A Christmas Spark (2022) Movie Script

For the hundredth time, Cass,
I am not selling the house.
Look at this.
Carefree living in a community loaded
with amenities...
And single men.
Do you know how many
Christmases I've spent here?
And look at all the renovations
that Greg and I did together.
I mean, why would I ever
want to leave here?
For a marble-encased,
crystal-rock-filled fireplace?
I know you love this house, Molly,
but it's too much for one person.
It's not bad.
Okay. But I'm just saying maybe
you wanna try something new.
New's overrated.
You spent the last five years
taking care of Greg.
And before that, it was your students,
and before that, it was Kristen.
- I like taking care of people.
- It's time to take care of Molly.
I do take care of myself.
I dance.
You do Zumba.
Well, uh, the other day,
I bought a new lipstick.
It was "wild cherry" and organic.
I've got it.
We should go on a girls' trip.
I found this great house on Vrbo
I've been dying to book.
Look at this.
Just you, me,
a couple of gal pals...
All together
for a week of fun.
Look at this place.
It's gorgeous, but I'm going to have
plenty of frivolity with my girls--
Especially my little Tofino.
Fine. But don't come looking for me
when you're sitting in this big,
old house, bored out of your mind,
while I'm out living my best life.
I won't!
Cass, I know you mean well,
and I know what you're trying to do.
I just want you to be happy.
And Greg would want that, too.
I know.
But I'm gonna be fine.
I mean, this is gonna be
a great Christmas.
Trust me.
- Hey, honey-bear.
- Hi!
I just found the most amazing
sparkling-unicorn Rollerskates
on eBay for 30 bucks.
And the wheels light up!
- Tofino's gonna love them.
- Mom, they're for me.
You know I can't resist
sparkly things.
You never even learned
how to roller-skate.
Well, maybe if I would have, if I'd
had Sparkly-unicorn light-up skates.
I cannot wait for you guys
to come here for Christmas.
I've already got the tree up.
I've got all your favorite ornaments,
and I've got all the ingredients
for s'mores.
It's gonna be just like old times.
- Almost.
- Mom...
That's actually
why I was calling.
You didn't call to tell me
about the roller-skates?
- Not exactly.
- You know what--
Can you guys come a week early,
instead of two days before Christmas,
The thing is--
We could go ice-skating downtown
and we could see The Nutcracker.
- We missed that last time.
- Mom.
And I have got
another Scrabble board.
Stevie's gonna be so happy. You know
how much he loves his Scrabble.
Mom, we're not
coming home for Christmas.
You guys are hilarious.
You almost got me there.
You guys...
you're always joking around.
I'm not joking.
You know the position
that Steve was up for? At the...
- Big.
- The really big, really--
- Cool.
- Cool... awesome...
- Awesome!
- Yeah, awesome... tech company?
Well, he got the job!
- He got it.
- I got it!
It's a big company.
So... Because he got the job,
he's the new guy,
and he has to work
over the holidays, so...
We can't come back.
- I'm sorry.
- Well, what about Christmas?
Hey, Molly.
Stevie here. Hi.
We were thinking maybe you could
come here for the holidays.
Oh, no, but we always
have it here.
I mean, it's a tradition.
I know...
But a change of scenery could
be really fun, don't you think?
Mom, we really do want to spend
Christmas with you, but it's just...
It's not gonna work this year.
I'm sorry.
No. No, I understand.
So I guess we're having Christmas in...
New Hampshire.
I mean, I thought for sure
there'd be snow on the ground.
No! We might not even have any
for Christmas.
Oh, well.
Oh, you know what I brought
for the top of your tree?
- Dad's Christmas star.
- Oh, awesome!
Did you remember to get a box
of that saltwater taffy from Roy's?
Yep, yep. Right on it.
Great. thank you!
I'll see you soon.
- Last one! I need this.
- So do I.
It's for my granddaughter.
It's her favorite.
Oh, it's for my friend. It's...
Her favorite.
But my granddaughter's
only nine years old.
How old is your friend?
Can she even chew
saltwater taffy?
She sucks on it, okay?
It's the last joy in her sad...
toothless life.
You know, I taught drama
in high school for 30 years,
and that is one of the best
sad sighs I have ever heard.
It just about broke my heart.
- So I get the taffy?
- Heck no!
Your friend may be
on her deathbed,
but my granddaughter's gonna kill me
if I don't arrive with this box.
Sugar isn't good for children.
That's why I never had any.
So this is for you?
I just maybe was gonna have a couple
pieces before I gave it to her, but--
What kind of a person
steals candy from a child?
I was gonna pay for it!
Well, why don't you
and your friend suck on those?
Hank Marshall.
Molly Foreman.
So you coming or going?
Coming, to spend Christmas
with my daughter.
- And you?
- Returning. I was visiting my sister.
No. This is on me.
Why would you buy candy
for a perfect stranger?
After what
we just experienced?
Yeah, but, you know, still.
'Tis the season. Right?
- How many taffies did you give her?
- Just one...
- At a time.
- Mom.
It's Christmas!
Well, you know, maybe
I just gave her four or five.
No, no, make that four and a half,
because she didn't really like
the ginger-cinnamon one.
Well, since we're on
the subject of taffy.
Do you want to hear
my new great idea?
You are gonna make taffy?
Yeah, and I can come up with
all kinds of cool flavors
and then we can give it
to the neighbors.
- What did the neighbors ever do to you?
- Mom. I'm serious.
I know you are.
I think, eventually, I can probably
sell it at the Christmas fair,
and then it'll make me so popular
that I will open a shop,
and then we'll be rich.
This isn't gonna be like the...
candle-making incident, is it?
The candle-making experiment.
And it's okay, because we have
fire insurance now.
I know what you're thinking--
"Kristen going off on another one of her
whims, gonna fall flat on her face."
No, of course not.
We can't all be the perfect mom
like you.
I am not perfect, Kristen.
It's not an insult, mom.
You are pretty darn close to perfect.
When I was a kid,
you made every meal from scratch.
You sewed my Halloween costumes,
and you coached my soccer team,
and you made amazing
Christmas s'mores.
Well, I can teach you how
to do all of this for Tofino.
- Perfect.
- Gammy!
- Hi.
- Hi.
- Congratulations on your new job.
- Thank you.
We are so stoked to have you
here for Christmas this year.
And this is gonna be the first time in a
long time that I haven't hosted Christmas,
But great news--
We can do everything
that I do at home right here.
- Yeah.
- Sure.
And because you're going to be so busy,
I can help out.
Just tell me if there's
anything that I can do.
Well, the back patio needs to be painted,
the door to the attic squeaks like crazy,
and how are you with taxes?
Are you all good with
small-business regulations?
You're not here to work, Molly.
You're here to relax
and enjoy the holidays.
- You got everything?
- Yup.
I've got to drop Tofino at school
and run a few errands.
Oh, do you want me to come?
No. I'll be back in a few hours,
and remember what Steve said--
Bye, Gammy!
"Add essential oils to your tea."
I'd rather add Bailey's to my coffee.
What's the matter?
There are places for everything.
There's way too many toys here.
Hi! Sorry I'm late!
- Mom, what are you doing?
- It's so much better, isn't it?
- Do you see the complementary colors?
- Mom, please come down from there.
And I sorted out your pantry.
I cleaned your laundry room. I really did.
Mom, you don't have to do all that.
I can clean my own house.
I have a system!
It may be a little unique...
chaotic, totally insane...
but it works for me.
I'm sorry, darling, but I'm just so used
to taking care of you and...
I know,
but I can take care of myself.
And you.
Why don't you let me
take care of you?
Well, let somebody
take care of you.
I will, when Brad Pitt
finally comes to his senses
and realizes that women
are like fine wine
and our that flavors
mature with age.
Well, I have to head back out.
Tofino has an art class at the center.
- Why don't you join me?
- No, I'm going to stay here because I--
-No. No, you're not.
-I haven't finished.
- There's one more thing.
- No.
Are you gonna come?
I think I'll look around.
Nice to be back
in a theater again, huh?
Give Gammy a hug.
Yeah. Bye, my angel.
I'll see you in a bit.
I'll just be a minute.
Don't go re-carpeting the lobby
while I'm gone.
Well, if it isn't
the airport taffy bandit.
- I'm glad I ran into you.
- That makes two of us.
- What's this?
- Change.
From the candy store.
I'd hate you to think that
I was stealing your money, too.
Molly, right?
Good memory.
What man in his right mind would
forget someone like you?
Hey, mom. Tofino wants me to hang out
in her class for a minute.
Can I meet you
in the community room?
Sounds good.
Well, it's nice to see you
again, Hank.
Good memory.
Thank you.
That's the part where you're supposed
to say I'm unforgettable, too.
Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one
around here with good taste.
- Hi. I'm Bunny.
- Molly.
- Are you new in town?
- I'm visiting my daughter.
- Kristen Valdi?
- I love her.
She has been so helpful organizing
all the town's Christmas events.
Ladies! Ladies, this is Molly.
Her daughter runs that blog that I'm
always telling you about,
Boo-boos and bubbles.
I'm Ayako,
and this is my wife, Liana.
It's nice to meet you both.
It's nice to meet you.
Please, have a seat.
We're known around these parts as
"The Christmas cookies" because we...
Well, we run most of
the activities here,
and guessing by your sweater,
you are also a fan of the season?
I have candy canes in my veins
and tinsel in my toes.
- I knew she was one of us!
- How long are you in town?
- The whole month.
- Are you retired?
Yes. I taught English and drama until
about a couple of years ago,
but right now, I am plan--
- You taught drama?
- Yes.
One of the events we're in charge of
is the town Christmas play.
The show is in three and a half weeks,
and our director quit.
Yeah, for "personal reasons".
I heard he was getting
hip-replacement surgery.
I heard
he met someone on Tinder.
We need a director.
Well, I can't do it because I promised my
daughter to come here for Christmas
for her and her family, so.
You met the Christmas cookies!
- I knew that you guys would hit it off.
- We need your help.
We need your mother to direct
the Christmas play.
I told them that I'm here to help you
put Christmas together.
No! I mean, yes, of course,
I need your help,
but this is for the greater good,
so I can share you...
if I must.
- Well, I don't know. I just--
- Come on! You love directing plays.
It'll be fun.
Maybe you can even
cast yourself in a role.
No, I'm not gonna do that, I mean,
directing is a very big job as it is.
So you'll do it?
Look, if you start reorganizing
the garage, Steve might divorce me.
You reorganized the garage?
- I... I couldn't sleep.
- She'll do it.
- I'll do it.
- Yes, okay.
Now, get my spreadsheets--
Well, what about the kids' art auction?
I mean, the parents...
But! But...
The Christmas play is
the center's biggest fundraiser.
And the town cut our funding,
so we need a big win,
otherwise, we're going
to have to cut programs.
We've been doing the same show
for ten years,
so it's pretty straightforward.
Well, I love a good tradition.
Do we have a cast?
Well... Sort of.
The director played Santa,
so we need a new one.
Someone with star power.
Well, we should
hold some auditions.
We are. Tonight. But...
We have a prospect in mind,
if we can get him.
- Like, a local celebrity?
- You could say that.
We want to ask him,
but we're afraid he'll say no.
Maybe you can convince him.
With him playing Santa,
we'll definitely sell out the show.
Well, let's get him on board.
When do I get to meet him?
Right now.
Molly, meet Hank Marshall.
Hank, we need you to play Santa
in the Christmas pageant.
- No.
- Hank!
I'm sorry, ladies,
I wish I could help...
but it's not my thing.
Excuse me.
Ms. Foreman.
Don't worry about him.
We'll find someone
at the auditions tonight.
Can we start again?
I need more coffee.
I'm going to get some. Anyone want
anything while I'm out there?
- Whisky?
- Make it a double.
We could get lucky.
Oh, come on!
Are you stalking me?
'Cause I don't mind, if you are.
First, I'm a taffy bandit
and now I'm a stalker.
Don't forget.
Director of the Christmas play
even though you've only been
in town for five minutes.
Well, the cookies seem set
on having you as Santa.
I know I've been eating
too many cupcakes lately,
But I didn't realize that
I had reached Santa proportions.
Well, as a director who's only
been in town for five minutes,
you are our only option.
You sure know
how to make a guy feel welcome.
Okay, well, how's this?
We have been holding auditions,
and everyone is really horrible...
So we figured
you couldn't be any worse.
- That's better.
- So, you'll do it?
Oh, no.
I'm not much of an actor.
Oh, well, you seem like
someone who enjoys attention.
I do love attention, but I am normally
the guy writing the words,
not necessarily reciting them.
- So you're a writer?
- Retired journalist.
I... teach a class here.
Well, what better way to use your voice
than to be in a Christmas play,
helping to raise money for arts programs
for precious, little children?
But I'm more of a Grinch than a Santa.
What do you have
against Christmas?
- You sure are persistent, aren't you?
- Yes. What's your price?
Ten boxes of taffy?
- 20 boxes of taffy?
- Yeah.
Rehearsals are at noon
You'll be there?
With jingle bells on.
Well... Yeah.
I'll be there.
- I mean... Yeah...
- Look out.
I'll see you there.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- What are you making, sweetie?
- Making taffy.
- Can I help you?
- No. I got it. I just need to...
Oh, well.
Mistakes is how we learn, right?
Oh, well, that must be
why I'm so smart, then.
Thank you for helping out
with the show.
You know me.
I can't help helping.
I know you didn't plan
on coming for Christmas,
but it may be
for the best, right?
I've been a little worried
about you, mom.
Well, since dad died,
you just seem...
A little lost.
I'm fine, sweetie.
Fine is fine, but you deserve better.
You deserve amazing.
It's really nice seeing you
doing what you love.
Speaking of which,
I have a script to read!
I've got so much work to do.
Be careful
with that spoon, darling.
Hello, everyone. I am Molly Foreman,
and I am very excited,
because I'm going to be
directing your new show.
As you know,
we only have three weeks,
but I think, if we all work together,
we're gonna make this
the best Christmas show
the town of Abbott has ever seen.
To get started--
Is this really the story?
I mean, because Santa just sits there
and everyone comes in
and tells him their Christmas wish,
and then he makes them come true,
and then they all go and sing
a bunch of old Christmas carols?
Well, what's wrong with that?
Yeah, granting wishes,
that's kinda Santa's thing.
It's boring.
It's the same one
we've done for ten years.
And we already have
all the sets and costumes.
Can't we just spice it up a bit?
I mean, add some new songs, or...
Or, maybe, we give Santa
some sort of mission?
An alien creature has landed
at the North Pole.
Santa has to go there to rescue the elves
before they get abducted!
Alien: The Christmas story.
I could get onboard
with that!
And then... An alien-elf baby
would explode from my stomach--
We are not gonna have
an alien kill Santa Claus.
Well, of course not...
Because Santa would be healed
by the...
"magic of Christmas," I guess.
No, we are going to do
the play exactly as it is.
- It's a town tradition.
- I know, but--
We don't mess
with traditions, Hank.
Why not?
Because traditions
keep us grounded.
They remind us that...
when circumstances change and...
you feel lost,
and alone...
there are always
traditions there to hold on to.
It's like...
It's like old memories
giving you big hugs.
That was a productive day.
Yeah, even if we did have
to hear some kinda crazy ideas.
- Tradition is so important.
- Yes.
- I agree!
- Well, see you tomorrow.
- Yeah.
- Bye!
I like the alien thing.
Molly! Hey.
How did I do?
Well, you weren't kidding when you said
you weren't much of an actor.
Wait till you see me dance.
Luckily for us,
you don't have to dance in this show,
but if you do want to do
a little extra rehearsal,
how about over coffee?
I would like that.
You can help me get in touch
with my inner-child.
I think you're already
in touch with that.
Well, then you can help me get
in touch with my inner-Santa.
Your... inner-biker-Santa?
- You ride?
- No!
No, I'm more of a
four-wheels-on-the-road type of girl.
We wouldn't want to mess
with tradition, would we?
See ya tomorrow.
The artist is very talented.
Plus, quite handsome
and charming, I've been told.
You made these?
So you admit it.
You think I'm handsome and charming?
- No! What? I mean, you just said--
- Yes.
I made those.
I needed a creative outlet
when I retired from journalism,
and I just kind of like fixing things.
This is a style I learned
when I was traveling the world.
It's a Japanese technique
called kintsugi.
It's beautiful.
Want to sit down?
So, what was
your favorite place?
Well, if I had to choose...
I would say Egypt.
All that ancient history...
So many untold stories
and so much yet to explore.
I always dreamed
of going to the pyramids.
Why haven't you?
It was never the right time.
It's always the right time
to chase your dreams, Molly.
- Hey, Hank. The usual?
- Yes. Thanks, Maeve.
This is Molly Foreman. She is
directing me in the Christmas play.
Is he a diva?
Now, why would you say that?
His usual is a "double-chocolate
cappuccino" with extra marshmallows.
I like sweet things!
You know what? That sounds delicious.
I'll have one, too.
- You got it.
- Thanks.
You seem pretty happy here.
Being a journalist can be exciting,
but it can also be very lonely,
and when I retired,
I decided to settle down here,
so I could finally
put down some roots.
How about you?
What's your story?
I'm the opposite.
I dug my roots early.
I came here from the UK to go to school.
I married my college sweetheart,
we had a baby,
and I taught English and drama
at a local high school for 30 years.
- Sounds like a good life.
- It was.
Until my husband was
diagnosed with Parkinson's.
But even then,
it was still good.
I was lucky enough
to be able to take care of him.
Until he passed,
about two years ago.
I know what it's like
to lose a partner.
My wife died very young,
We were both just 30.
I'm so sorry.
Taught me a lot
about life, though,
and that's why I always go after
the things I've wanted.
I can't remember when I last
thought about what I wanted.
I have no idea what
the next chapter holds for me.
- Thank you.
- I'm so sorry.
I shouldn't be dumping on you
like this.
What's something you've always wanted
to do, but you've never had a chance?
Well, there is one thing.
I thought you were more of a
"four-wheels- on-the-road" kind of girl?
I have been!
But I've always been intrigued
by motorcycles.
- And the men who ride them?
- Maybe.
- You sure you wanna do this?
- No!
But I'm gonna do it anyway.
All right.
Remember what I said.
Brakes, gas...
Keep it steady.
Start slow, stay calm.
Got it. Keep it steady.
Start slow.
I got it!
Letting her ride without a license?
You know better, Hank.
- Yeah.
- Mom?
Are you okay?
What's going on?
Just a ticket for driving
without a motorcycle license.
Well... A warning.
- You're gonna get one, right?
- Promise.
You were
driving a motorcycle?
- We only went around the block.
- "We"?
She's fine. It was my fault.
Doug? Can I get you a coffee?
I'm good.
Wife has me on this "keto" thing.
I'm sorry,
who are you?
- Who is he?
- Hank.
- He's the star of the Christmas show.
- And this is your bike, Hank?
Yes, ma'am.
Okay, time for me to go, folks.
Promised the wife I'd take her
and the kids Christmas caroling.
- Merry Christmas, Doug.
- Merry Christmas, Molly.
- Remember that license!
- I will.
- I'm ready for cookies.
- Me too!
Mom's got
some delicious ones in the oven.
They should be ready
any minute.
How great is it
having Gammy here?
It's the best.
Mom, did I tell you that
Gammy let me use her lipstick?
- Mom?
- It was Chapstick!
Could've been worse.
Could've been mascara.
- So, how is the show going?
- It's good.
Well, it's a little dull, but I'm hoping
that I can liven it up a bit.
Speaking of
livening things up...
I heard you have a boyfriend?
Ooh, Gammy!
No! I mean,
he's not a boyfriend.
You should see
the way he looks at her.
No. He's just a friend.
Just a friend.
Well, if you decide it's more than that,
that's okay, too.
I always get scared.
That is one heck of a storm.
It sure is.
Too bad it's not snow.
Is there something burning?
- My cookies.
- The cookies!
Well, you know something
about grandpa Greg?
- He loved burnt cookies.
- Why?
Here, watch this.
They're hot.
- You hear that?
- Yeah.
Burnt cookies are the best, because
you don't just taste them, you hear them.
And besides...
There's nothing wrong with being
a little burnt around the edges,
as long as
you're sweet inside.
You know what else
tastes really good burnt?
Dad burns them all the time
when we go camping.
- Hey!
- And then he tells me to make a wish.
You know, you don't need burnt
marshmallows to make a wish,
especially at Christmas-time.
They're surprisingly good,
And crunchy.
Try this.
I had a great idea.
What if I made savory taffies?
That has never been done before.
There may be
a really good reason for that.
I'm serious!
It's like when they came up
with those maple-bacon donuts--
Those were huge.
- So this is maple-bacon taffy?
- No! That's been way overdone.
This is bacon-cheeseburger taffy.
Try it.
Is that...
Is that real hamburger in it?
Did you get to the squirty
ketchup-center yet?
Oh, no... Just now.
- You were warned!
- You did, you warned me.
It's gross, isn't it?
It was a very creative idea, darling.
Okay, well, I am just going
to have to keep trying,
because Foreman women
don't give up.
- Exactly.
- Exactly!
Gammy? Are you coming
to my swim meet this afternoon?
I wouldn't miss it.
Of course.
I have to go to rehearsal first,
but I should be finished by three.
No more joyriding and getting stopped
by the cops, young lady.
No, ma'am. I'll be good.
- Pinky-promise.
- Pinky-promise!
Doug didn't give you
a ticket, did he?
- He's my nephew, I can talk to him.
- It was just a warning.
- You're such a bad influence, Hank.
- Me? This one's not so innocent.
What happened?
What happened?
If I had to guess,
I'd say a backed-up water main.
Our sets!
Our props!
Our costumes!
- All ruined!
- We can't afford new ones.
I don't know how
we're gonna put the show on now.
You know what, folks?
This might not be such a bad thing.
No, don't look at me like that.
Just hear me out.
I know you guys have been doing
the show for years, but the script...
It was horrible.
This is our chance
to spice it up.
- Start fresh.
- But it's a town tradition.
Every tradition
has a beginning, Molly.
Everything old was once new.
But that doesn't mean that you
just throw it away because it's old.
No, I mean,
don't misunderstand me.
I love traditions.
Traditions keep the past alive,
but it's the new things...
It's the new things
that keep us alive.
Maybe we should give this town
something new to talk about.
- Hank?
- What?
You and I,
we're gonna write a new show.
Cookies, we're going to have
new costumes, sets.
And maybe bake sales...
something to raise enough money.
Yeah, but we only
have two weeks.
I know!
So what are you doing? Go!
Okay. Well, let's see
what we can salvage here.
It's wet!
So, where do we start?
Do you want me to type?
- Yeah, please.
- Okay.
"A Christmas..."
All right, I've never done
this type of writing before, but...
Every story works
basically the same way.
It's about asking a question,
and then searching for the answers.
So, what "question"
do we want to answer?
If a Christmas tree falls in the forest
and there's nobody there to hear it,
does Hank still get presents?
Don't be so silly!
We don't have time for this!
I have a confession to make.
I don't usually
celebrate Christmas.
I figured that one out.
Why not?
Work, mostly.
I was usually on assignment
during Christmas, so...
Is that the only reason?
Look at you...
Probing like a journalist.
Searching for answers.
With Claire gone and no kids,
Christmas was just...
another day, no big deal.
That's very sad, Hank.
The funny thing is... I never thought so,
honestly, until I met you.
Christmas brings you
so much joy.
So, for me, what I would want to ask
is what is it about Christmas, Molly,
that you love so much?
Well, there are so many things
I love about it.
The sound of carols
The shimmer of the tinsel
in the trees,
spending time with my family.
At Christmas,
everything just feels like a gift.
Every moment
just shines a little brighter.
And love just wafts through the air
like the smell of cinnamon and ginger,
and it just fills you with...
with love.
It makes you warm and fuzzy.
- I think you made a believer out of me.
- In Santa?
You writing a Christmas play
or a harlequin romance novel?
- No, we were just--
- I was just...
Whatever! Listen.
We can't do anything with sets and
costumes until we have a script.
Whatever your creative process is...
Okay. Gotcha.
- Well, we will have it ready by... when?
- Tomorrow.
Tomorrow? No, we can't do it
by tomorrow.
You know, I think you two
will figure it out.
As you were.
- Busted.
- Busted.
- All right!
- Okay.
Let's do this.
We did it.
Don't sound so surprised.
I had complete faith in us.
Me too.
Still gonna need
a polish, but...
I think it's good.
We make a good team.
We've got a lot of work to do.
You know something?
I'm glad your plans got upended
and you had to come here for Christmas.
You're the best gift
I've had in a long time.
I'll walk you out.
Okay. I know it's late, but we were
writing the new script,
got completely caught up--
No, you missed
Tofino's swim meet.
I completely forgot.
I'm sorry.
- It happens.
- No! No.
It does not happen to me.
I'm so sorry.
Mom, it's okay.
Really, it's okay.
It's just that she's...
She's waiting up for you.
- Hey, sweetie.
- Gammy!
I'm sorry
I missed your swim meet.
I won the race!
I am so proud of you,
my little sugar-plum.
I wish I'd been there.
I was a little sad at first,
but then mommy told me that even if
people aren't there physically,
They're always there
inside our hearts.
You were in my heart.
And you were in mine.
Do you want to know
what my Christmas wish is?
That you could stay with us forever,
and a sparkle-rainbow unicorn.
A real one.
Well, that's a very big wish.
We might have to rely on Santa
for that one, okay?
- Did mom really say that?
- Yep.
She has her moments.
So, everyone, here's the new script.
It's about an old elf...
Played by me!
... who has lost his Christmas spirit,
and in order to find it again,
he has to make his wish
on a Christmas star--
Played by me.
And he makes a few friends
along the way,
and when he finally reaches
the Christmas star,
she tells him that he has all the love
he's ever needed inside,
and that he doesn't need
to make a wish
because he's his own
Christmas star.
It's called
A Christmas Spark.
This sounds fantastic.
Well, I mean, it's gonna be a lot of work,
but I know you can pull it off.
We're going to raise
so much money!
That's a good thing because that roof
leak caused a lot of damage.
This all sounds wonderful,
but what are we gonna do
about costumes and props?
I got more donations!
- The townspeople really came through.
- I knew they would!
This is all I could salvage
from the storage room,
and I'm not too sure about this hat.
It smells like cheese.
You covered the war in Iraq,
you slept in mud huts in the Amazon,
you went undercover
for the Backstreet Boys fan convention,
and you can't handle
a little stinky elf hat?
Smell it.
You're getting soft, Hank.
You're going to be
an adorable elf, Hank.
Yeah, very elf-y.
You are going to be a pretty,
pretty princess.
Now, why don't you go back in there
and see what else you can salvage?
- Come here.
- What?
I was wondering if I could
cook you dinner tonight,
kind of as a tank-you
for all your help on the play?
You cook?
Yeah, Molly, I'm a modern man.
I cook, I clean...
- I follow Chrissy Teigan on Instagram.
- Oh, me too!
I don't really.
Will you still come?
I'll bring dessert.
- 7:00 o'clock?
- 7:00 o'clock.
See you then.
- Spill.
- What?
Woman, your cheeks are blushing
more than a bottle of ros.
We've known Hank a long time,
and I've never seen him
like this with anyone.
The director and the star...
So clich, yet so poetic!
There is nothing going on.
Look, I mean, he's fun to be around,
and he's cute,
but I'm only gonna be here
for a few more weeks.
Which is why it's perfect. A holiday
fling! Just for fun. Just for you.
Careful, though.
Ayako was supposed to be my rebound.
20 years later,
we're still bouncing.
Do you want to know the truth? I
haven't dated anyone since Greg died.
I can't imagine
being with anyone else.
But I also can't imagine being
alone for the rest of my life.
After my divorce,
I thought I would never get over it.
Yeah, it took a while,
but now?
I am living my life
for me again!
It feels so good.
But that's the thing
about getting older.
I don't have time
to live by other people's rules.
I live by my own.
Yesterday, she made a rule.
She gets to eat
ice-cream sundaes for breakfast.
"Sundaes on Sundays!"
How is this not a thing?
It should be a thing!
And whatever your thing is, Molly,
now is the time to just go for it.
Whatever you're making
smells delicious.
It's an Argentinean stew.
Part of what I loved about my job
is that I got to really learn
about the places that I traveled.
What else did you learn...
Besides how to cook?
Come on, I'll show you.
Show me what?
How to tango.
I thought you told me
you couldn't dance?
I can't.
Well, I can,
so why don't you just
follow my lead?
You have three feet!
Why don't you lead?
- You sure?
- Positive.
- This is nice.
- Yes, it is, isn't it?
It's the bread.
You bake your own bread, too?
Is there anything
you can't do?
I can't stop looking at you.
This was delicious.
I don't often get a chance
to cook for other people.
Don't you do this
for all of the ladies?
- You're not just any lady.
- Well, you're right about that.
Didn't you say something
about bringing dessert?
Yes, I did.
I always keep my promises.
And there's more.
Aren't you gonna share?
These are so good.
Here you go.
Don't tell Kristen.
She's got this crazy idea
about starting a taffy-making business.
What's so crazy about that?
She doesn't know how to make taffy.
Molly, Molly, Molly. There's nothing
wrong with trying new things.
But there's also nothing wrong
with enjoying the old
and classic once in a while.
Like, right now.
And what do you have in mind?
Why don't you tell me
your favorite Christmas memory?
Something from your childhood.
All right.
On one condition.
And this...
There we go.
Aren't you forgetting something?
Your Christmas memory story?
Here it is.
I was... five years old,
and my sister was teasing me,
because she said that I was the only kid
on the block who still believed in Santa.
So, I decided to prove to her
that year that Santa was... for real.
- Good for you!
- Yeah.
So, on Christmas Eve,
I stayed up all night long,
waiting with
my trusty little camera,
to catch that jolly old elf
as he shimmied down the chimney.
I fell asleep.
But, when I woke up,
everything that I had wanted
for Christmas was under that tree.
So, did your sister
change her mind?
No. She said she was unimpressed,
but I know otherwise.
You still believed?
I did, until I didn't.
You know what...
When I look at you,
I feel like five-year-old Hank
waking up on Christmas morning
and finding everything he wanted
under that tree, all over again.
Where have you been, young lady?
I was with Hank.
Until midnight?
Why didn't you answer
any of my texts?
I left my phone in the car.
- I didn't want to worry you.
- Well, I was worried.
I should have checked in.
Well, did you at least
have a good time?
I did.
You didn't...
Kristen! No! No, of course not.
Don't be ridiculous.
You are a gorgeous,
sexy woman!
It's okay to get out there
and live a little.
Dad would have wanted you to.
He would have wanted me to...
go out with other people?
He would have
wanted you to be happy!
And if Hank makes you happy,
then that's all that matters.
He's always gonna be with you.
No matter what you do.
So will I.
I love you, honey-bear.
I love you, too.
Now get to bed.
It's past your bedtime.
A-one, a-two,
a one-two-three--
- Something's off.
- We've been rehearsing all day.
Oh, no. No, no. It's not you guys.
You guys sound great!
No, it's...
I don't know, something missing.
I'm gonna have
to figure something out.
Why don't you guys
take a ten-minute break?
You're doing a great job.
This show is gonna be amazing!
It feels really good
to be back in the game again.
Speaking of games...
I see things with you and Hank
are getting livelier.
Oh, no.
It's not serious.
Oh, never is with Hank.
- What does that mean?
- No, I love Hank.
I mean, he's charming, he's kind,
he's got his real hair and teeth,
but, no, he is never gonna settle down.
Who's talking about settling down?
I'm only here
for another week.
I mean... There's no way that it could
ever turn into anything real...
- Not that I even want it to.
- That's great!
Yeah, just keep it loose and light
with him, and you'll be fine.
- Loose and light... works for me.
- Atta girl! Have fun.
There's nothing like stepping
out of your comfort zone.
Look at you.
Look at you.
Your steed awaits.
Got it.
Now remember
what I taught you, right?
- Yep.
- Okay.
You ready?
I was born ready.
By golly,
I think she's got it!
- This is really beautiful, isn't it?
- Relaxing, isn't it?
Let's go.
You have sure been a pile of energy
these past few days.
I can barely keep up.
I figure life is meant to be lived
and motorcycles are meant to be driven.
Now, I just figured out
what's wrong with that last scene.
It just doesn't drive home
the message of the play.
You know what might make it pop?
- What?
- An alien.
So, I've been playing with
this new monologue.
Let's hear it.
No, no.
It's not quite there yet.
Well, maybe I could help you.
You already have.
You'll hear it soon enough.
Does that mean you'll
perform it at rehearsal today?
Absolutely not.
No, I don't perform anymore.
Why not?
I used to be an actor
when I was in college,
but I was never satisfied
with anything that I did.
I always felt
that I could do it better.
You're a perfectionist.
I've heard about people like you.
- That's what Kristen always says.
- Yeah?
Well, okay, I admit it.
Or at least I try to be.
Well, that explains a lot.
You're afraid to try new things
because you worry
that you won't be able to perfect them,
so it's easier to stick to the things
that you've mastered.
Am I right?
You know what? I just believe
that if there's nothing wrong,
why change it?
True, but...
The only problem with that
is that you cheat yourself
out of so many new things,
new opportunities,
new... relationships,
new feelings.
You cheat yourself out of yourself.
There's more to you, Molly,
than what you've already done.
More than your...
And what about you?
What have you
cheated yourself out of?
Grumpy elf.
Come on.
It's getting late.
I'll see you
at rehearsals tomorrow.
Mom. Come on, it's time
to put the star on.
Hank, would you like
to join us?
- Well--
- I would love to.
- I have a surprise!
- What's that?
I made you a stocking!
Well, thank you. That is so sweet.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
All right.
Hot chocolate all around.
I don't want to get too formal,
or be too maudlin here, folks,
but can I...
can I say something?
It's been a long time since
I celebrated the holidays,
and I was a bit like
the old elf in the play...
and I...
I guess I just lost
the Christmas spirit.
But you, Molly,
I've never met anyone
who spreads as much joy as you.
And I want to thank you
for helping me remember
what Christmas magic feels like.
Thank you.
- Well...
- Cheers.
I like him.
Even though
he's a bad influence?
I like him
because he's a bad influence.
You like him, too.
Well, there is something
about him.
Is it the motorcycle?
It's so sexy!
Selfies. Come on. Get in here.
Get closer. Oh, you're not in it.
Let me take it. Let me take it.
Let me take it.
- Okay. You ready?
- All right.
- Three, two... Say "cheese"!
- Cheese!
That's cute.
- Gorgeous.
- Thank you!
Not you, Hank, the tree.
Of course. Right.
I guess it looks all right.
The only thing missing
is dad's star.
Hank? Over there, on the table.
Can you get it?
- It's in a box.
- My dad made it for my first Christmas.
He took ages to make that.
And we put it on the tree three days
before Christmas, every year, right?
- And you kept that tradition?
- Yes.
I'm sorry.
- I'm so sorry. I...
- It was an accident, Hank.
- No. I know, but I'm just--
- It's okay.
I had a really good time
minus the whole
dropping-of-the-star thing.
I'm really sorry about that.
Tonight was fun.
Even if you did
cheat at charades.
I did not cheat.
I'm just really good
at reading people.
- Really?
- Yeah.
And you must be a good book
'cause I can't stop checking you out.
How did you ever become
the town playboy, with lines like that?
Who said I'm a playboy?
- Everyone.
- Really?
I guess, if you define playboy
as someone who likes to have fun,
then I guess I am.
'Cause we're having fun,
aren't we?
Yeah, we are.
Goodnight, Molly.
Goodnight, Hank.
- Who the heck is Hank?
- Don't get all giddy.
He's just... A friend.
I'm not the one who's giddy.
And glowing! And blushing!
- Molly!
- What?
Tell me more about this Hank-a-Hank
of burnin' love.
Is it serious?
No. We live in different states,
- You're making excuses.
- You're right, Cass.
I should sell the house, marry Hank,
and live happily ever after.
Cass, I gotta go.
It's a joke.
Cass wants me to...
She thinks I should sell the house
and "live a little".
- But don't worry, honey, I told her no.
- Why?
- Because I'm not ready!
- Not ready for what?
Mom, I know
you're not one to let go...
- What's that supposed to mean?
- Well, you hold on to things...
And people.
- Like... Dad, like me.
- You?
Well, I'm your mom,
I'm supposed to hold onto you.
Mom, I love you so much,
but I am not like you.
Yeah, I know that.
Well, then let me be
who you raised me to be.
Independent and fearless
and a little off the wall.
You gotta... let go of me.
Let go of dad,
and grab on to your own life.
But you are my life.
You and dad.
Okay, well, you can let us go
and keep us in your heart.
Make room for... new people,
and new experiences.
Well, when you are ready
to light that fire again,
I will be here
to help you strike the match.
It's tomorrow night, everyone!
Let's focus!
It's too tight!
It's too tight.
Maybe you shouldn't take the name
"Christmas cookies" so literally.
Please, you put eggnog
on your cereal!
Yeah, my doctor said
I needed more protein.
Where is Hank?
Eggnog is not the same
as egg whites!
I'm sorry I'm late! Sorry I'm late.
I had this thing I needed to do.
This is our last rehearsal.
There's no time for "things".
Oh, great,
something else is broken.
I got it.
Okay! Everyone!
First positions. Come on.
You... Were... Amazing!
I just want
to thank you all for--
For all your hard work.
Directing this has been one of the most
wonderful experiences in my life,
And, oh, thank you!
Thank you
for giving me this chance.
Everyone, rest up!
Big night!
Good job, guys.
Good job.
It was amazing! Amazing!
You did it, you did it.
You pulled it off great.
Thanks so much.
Hey, Hank...
I'm gonna have
Santa's sleigh here...
Yeah, just around there,
that should be good.
Molly, we have a problem.
I know... the last monologue.
I'm still working on it.
No, no, no, no, not that. No.
We've sold enough tickets to cover the
cost of the new set pieces,
but now we have to cover repairs
on the roof, and I...
And even if we sell out,
there's not enough.
So what are we gonna do?
I don't... we're gonna have to cut arts
programs and re-allocate funds.
There must be a better way.
I'll think of something,
I promise.
- You go back and rest.
- Yeah. I'm a little run-down.
I'm so glad to have somebody like you
around to pick up the slack.
- I'll see you tomorrow?
- See you tomorrow.
Yeah, I like this one.
It's much better.
That's quite a look.
It is, right?
I wasn't sure about
the tights at first, but...
I got some really nice legs.
- Well, the pointy shoes help, too.
- Yeah.
- How are you feeling?
- I'm nervous, but I feel good, I'm ready.
No, I mean...
I'm really sorry
about your ornament.
Hank, you already apologized.
I know, but...
I know how it feels
to lose someone you love.
You wanna hold on to every piece
of them. No pun intended.
And I could tell that
that star meant a lot to you.
My daughter helped me realize that...
you can let things go
and still hold them
close to your heart.
She's right.
It also occurred to me that maybe,
sometimes, you have to...
smash something into a hundred pieces
before you can piece it back together
into something new...
Someone new.
That's very poetic.
Thank you.
Can you come over tonight?
Last-minute rehearsals?
No. I'm working on a story, and I just
need some help with the ending.
- Is this for the class you're teaching?
- No. This is something personal.
Are you always this mysterious?
7:00 o'clock?
So what was that story
you wanted to tell me about?
Once upon a time,
there was this very charming, handsome,
talented man.
It's a fiction, right?
And all he wanted was a box of taffy...
a box of taffy!
But some beautiful little elf
stole it from him.
I did not steal!
And she didn't stop there.
Oh, no, she didn't!
She then stole his time,
by convincing him
to be in her Christmas play.
- Next, she stole his motorcycle.
- No, no, no. You lent that to me.
She even stole his grinchiness...
when she invited him over to her house
to decorate a Christmas tree.
But there's one thing
she didn't have to steal...
His heart...
Because he gave it to her.
I've been all over this world,
Molly Foreman,
but there's no place that makes me feel
like I do when I'm with you.
You're a dream come true.
And I thought it was time that someone
made your dreams come true.
Let's go outside. There's something
I want to show you. Come on.
Greg always promised he'd take me
to the pyramids when we retired...
I'll take you.
Stay here. Don't leave.
We can go to Egypt.
We can go anywhere.
- I thought we were "just having fun".
- We are.
So why stop?
I'm ready
for the next chapter, Molly.
Are you?
I can't.
Please, just think about it.
I'm sorry, Hank.
I've got to go.
Are you waiting up
for me again?
I must have fallen asleep.
I was...
Researching how to sell things online.
Selling what?
Try it.
I think I've finally figured it out.
- It's delicious.
- I know.
It tastes like...
a gingerbread house.
And I have eggnog ones
and candy cane,
and even burnt marshmallow.
A Christmas taffy?
This is brilliant.
Well, Tofino likes it,
so that's the important thing.
I don't even know what to say.
I'm shocked!
No, no, honey, I didn't...
I really didn't mean that. I just...
Look, I know that you think
I'm a bit of a mess.
But I try.
It's just really hard
living up to you sometimes.
Can I tell you a little secret?
When I was younger,
I felt like I did everything wrong,
and I was sure that you were gonna
end up damaged for life.
I had to teach myself
how to be a mom in my own way.
And not emulate my mom or my friends
or those perfect TV moms.
I wasn't my mom.
And you're not me.
I wouldn't want you to be.
Well, that's the last thing I expected
to come out of your mouth.
Oh, no. I'm sorry.
I go on.
It must drive you crazy.
I'm always telling you
how to do things and what to do.
You don't need to agree
quite so quickly.
I guess I've been
trying to use your life
to fill up my own life.
And I'm sorry.
But you, you have the most beautiful,
unique spark, Kristen,
and I don't ever want to dim it.
You have your own spark,
too, mom.
You just have to use it.
It's time.
Hank wants me to stay here...
and travel around the world with him.
And start a new chapter together.
I can't.
Because of dad?
Do you remember
a few years ago,
Tofino told you that she didn't want to
have a little brother or sister,
because she was worried that Steve
and I wouldn't love her as much?
What did you tell her?
That the heart grows to hold
all the love that you put in it.
You don't have to stop loving dad
in order to love Hank.
Mom, your heart is so big...
It can handle it.
You just have to open it up
to let the love flow in...
And out.
How did you ever get
to be so wise?
Well, I have my moments.
And I had
a pretty good teacher.
Come in.
- Hi!
- Hi.
- It's the big day. Are you ready?
- I feel good about the show.
But I'm worried
it's not gonna be enough.
I thought it was sold out?
It is, but Bunny just told me
that the estimate for the repairs
exceeds what we can make,
even with a sold-out show.
The problem is, the venue just
doesn't hold enough people.
You just focus on the show.
I have a feeling
everything's gonna work out.
So... so many nights...
So many nights.
So many nights of...
Hi there.
- I'm sorry about last night--
- No, no, no!
No, I'm the one that's sorry.
You offered me a dream
and I was too afraid to make it real.
I had a wonderful life
with Greg...
But my life isn't over yet.
You make me feel like
I could do anything.
And for the first time
in a long time...
The future looks full of possibilities.
I don't have to stop loving him
to love you.
- Kristen made me realize that--
- No...
Did you just say you love me?
I... guess I did.
I love you, too.
I found a way to help us
pay for the roof repairs.
I sold more tickets.
Kristen, we don't have enough seats
to accommodate more people.
- We're sold out!
- I know.
That's why
I started a livestream.
Steve and Tofino are already
setting up the camera.
- You sold tickets to a live stream?
- Yeah. To the tune of $2,000!
Holy smokes.
I'm also gonna give a free sample of my
Christmas taffy to the whole audience.
"Christmas taffy"?
I mean, they're gonna love it.
You're gonna have customers lining up.
- I know.
- You're brilliant!
Well, you've cleaned up
enough of my messes.
It was nice
to help you out for once.
How did I ever get lucky enough
to have you?
What about me?
- And you, too.
- Thank you.
We have an emergency!
- Bunny lost her voice.
- I'm okay.
I just need some honey.
She can't go on like this.
- No.
- Well, what are we going to do?
You're gonna have
to go on in her place.
Oh, no, no, no. I can't.
You're the only one
who knows all the lines.
Plus... The new monologue.
I haven't been on the stage in years!
Then it's time for a comeback.
No, I'm more of
a behind-the-scenes kind of person.
I don't have a costume.
I'm sure that
we could figure something out.
- Oh, yeah! Yeah.
- No problem.
I'm not a star.
I can't do this.
- I'm Elf 1...
- And I'm Elf 2.
- And we are here to bring joy to you...
- Full of joy, like elves should be...
And Christmas spirit, head to knee.
- We dance and play all day long...
- And sing our happy Christmas song.
Time to show them what we got--
Don't worry,
we won't give up our day job.
Out of my way!
What's wrong with him?
Didn't you hear?
He lost his Christmas spirit.
If you want to get
your Christmas spirit back,
you have to find the Christmas star
and make a wish.
But how do I find
this "Christmas star"?
You have to look for her in just
the right place at just the right time.
But how would I know?
Come with me.
I know someone who could help.
- Are you lost?
- Yes. I am.
We can help you find your way.
Can these guys come with?
Sure. Just don't ask
the elves to sing?
Every snowflake is unique.
That's what makes us so wonderful!
What does that
have to do with me?
What makes you wonderful is that there's
a special star waiting just for you.
And if I find her...
I'll get my Christmas spirit back?
You just have to believe.
So many nights,
I've searched the sky...
Looking for
that special star.
She's remained hidden from me.
And I've wished, and I've waited,
night after night after night,
for someone to light my way,
for someone to make me believe again.
She's not here.
And I fear
that she never will come.
I'm here.
I've searched across the land for you.
Why have you been hiding?
I haven't been hiding.
The sky was just too dark
for you to see me.
For years, my light has dimmed
from fear and doubt.
When people don't believe,
when they forget how joyful
and beautiful the world can be,
when they let the cold of winter
chill their hearts...
That's when my glow
begins to dim.
But then, you came
searching for me.
You sent your wishes up into the night,
and your love and faith
gave me the spark to light up again.
Now everyone can see me.
It's time.
Time for what?
Time for us to shine.
Merry Christmas to all
and to all a good life!
I told you, you're a star.
It's okay.
Now, this is way Christmas
was meant to be.
Have you heard from Cass?
Three offers already,
all over the asking price.
That's awesome.
Gammy, I wanna travel
the world with you.
Well... We'll bring back presents
from everywhere that we stop, okay?
Speaking of presents...
This is for you.
How did you do this?
When you talked about taking old pieces
and making something new,
you just gave me an idea, so, I...
I asked Kristen
for the pieces of the star...
There you go.
Like it?
It's perfect.
Kristen, would you
do us the honors?
- Merry Christmas, my loves.
- Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas, Molly.
Merry Christmas, Hank.