriend
to help him land
a job promotion,
and in exchange,
he will invest in my food truck.
What? Wow.
Looky who hit
the holiday Powerball.
Brooklyn, where exactly
does your moral compass land?
I'm-I'm, like, having
a crisis of conscience here.
Oh, come on, he's asking you
to play a part,
not drive the getaway car.
But I just keep hearing
my mom's voice in my head
reminding me about
the importance of honesty.
Honesty is reserved
for nuns and suckers.
So, Sister Maria,
does this hotshot have a name?
Julian Diaz.
[Brooklyn laughs]
Well, I could
definitely play Juliet
to that Romeo for a few days.
Yeah, well,
looks can be deceiving.
He's kind of a jerk.
He has that whole, like,
lawyer thing working for him.
Right, and you've got that whole
starving dreamer thing
not so working for you.
I don't know, Brooklyn,
I just...
I don't...
I don't know about this.
Oh, come on.
For once, quit living your life
in the slow lane
and finally take a chance.
[birds chirping]
It's Christmas
And the magic is in the air.
You certainly were up early.
And a lot more chipper
than usual.
Yeah, well,
I've got a big day planned
and not a moment to waste.
Picked up some goodies
for everyone. Joy.
Aw, how thoughtful.
Hey, what's in the bags?
Uh, just an outfit and
some things I got for Maria.
Oh, yeah, I noticed
that she packs light.
Unlike your wife, yes.
By the way,
where are Cindy and the kids?
Oh, they're spending
Christmas Eve
with her mom in Seattle,
but they'll be here
for Christmas Day.
Ah. Wonderful.
I can't wait to see kids.
[Bennet scoffs quietly]
Come in.
Good morning, sunshine.
Okay, just take it easy.
I'm not exactly
a morning person, so...
I didn't sleep
at all last night.
Finally. Crisis of conscience?
I was having
some serious concerns
about our little charade.
I might have been naive in
thinking two perfect strangers
could pull off something
of this magnitude.
Well, it's nice to see
your common sense
is making a comeback.
Oh, no, no, no, no.
I have a proposal.
In order to make
this thing work,
we need to create a history
that's rooted in truth.
Otherwise, the whole thing
will unravel.
The devil's in the details.
Why do I get the feeling
the devil before me
has figured out the details?
Oh, you already know me so well.
[door closes]
- [Bennet chuckles]
- Good morning, Maria.
- Morning.
I trust a good night's sleep
has you feeling
more like yourself?
Definitely a step
in the right direction.
Good. Would you like a coffee?
Oh, I would love...
Oh, we will get coffee
on our way.
We're headed for a cross-country
skiing adventure
- at Fiddler Park.
- BENNET: Fiddler Park?
That's like a five-mile trek.
Ten, round trip.
Does anyone want to tag along?
- [Bennet scoffs]
- JULIAN: Okay.
I guess it's just
you and me, then.
See you.
Cross-country skiing?
Okay, just stop. I...
First of all,
I really need coffee, okay?
Secondly, are we really
going cross-country skiing?
If I said it, it's true-ish.
- Here we go.
- Look, Maria,
you're just going to have
to trust me on this one.
I am confident
that I figured out
a way to pull
this whole thing off.
But I already explained to you
that I'm...
- I'm not gonna lie.
- And you won't have to.
Anyone asks you about
our whirlwind romance,
you'll mean every word of it.
Get ready for the biggest
power date of your life.
Okay, so if I do
go along with this, what's next?
JULIAN: Trading in
our skis for snowshoes,
and we are on to our first date.
I don't think that counted
as cross-country skiing.
All we did was stand in the snow
for a quick selfie.
Yeah, in our skis, okay?
Look, I didn't become
a very successful lawyer
without mastering
how to maneuver
within the oh-so-narrow lines
of the truth.
I noticed.
Yeah. Look.
We've got a lot
to accomplish in one day.
We've got to complete
our entire dating narrative.
Oh, our dating narrative?
Yeah, like our history,
like how we met.
I picked you up
at the train station.
- Remember?
- That could be troublesome.
Okay, why don't we just say
we met by chance?
I mean, that's true.
[Maria sighs]
Have you ever been
on one of those horrible
coffee first dates?
- Oh, aren't they all?
- Perfect.
So now you have
a frame of reference.
Anybody asks,
you just say we met by chance
and let me color in the rest.
Let's put the crayons down,
and stick to reality, shall we?
So this is our first date?
As a matter of fact, yes.
Me being an avid outdoorsman,
I invited you out
for a little
snowshoeing adventure.
I don't snowshoe.
You resisted,
but I coaxed you out
by promising not
to let you fall.
Mm-hmm. And I believed you?
You're here.
[Julian chuckles]
Shall we?

Uh-huh. Go ahead, just walk.
Yeah, just walk.
Yeah. There you go.
Well, I guess this is
where I told you
I first discovered
your superpower,
your power of persuasion.
Mm, that's true.
I do know how to get what I want
when I put my mind to it.
I'm catching on.
Quickly, I might add.
- Well... [laughs]
- Huh? Look at you.
So, first dates are
all about discovery.
Tell me about
your last boyfriend.
We have to go back
to the archives for that one.
Two years ago.
Heartbreaker or heartbroken?
It's one of those relationships
you stay in
past the expiration date.
Because I knew
it wasn't true love
when I saw he didn't share
my passion for life.
I can see that.
I mean, you're definitely
an "all in or nothing at all"
type of gal.
Very perceptive, counselor.
I am.
Anyway, one day, I woke up
and realized we were just
better friends than soul mates.
Soul mates?
You really believe
in that sort of thing?
I do, and in a voice
dripping with sarcasm,
I assume you don't.
You ever been in love?
Smitten but never bitten.
Oh, come on.
A good-looking,
successful lawyer like you?
Oh, you think
I'm good-looking, huh?
I got you.
See? Told you.
Kept my promise
I would not let you fall.
Now, onto our next date.
What's the name of that
divey little Greek place
near Pike's Market?
Aphrodite's Grill?
Yeah, the one that
you wanted me to take you to
because you kept raving
about the cuisine.
- Huh?
- I did.
- And...
- Thank you.
...what did you think
of the food?
Oh, I thought it was
Falafel. Hmm?
[Maria laughs]
And I don't want
to come baklava.
Oh. Wow.
That's when I knew
I won you over.
You made me laugh, genuinely.
Quality every woman
looks for in a man.
My turn.
But first, uh...
- Do... Do th... Do this. Um...
- What are you doing?
[Julian chuckling]
Uh-huh, and then...
- Yeah.
- Okay.
Look. See?
There's the French restaurant
that you took me to
- after we went dancing.
- Ah...
Yes. Yes.
- I remember the place.
- Uh-huh.
[Julian chuckles]
This is where the L-word
was first uttered.
Like, "I..."
Wow. Thankfully,
I know the Heimlich, because
you seem to be choking on those
words, even playing pretend.
So, seeing that you would
never be the first one
to utter those words,
I confronted you.
I said, "Julian...
"I know that I don't know
"where this is heading...
I don't...
"but I can't seem
to get you off my mind.
I love you."
JULIAN [laughing]:
Yeah. Yeah.
Thank you. Well, now it's true
that I said it,
so let's just hope your parents
never ask if I meant it.
Ah, okay, I see now you're
doing the lawyering thing.
This is good.
- Pretty good.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
- All right.
We got another memory
- locked for life.
- Uh-huh.
- Shall we create some more?
- Why not?
Christmastime is
the very best time
To take my baby dancing
Sing along now,
let the church bells ring
Ding dong singalong, boo
We'll be kissing
by the mistletoe
Covered by the amber glow
underneath the sugarplum sky
Sing along now,
let the church bells ring
Ding dong singalong, boo
We all need somebody to hold
'Cause the streets outside
are frightfully cold
Christmastime is
a wonderful time
Ding dong singalong
Ding dong singalong, boo.
So, don't take this
the right way,
but today was almost fun.
- More like exhausting.
- [chuckles]
Forgot how much work goes
into building a relationship.
So... you want to recap
our greatest hits?
You hate the nickname Jules
ever since your brother
started calling you that
when you were kids.
Your idea of heaven
is warm apple pie,
vanilla ice cream
and cheddar cheese.
- [chair slides]
- Thank you.
And the quality you despise most
in people is insecurity.
That's true.
You are an only child,
and you consider Brooklyn
your ride-or-die, your sister.
And, uh, your love of cooking
came from all the time you spent
in the kitchen
with your mom and dad.
And the word that you hate most
in the entire English language
- is "ointment."
- Oh...
[Julian laughs]
Come on, it sounds gross.
Why not "medicated lotion,"
you know?
[Maria laughs]
Do you really think
we can pull this off?
I think there's only one way
to find out.
I need to make an app-ointment
for dinner with my family
at a fancy restaurant.
Actually, I have a better idea.

- MARIA: Here you go.
- Ooh. Maria...
This smells positively divine.
And what heavenly feast do you
have in store for us tonight?
All right, we have slow-braised
Persian lamb shanks,
silky-smooth whipped potatoes
- with a hint of Irish whiskey...
- [camera clicks]
...and Moroccan-spiced
baby carrots.
Uh, actually, first,
before we get started,
if you wouldn't mind,
would everyone kindly put
your phones on silent
and place them
into this bread basket.
What? Jules, what are we,
in the fifth grade?
Hey, I think what Maria
is trying to get at...
Uh, I've got it, Julian.
- Thank you.
- JULIAN: Yeah.
The way we did it
in my home growing up,
dinner was no distractions,
no interruptions,
nothing to keep us from enjoying
what was right in front of us:
food and each other.
So, what do you say?
Boom. Mic drop.
It's a small sacrifice
I think we all can make,
considering your hard work
- in the kitchen.
- MARIA: Thank you.
There you go.
Thank you.
Okay, on that note,
buen provecho.
Buen provecho.
So, how did you two meet?
It was a mission of mercy,
Maria was on one of those
horrible coffee dates,
and I was waiting for my latte,
watching this poor guy flounder.
I felt it my moral duty
to put the date
out of its misery
and save them both.
That's Julian's version
of events.
So, tell the truth.
First time
that you met my brother,
he seem a tad, uh,
full of himself?
No, actually,
I wouldn't say that.
Um, the first thing
I can recall is thinking
that his smile was
a bit disarming.
That was all I needed.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I thought I put it on silent.
Oh, it's Bill.
Mm. Bill Pendergast.
He's our dad's oldest client.
He owns
the Pendergast Tool empire.
BENNET: Which also
makes him the richest.
Por favor.
- Um, if it's important, you should get it.
- CHARLES: No, no, no, no.
I'm gonna call him back
right after I finish
this beautiful meal.
Maria, Julian must have told you
all about Uncle Bill, right?
I mean, he's like
part of the family.
Pendergast Hardware.
Uh, he's the host
of the Christmas Eve Gala
for children in need.
Right. I'm really
looking forward to meeting him.
Yes, after his wife
Gretchen passed,
Helena has been helping him
plan the event.
Oh, speaking of which, Maria,
given your culinary expertise,
h-how would you feel
about helping me coordinate
with the gala center?
I-I would be honored.
I'll cheers to that.
- Cheers. Salud.
- Salud.
Thank you so much
for this wonderful dinner.
Oh, it was my pleasure.
And I hope I didn't
overstep any bounds.
My mom and dad always felt
dinnertime was sacred.
No. It's wise.
Your parents live in Seattle?
Actually, my mom passed away
when I was in high school,
and my dad when I was
a junior in college.
Oh. I'm sorry.
You poor dear.
Oh, it's-it's okay. Thanks.
Everything all right, Dad?
Well, Bill just discovered
that shareholders are trying
to push through
a hostile takeover
during the Christmas holiday.
He could lose Pendergast
Tools and Hardware.
Home Etcetera has been
looking to buy
Uncle Bill's company for years.
He's always been
unwilling to sell.
BENNET: Unless we can
figure out a legal maneuver,
this could force his hand.
CHARLES: He wants us to
meet with him tomorrow morning
to discuss a plan of attack.
And, Julian,
I'd like you to be there.
Of course.
But, Dad,
I'm Bill's point person.
He's a client of the firm.
We all work for him.
Besides, with the recent
change of events,
I could use a fresh perspective.
Cool. Well, that'll give
us girls the day to hang out.
Did you see Bennet's face
when my father invited me
to meet with Pendergast?
[chuckles] This is a huge step
in the right direction.
This means that
my plan is working.
Okay. Yeah.
Did your plan involve me
being left alone
with your sister?
You need to come with me,
because what-what if
I say the wrong thing
and screw it up?
Hey, hey. Relax.
Okay? You've got
two and a half more days
to realize your dream.
Just keep being yourself,
and you'll be fine.
No, I will be fine when
this whole charade is just over.
We've presented almost
a perfect case, counselor.
Look at this
as our closing argument.
Yeah, well, if that's the case,
how about you, uh,
take it to chambers?
- [chuckles]: Yeah.
- [laughing]
- I'm a fan of legal dramas.
- [laughs]: Yeah.
And after the day we had today,
I am just ready to collapse.
By the way, stellar work today.
Yeah. I mean,
if you were any better,
- I'd kiss you good night.
- Hmm.
Fat chance, Julian.
I'm off the clock.
All I'm saying, Bill,
is maybe it's time
you consider selling.
And let them destroy everything
the Pendergast name stands for?
Forget it.
In that case, our only option
is to litigate.
State of Washington has
very strong antitrust laws.
Further aggression will only
serve to antagonize both sides.
I'm suggesting
a cooling-off period.
Okay, so we can
weigh out our options.
BENNET: Look, Uncle Bill,
we file suit now,
we can hang this up
in court for years,
which will send a very clear
message to the stockholders
you're not backing down.
Let's shove it
up their Christmas stockings
- and see what happens.
- Yeah.
Well, then we'll go
with Bennet's plan of attack.
We're having such a nice time.
We should have invited your mom.
No, this is much more fun.
I mean, don't get me...
don't get me wrong, okay?
I love my mother to bits,
but as far as mothers go, she
can be a little tightly wound.
- MARIA: Ah.
- DAPHNE: I like her hair,
but if I came home
with hair looking like that,
- her pearls would pop.
- Ah.
My mom used to say, if you're
comfortable with yourself,
the people who love you...
really love you...
will be, too.
I'm not so sure about that.
[Daphne clears throat]
In my senior year
in high school, I came home...
...and I told my parents
I'm gay.
"Well, if you're happy,
we're happy, dear."
That was the last thing
that they said, and it's like,
if we don't talk about it,
then it just disappears.
maybe they're waiting for you
to talk more about it.
No? I mean, communication's
a two-way street.
[scoffs] Yeah, in our house,
it's more like a dead end.
Can you keep a secret?
- Apparently.
- I put in an application
to work with
Doctors Without Borders.
So you want to go into medicine?
Honestly, I don't know.
I just know that it is not
law school in the fall.
After seeing how miserable
my brother Bennet is,
I just... I want none of it.
And my parents don't know this,
but he and his wife separated.
- I'm so sorry.
- Yeah, I know.
But please keep it between us.
He hasn't even told Julian.
I remember you from yesterday.
Has your boyfriend
finally mustered up
the courage to say
"I love you" yet?
not yet, but, uh...
but he's getting there.
- Do you, uh, want a cocoa?
- Mm-hmm.
Okay. Uh, two cocoas, please.
- You got it.
- Thanks.
- Okay.
- [both laugh]
Spill the tea.
- Okay.
- What happened with you two?
So Julian and I had
a slightly embarrassing moment
here yesterday
after I said, "I love you."
Oh, that must have left him
like a deer in headlights.
Why? Why? Why do you say that?
You're the first girl he's
fallen for since law school.
After Sarah broke his heart,
I thought he'd never recover.
Are you okay?
You haven't said two words
since you got home.
Is that so?
There, that makes five.
I get the sense we're about
to have our first fake argument.
Oh, it's a real one.
You know, I thought we agreed
to be honest with each other
during our pretend relationship.
Yeah. So?
You lied to me.
During our power date,
I asked you
if you've ever been in love,
and you said no.
Sisters never fail.
This is not about Daphne.
This is about you.
Apparently, you had
your heart broken.
So why lie about it?
Because I come
from a family where
if you don't talk about it,
it never happened.
Yeah, that seems to be
a problem around here.
[Maria scoffs]
Give me your right hand.
- It's a dictionary.
- Right hand up. Do it.
[Julian sighs]
Great. Right here.
I want the whole truth,
nothing but the truth,
so help you Webster.
So help me Webster.
What happened?
Sarah Cook.
We met our first year
of law school,
and I thought she had it all.
Brains, beauty,
X-ray vision through my bravado.
Like you, she couldn't
stand me at first,
but I wore her down
and we fell in love.
I fell in love.
After we passed the bar,
I-I took the next logical step.
I took her to Paliotti's
to celebrate, and I proposed.
And she turned you down?
And she said yes.
It was getting her to say "I do"
that was the problem.
And we were planning
the wedding,
and tensions started to rise,
and so I thought a small
justice of the peace ceremony
with just a best man
and a maid of honor
would make her happy.
But only three out of
the four of us showed up.
Well, I'm sorry.
Probably did us both a favor.
It never would have lasted.
Yeah, but that's not the point.
You believed in
happily ever after.
Long, long time ago.
You know, you're
a lot more likable
when you show
a little vulnerability.
Not that many people
could get me to do that.
Well, then I guess
we found my superpower.
For what it's worth, I'm...
I'm sorry for not being
more up-front with you.
And Voil.
The granddaddy of all
Christmas tree cookies.
So decadent, yet so simple.
- Is this your own design?
- My mom's.
That must be where you get
your passion for food from.
My best memories were always
in the kitchen with my parents.
My dad chopping,
my mom stirring,
me just watching their rhythm,
watching their dance.
They always poured
all their love
into whatever dish
they were making.
Sounds wonderful.
Those were the best times.
- Oh.
- Oh, Mom.
You got to squeeze gently
like this.
Got hands full of thumbs.
- MARIA: Yeah, there you go.
- Yeah, okay.
So, what are some of your
family Christmas traditions?
All I can think of is
putting up the Christmas tree
and Christmas Eve dinner.
And your father and I taking
you kids to see The Nutcracker.
Oh, I've never seen it.
Oh, Maria, it's so romantic.
Yeah, Mom's right.
It's pretty awesome.
"Romantic." "Awesome."
You talking about me again?
Julian, can you believe Maria's
never seen The Nutcracker?
- Oh. Lucky her.
- [chuckles]
You really do put the "hopeless"
in "hopeless romantic."
Well, after that nutcracker
of a comment,
I'm going to ask if Maria is
done with her baking tutorial,
because I'd like my better half
for the rest of the afternoon.
Uh, yeah, I-I think
we can handle it.
- Yeah.
- Great.
Okay, have fun.
I'm sorry, Daphne.
For what?
I really wish we did
more things like this
when you were growing up.
Maybe you and I would be closer.
Well, it's never too late.
You and Dad say you want me
to be happy, right?
Of course. That's what any
parent wants for their child.
Even if my idea of happy
is something
that you and Dad
could never understand?
After starting off as
a tool supply company,
my father took a gamble
and created Pendergast Hardware.
He built this building.
And I spent every hour
I wasn't in school here,
making this the best
hardware store in the state.
I, uh... I worked here, too,
for a little while.
- [laughs]: Oh.
- How could I forget?
[Julian and Pendergast
I wasn't so good at driving
the pallet jack, but...
No, but you got real good
at drywall repairs.
- And I taught you that.
- You did.
You taught me a lot, Uncle Bill.
Mostly about generosity.
Every Christmas,
the hardware store would
give away trees to families
that couldn't afford to buy one.
- That's very sweet.
- JULIAN: Yeah.
Kind of how the
Christmas Eve Gala got started.
Uncle Bill always looking for
a way to help those with less.
My wife Gretchen, she would
look forward all year long
to this occasion.
You know, my only regret is
we didn't have children
of our own.
Guess I poured my life into
this place, so... [chuckles]
And looks like
my work is never done.
- Excuse me.
- Sure.
That's Uncle Bill.
You think you can use
your superpower
to help me find a way
to get him to settle?
I mean...
look around, Julian.
Maybe all you see
is a hardware store.
But what he sees is his legacy.
Hey, fake girlfriend.
How are things shaking with you
and your handsome counselor?
The road has been bumpy,
but somehow,
we've both managed
to slip into a nice groove.
Well, that is good to hear.
And like any family,
they have their issues,
but for some reason,
they instantly warmed to me.
Although you do remember
this is just a part, right?
Come Christmas, Cinderella
comes home with a food truck
and lives happily ever single.
I know, Brooklyn.
I know. It just feels good
to be part of a family again
for the holidays,
even if it is just
for make-believe.
Well, if you weren't always
so busy working,
maybe you would find
a special someone of your own.
Okay, so... what do you think
of the new look?
Oh, jealous.
I'm still paying off
my old look.
Come in.
Uh, hey, I got to go.
I love you.
- Hey.
- Hey.
I hope I'm not
interrupting anything.
Oh, no, not at all.
I was just chatting
with Brooklyn.
Brooklyn. Great.
About that, actually...
it doesn't seem right
that I'm stealing you away from
your bestie for the holiday.
So what do you think
about inviting Brooklyn
to join us at
the Christmas Eve Gala?
You-you would do that?
We could even dial her in
with a proper ball gown.
So what's your angle?
A guy can't do something nice
without having
an ulterior motive?
Our entire arrangement
is an ulterior motive.
- Fine.
- Ah.
There's some small part of me
that was hoping
that my gesture might really
cement the fact to my parents
that you and I are serious.
The fact, counselor?
The idea...
that you and I are serious.
Thank you, Julian.
I thought you were gonna be mad.
I get it.
I told the truth,
so you're happy.
- Yeah.
- And who knows, you know?
Maybe if we're lucky,
it could turn into a habit?
- Yeah.
- Hmm?
That easily? Maybe.
Stranger things have happened.
Maria, Daphne told me
how you encouraged her
to talk to me.
I'm assuming it went well?
I can't remember the last time
we both were so honest
with each other.
I'm just so grateful you were
there to help guide her.
Anyway, I just wanted
to repay your kind gesture
with one of my own.
Oh. [sighs]
Tickets to see
The Nutcrackertomorrow.
That's so thoughtful.
JULIAN [chuckling]:
Maybe for you.
What did I do to deserve
an evening of torture
by Tchaikovsky?
Well, who said I was gonna
give you the extra ticket?
For your sake,
you better hope it's for me,
because you're not going
to be able to give it away.
So, how do you like
dating a lawyer?
Oh, um, it has its challenges.
Like, try winning an argument.
No, but actually, uh...
I guess one of the hardest parts
is trying to get Julian
to lower his guard.
I'm never really quite sure
what's going on behind his eyes.
Uh, with me, this pretty much
tells the whole story...
I have zero poker face...
but with Julian, not so much.
JULIAN: I'm trying
to get better at that.
And Maria is really helping me.
- Yeah. Work in progress.
- Oh, aren't we all?
So you challenge one another.
That's... that's important
in a relationship.
You took my suggestions.
Fettuccine la Maria.
- [chuckles]
- He named it after me.
- Buon Natale.
- [Maria chuckles]
- [laughs] I see Paliotti's
up to his old tricks again. - Oh!
Nothing in this world is quite
as delightful as new love.
To new love,
and to everlasting love.
- Chin-chin.
- Chin-chin.
No, Cindy, the plan was
you were gonna
bring the kids to my parents'
for Christmas.
You know what's
on the line for me here.
Look, I have to call you back.
- [phone beeps]
- [car door opens]
How are things
with the Christmas Eve Gala?
Yeah, uh, Maria helped us
nail down the menu,
and she came up with a signature
cocktail for the event.
Wow. You really are a
jack-of-all-trades, aren't you?
Well, you cook,
you plan food truck empires,
and, uh, you drive
for a rideshare app.
Oh, that. Yeah, just, um,
in between chef gigs.
- Right.
- JULIAN: Maria, I was hoping
you would join me
in town for a bit.
Sure. What's up?
I'll tell you on the way.
Okay. Let's, uh...
let's take my car.
You drive.
[cell phone chiming]
- [sighs]
- [car doors open]
That's Cindy, right?
[car doors close]
She refuses to drive down
- with the kids for Christmas.
- [engine starts]
[sighs] It's time you talk
to Mom and Dad,
tell them what's going on.
And give them a matching set
of heart attacks?
No, thank you. I...
I can figure this out on my own.
- Just talk to them.
- [car departing]
Maria pushed me to, and it was
the best thing I ever did.
- PENDERGAST: Thank you.
- Thanks. Thanks.
- Uh, no, thank you.
- JULIAN [chuckling]: No?
[carolers singing
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas"]
I can't imagine you wanted
to meet me for, uh, chestnuts
and to listen to carolers,
so... so what's up?
Well, I was hoping to get you
in the Christmas spirit
as I presented a compromise.
- [laughs]
- [song ends]
- I figured you had an angle.
- [applause]
And Maria's here to help
soften me up, right?
No, I am just here
for moral support.
Deep down, Julian knows
what this fight for you
is really about.
It's about the Pendergast name.
It's about quality tools made
in America for almost a century.
And I spoke to the lead counsel
today at Home Etcetera,
and I told them they would
be fools to squander that brand.
And what did they say?
They agreed.
And then they proceeded
to remind me
of their endless resources
to battle us in court.
So I proposed a compromise.
If you agree to let the sale
go through,
then the Pendergast name
will live on in perpetuity
with the tool line.
That's it?
You can also maintain
the founding hardware store
right here in Briar Ridge,
with your name on it.
And you get to keep doing
what you love to do right here.
It's a good deal, Uncle Bill.
Don't confuse your pride
with what you want the most.
If they don't have your answer
by midnight Christmas Eve,
then the deal's off and, uh,
they'll let the courts decide.
Then I've got a lot
to think about.

CHARLES: Quite frankly,
Daphne, I am a little speechless.
I thought it was your dream
to become an attorney
and carry on the family legacy.
I think maybe it was your dream.
But my heart's just not in it.
Well, maybe not now,
but give it two years and...
And then what?
Be stuck in a job
I find unfulfilling?
At least you would have a degree
instead of flitting
around the world
on some
search-and-rescue mission
trying to figure out
what you're gonna do in life.
That's what you think
this is, Dad?
Me running away?
This is me running
toward a life that I want,
even if I don't know
what that is yet.
[chimes, vibrates]
[phone continues chiming,

It's just me, Dad.
CHARLES: You know, I can
take a case to the Supreme Court.
You think I'd be able to wrap
a present properly.
Bennet, you're not here
to try to sniff out
who I'm going to name
as successor
at tomorrow's gala, are you?
Actually, Dad,
I was hoping we could talk.
["Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
from The Nutcrackerplaying]
Well, I'm sorry you weren't
a big fan of the production.
It was magical.
The way Clara broke the curse
and saved the prince and they...
they fell in love.
- [chuckles]
- Go ahead, make fun. [laughs]
No, no.
I think it's sweet.
I really do. I...
Part of me was dreading going
to this thing tonight,
but seeing the ballet
through your eyes...
...pretty special.
Do you know the meaning
behind the nutcracker doll?
In the German tradition,
it's supposed to be
a symbol of good luck.
Then hopefully tonight
will be a good omen
for the news
you've been waiting for.
Hopefully... Maria.
I don't think I would've gotten
through this holiday
without you.
Well, I can't say
it hasn't been fun.
Yeah, I can't say it
hasn't been fun, either.
[engine starts]
- [horn honks]
- Oh.
Sorry. It's-it's...
- It okay?
- Yeah. It's okay.
Well, I guess we better go home.


Pita Pan.
Sweet dreams, Maria.

Merry Christmas, Briar Ridge.
- Brooklyn's in the house.
- Hello.
Brooklyn, good to see you again.
Oh, right.
Well, thank you for the invite.
Maria, special delivery.
[squeals excitedly]
- It's so good to see you.
- It's so good to be seen!
- This foyer is bigger than
our entire apartment. - Mm-hmm.
Your folks wouldn't
be interested
in renting out the whole closet,
would they?
You have to forgive Brooklyn.
She was born with no filter.
So you know I'm being real
when I say,
thank you for the gorgeous gown
you had delivered.
Oh, I'm glad you like it.
I love it! Now I just need
a Prince Charming to go with it.
Oh, Daphne.
This is Daphne, Julian's sister.
- This is Brooklyn.
- Welcome.
Thank you.
Julian, Mom and Dad are calling
a family meeting in the kitchen.
All right.
Better see what that's about.
Yeah, go. I will help
get Brooklyn settled.
[Brooklyn chuckles]
- Wow.
- What?
Wow. Are you kidding me?

Apparently, this family likes
to keep secrets.
We wanted to talk
to you all together
about an unsettling revelation
that we need to share.
HELENA: Last night,
Bennet told your father
that he and Cindy have been
separated for six months.
- I'm sorry.
- CHARLES: I assume
this is the first
you've heard of it as well.
And then there is
Daphne's desire
not to want to go to law school.
What? Really?
Good for you.
HELENA: Your father
and I want you to be able
to come to us with anything.
When did that change?
We're here to support you
no matter what.
That's what family does
for one another.
As long as it falls within
the very narrow margins
that you and Mom
have set out for us.
No more secrets.
I'm just glad Maria came along
so we can all stop
playing pretend.
Right? Pretty good, huh?
So pretty.
Okay, you seem off
for some reason.
Is there trouble
in fake paradise?
I don't know, Brooklyn.
I think maybe
I've been playing pretend
for so long
that the lines have blurred.
Oh, please don't tell me
you're falling for the guy.
I thought you said
he was a jerk.
He was at first, but I think
underneath all that bluster
there's a really good guy.
Okay, so last night,
after the ballet,
we almost kissed.
- And it was not for show.
- You "almost kissed"?
Maria, that is the exact
same thing as "didn't kiss."
Unless you wanted him
to kiss you.
Oh, my God.
You are for real in love with
your make-believe boyfriend.
What if I was?
You know, what would I do?
You have no choice.
You have to tell him
how you feel.
[scoffing laugh]
- Uh, no.
- Yes.
- No.
- Yes.
- No, Brooklyn.
- Yes.
No, that was not the plan.
- This is my fault.
- Wha...?
An almost kiss can go both ways.
For all you know,
he may feel the same.
What if he doesn't?
Well, I would rather live
with the pain of knowing
than spend the rest of my life
what might have happened
if he did.
I just got off the phone
with Pendergast.
Julian, who gave you
the authority
- to call opposing counsel?
- Y-You did what?
I saw a way to do this
that I knew
neither of you would approve.
It's a way to find
a middle ground.
BENNET: You had no right
to go behind my back.
You just couldn't resist
another chance to one-up me.
That's not what
this was about, Bennet.
Are you sure?
Seems like you two
have made a career
out of trying
to one-up each other.
Not this time, Pop.
This wasn't about me winning.
This was about me trying
to do the right thing.
Yeah, but this could explode
in our faces.
Yeah, well, I felt
it was worth the risk.
Yeah, I gave Uncle Bill
a chance to save his legacy.
And lucky for you, Bill took it.
- What?
- He did?
How did you get him to soften?
I mean, it's rare
for even a good lawyer
to settle a case where everyone
walks away happy, but this...
this was great lawyering.
Thanks, Pop.
Do me a favor, though, okay?
Next time, let's work as a team.
No more going rogue.
You can't wait too long
to talk to Julian, you know.
The statute of limitations
for an almost kiss is 24 hours.
- [Maria scoffs]
- [knocking]
Come in.
Talk to him.
- How's it going?
- Good.
Just, uh... just getting ready.
- Okay.
- Actually, Julian, I, uh...
I was hoping that we could talk.
Yeah, sure, uh, but I have
some great news first.
- Uncle Bill took the deal.
- Oh, my God.
Yes. Yes.
I'm so happy for you.
- And for Uncle Bill.
- Thanks. I-I...
I don't think
I would've been able
to convince him
without your help.
Oh. [scoffs]
You see how nice it feels
to use that superpower
of yours for good?
Yeah. [chuckles]
Okay, your turn.
Okay. Um...
Last night, when-when we were
outside of the theater...
Hey, Maria. Do you think
I can pull off a smoky eye?
[door opens]
I'll show you.
JULIAN: You were
saying about last night?
Just... thank you
for last night.
Just thank you.
- I'll see you in a little bit.
- Okay. I'm gonna...
I'm just gonna finish...
just getting ready.
[door closes]
[footsteps approaching]
Can I give you a hand with that?
I got it. Thanks.
Uh, I know you're angry
with me, Bennet,
but I never meant
to step on your toes
with the Pendergast case.
If that's your attempt
at an apology, save it.
I really am sorry, Bennet.
You know, growing up
with Dad's high expectations...
...it made us feel like
we were only ever
each other's competition.
Made it hard to see each other
as anything else.
I regret that.
And I'm really sorry
about Cindy.
Yeah, well, it is what it is.
Why don't we push
the past aside,
move forward?
And do what, be friends?
Why don't we start
with being brothers?
I guess.
Little brother
still can't tie a tie.

This is so exciting.
There's even a limo outside.
I feel like we're all going
to Christmas prom.
Well, then, shall we?
- Maria's not down yet.
- MARIA: Sorry.
I'm here.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
Your mom was nice enough
to lend me a necklace.
Thank you, Helena.
I am not used to getting
dressed up like this.
Do I look okay?
Thank you.
[strings playing
"Deck the Halls"]
Here comes my favorite family.
- Merry Christmas, Maria.
- MARIA: Merry Christmas, Bill.
Thanks for coming.
And look at my beautiful
Tell me, Daphne, how goes
the law school search?
Daphne has just shared with us
that she wants to explore
some other compelling options
for now.
Helena and I are
very excited for her.
Yes, if this is what
you truly want,
we don't want
to stand in the way.
Daphne decided
to take a year off
to join Doctors Without Borders.
Oh, really?
- [Helena chuckles]
- Thanks.
Aw, you really are the best.
Wow, there are
so many people here,
and I don't know a single soul.
Accent on "single."
[laughs] You know what?
I think I can help with that.
Manny, come here for a second.
Excuse me.
Manny, I'd like you
to meet someone special.
This is Brooklyn.
Uh, B-Brooklyn like the... city.
Yes, although I think you'll
find I am a lot friendlier.
Uh, can I get you a champagne?
I thought you'd never ask.
Hmm? [exhales]
- I'm impressed.
- Yeah, well...
So, are you gonna make
matchmaking your side hustle?
Let's see how this goes first.
[laughs] True.

You're nervous.
Actually, I am.
Everything boils down
to tonight,
and the only thing
I know for sure
is that none of this would be
possible if it wasn't for you.
That's what I wanted
to talk to you about.
Yeah, I-I figured.
I-I had this ready.
Go on, uh, open it.
I left it blank
so that you could
put in the price
of the food truck
and cover your start-up costs.
I just want to help make
your dream come true, too.
I can't accept this, Julian.
Of course you can.
I trust you.
[glass clinking]
I guess this is it.
Nearly 30 years ago,
my dear friend Bill
taught me about putting
personal needs aside
for the greater good by starting
the Pendergast Foundation.
Our firm has been
a proud sponsor
for over two decades now.
And, uh,
as some of you may know,
in January, I will be stepping
down from my duties at the firm
so that my wife and I
can dedicate our lives
to more meaningful pursuits
like this one.
Christmas is a time
for counting our blessings,
something that we don't do
often enough.
And this Christmas,
a very special person
came into our lives
who made us understand
what a blessing family is.
I am extremely proud
of both my sons and my daughter
in ways I cannot even
begin to express.
And while I'm going to miss
my daily duties at the firm,
I couldn't be
more thrilled and confident
to announce that I will be
handing the reins of the firm
over to my son...
- Julian Diaz.
- [applause, cheering]
I hope you told Julian
how you feel
before getting paid
for services rendered.
I couldn't.
So, what happens at midnight?
All this vanishes,
and you go back
to being a rideshare driver?
Something about this
didn't seem right,
but I honestly never
would have suspected
that either of you
could stoop so low.
I have to admit you were good.
[scoffs softly]
Well, I don't feel very good.
What are you talking about?
Maria is Julian's
girlfriend for hire.
This whole thing
has been an act.
No, that's not true.
Tell her the truth, Maria.
I'm so sorry.
I never meant
to hurt any of you.
You... just please
give this back to him.
Can we please go?
Anybody seen Maria?
I'm sorry, Julian.
What's going on?
It appears Julian and Maria's
relationship was just for show.
What? That can't be.
Julian, is this true?
When I heard of your intent
to name Bennet managing partner,
my big surprise was gonna be
me resigning from the firm.
But after seeing how taken
you were with the thought
that Maria was my girlfriend...
...a little lie, it-it just
completely spun out of control.
All this because of a promotion?
So none of it was real?
I-I don't know anymore, okay?
I... I'm gonna make it up
to each of you, I promise.
Right now, I have to find Maria.

- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
It's nice to see a broken heart
hasn't affected your appetite.
Yeah, well, you know cooking
settles my nerves.
I felt so guilty
about what I did,
I couldn't sleep last night.
- How could I be such a fool?
- You are not a fool.
You are a big, kindhearted soul
who got hurt.
[ringtone playing]

Yeah, well, this big,
kindhearted soul
- is done with all this nonsense.
- [ringtone stops]
Come on, Maria.
You can't let one bad experience
sour you on romance.
I know.
And if I'm being
really honest with myself,
you were right in-in pushing me
to take chances.
Say that again.
Safe choices lead
to an unfulfilled life.
No, I mean the part
about me being right.
I really don't know if
happily ever after does exist,
but I-I do know one thing...
I-I will never find it...
if I stop looking.
I like the sound of that.
[vehicle approaching]
["Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
from The Nutcrackerplaying]
What are you gonna do?
Hi, Manny.
- Oh. Hey.
- BROOKLYN: Manny?
You left so quickly last night,
I-I didn't get your number.
Julian gave me a lift.
Yeah, sorry about that.
Uh, my ride-or-die
needed a ride.
["Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
Hey, they say nutcrackers are...
supposed to bring good luck.
I figured I'd take
all the help I could get.
What are you doing here?
Bringing you what's yours.
I tried calling.
You wouldn't pick up,
so I had no choice.
I don't want it.
It's yours.
Then, Julian,
I don't know what...
You can sell it, I guess,
or do whatever you want,
- but I can't accept it.
- Why not?
Because it's built on a lie,
and I don't want that.
I don't want that, either.
After you left, I apologized
to my entire family.
I came clean.
- Really?
- Really.
How'd that go?
It's a work in progress.
I bet.
So far, I got Bennet to agree
to share managing partner
duties with me.
That's generous of you.
No, it's just...
it was the right thing to do.
I also need to take back
an apology that I gave you.
When did you apologize?
I apologized for lying
about having never been in love.
It turns out that I was
telling the truth.
I thought it was love,
but the truth is that
I have never felt about anyone
the way that I do for you.
What are you...
what are you saying?
I'm in love with you, Maria.
I only hope you feel the...

The same?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Well, I guess that if
we're a for-real thing now,
then maybe we ought to have
our first real date.
- Right?
- Probably.
How about tonight?
Christmas dinner?
I feel like I can
probably make that work.
[laughs] Good.
'Cause we were all hoping
you'd say that.
- "We"?
- We.
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas.
I don't know what
you're doing to me, Maria,
but thank you.
Oh, well, this is just
the beginning.
["Christmas with You" by
Philip Panton/Tom Barnes plays]
Merry Christmas!
I'll be home
Home tonight
And we'll sit
By the fire
It's the time
Time to share
Share with friends
Laugh with family, oh
I hope our dreams come true
We'll make them together
And they'll last forever
I'll always spend
Christmas with you