The Perfect Christmas Present (2017) Movie Script

On December 12th
AT PRECISELY 1:13 p.m.,
snow falls on Chicago.
A single snowflake is birthed
from a cumulonimbus cloud
10,000 feet above Lincoln Park.
It doesn't reach the ground
for 45 minutes.
AT 1:58, the snowflake lands
on the cheek of Edith Struit.
For their 50th anniversary,
her husband, Irv, brings to life
Edith's most prized treasure.
The music box
her mother gave them
on the night of their wedding.
Five miles away,
Martin Hamilton awaits a visit
from his sister, Clara,
with whom he's been estranged
for the past ten years.
She gives him
a black Labrador Retriever.
The same dog Martin lost
eight months prior.
Returned to his master
as if not a single day
had passed.
Along the Gold Coast,
Louis and Christina Selter
lead their 12-year-old son,
on what he believes
is a moonlight stroll.
Too sick to go to Space Camp,
Matthew has spent the past week
holed up in his room
reading Air And Space Magazine.
He's filled with joy
when he discovers
a gleaming new telescope
aimed directly at the star
that's been named after him.
A small piece of the universe
that belongs to him,
but is shared with everyone
in the universe.
And in a
smart-and-tastefully-done house
in the desirable West Chicago,
Tom Jacobs
checks his phone and smiles,
who is the architect
of these dreams come true.
If he does his job well,
they'll never know.
And for Tom,
that's all it is, a job,
one he happens to be
very good at.
I should know because I'm him.
I'm always able to find
the perfect gift
no matter the occasion,
but Christmas is my specialty.
That's how I earned
my nickname, Mr. Christmas.
Oh, I forgot how much
I love Chicago.
You know, there's so much
character here,
so much history.
You know, there's a lot
of history at home, too, so...
Okay, what LA considers historic
is an 80-year-old hotdog stand.
Hey, uh, I'm really glad
you're here.
I know it was a, a big ask,
you missing holidays
with your family.
Okay, I told you
a million times.
- Don't worry about it.
- All right.
- Seriously, I want to be here.
- All right, all right.
Besides, I get to experience
snow during Christmas again.
- That's true. That's true.
- Oh, pizza.
We should do
a walking pizza tour.
Come on, tonight,
after the movie?
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I just,
I gotta, I gotta swing by home.
- Before the movie, okay?
- Okay.
'Cause I have that conference
call in... 25 minutes.
- I gotta go.
- Oh, okay.
- I gotta go. Bye.
- All right, bye.
Okay, I'll pick you up
at 2:00!
I'll get the tickets!
It's Christmas time
another season
And I will start
the caroling
With all the family
When sleigh bells ring
And when I hear you sing
without the
Christmas time
Our favorite holiday
Soy cappuccino
for Mr. Christmas.
Have you moved on
to New Year's yet?
Yeah, Christmas
is all wrapped up.
Lovely to see you, Victoria.
I knew I'd find you here.
Why a man of your acumen
would choose to work
in such a quaint place,
I will never understand.
Yes, I'm sure that's true.
Have a seat.
To what do I owe the pleasure?
Oh, I just wanted
to let you know
that the gift you got for mother
was a raving success.
I haven't seen
her happy like that in ages.
And getting her
out of the country
for an entire season?
I didn't realize
I would be getting a gift
out of this deal, as well.
I can't thank you enough.
I'm glad you're happy,
but a simple phone call
would have been sufficient.
And how would I have seen
that handsome face?
Besides, social graces compel me
to invite you over for dinner
in person.
I told you
I'm very appreciative.
I wanna thank you.
Your ample fee
was payment enough.
Oh, nonsense. Let a lady
treat you to a proper meal.
You'll come, won't you?
You didn't make me
come all the way down here
just to be shot down?
How can I miss it?
Wonderful. How's Saturday?
We can eat at mother's,
and with her being gone,
it'll just be the two of us
in that great, big house.
And the staff.
Oh, Tom. They don't count.
Well, I'm off.
No rest for the divine.
I will see you Saturday.
- Enjoy your coffee.
- Thank you. I will.
Paul? Hello?
Are you in there?
Paul? Hello? Hm.
Hey, what's the deal?
I've been upstairs ringing
the doorbell for ten minutes.
- Sorry. Five minutes. Tops.
- Oh. Oh, yeah.
Yeah, we'll get it done.
We'll get it done.
End day.
Yeah, yeah.
Sure. Sure, sure,
whatever you need.
- Whatever you need.
- Oh.
Yeah, well, he's not
the center of the universe
and he needs to understand that.
Jimbo. Obviously.
No, no, no, I love you.
You're beautiful.
You're beautiful.
Yeah, end of day?
I'm sorry,
this is nowhere near done.
No, it's fine.
Handle your business.
Yeah. You should...
You should go to the movie
without me
and I'll catch up with you
Okay, and we can do the,
the, uh, pizza thing.
No, you know what, it's...
Hey, it's not even a problem.
I should be at home packing,
Okay, yeah, no, no, no, Jim,
I'm right here.
Yeah, yeah, Jim. Yeah, Jim.
I'm right here with you.
- Love you.
- Love you.
Look, we're making
lemonade. Okay?
Yeah, yeah, if you need to move
that deadline up, we got it.
Hundo percento.
Yeah, obviously.
Max, take a deep breath.
We still have a couple of months
before Valentine's Day.
That is plenty of time.
Trust me.
I do this for a living.
I've been working
on the questions, Tom.
Great, all right,
well, you just worry about
filling out a profile
and I'll handle the rest.
- I'm relying on you.
- Okay.
- Talk to you later. Bye.
- Okay. Bye.
No way. Who is it?
- Hey, it's Paul.
- Paul?
- Tom Jacobs.
- Paul?
Tau Sig.
- Sure. Uh, Tau Sig.
- Nice. Can I come in?
- So you wanna hire me?
- Yes.
How did you find out about me?
Tau Sig, man. You should really
think about advertising.
I never would've found you
You know the old saying,
"It's the thought that counts"?
Well, now, the perfect gift
becomes a lot less perfect
when the recipient finds out
that the gift
actually came from the guy
whose face is on a bus stop.
So your clients get the perfect
gift and all the credit?
- That's the idea.
- Good.
Paul, I kinda have a rule about
not taking on people as clients
who I have a relationship with.
It-it can get personal.
It can get messy.
Look, man,
I really need your help.
Okay, just look at her.
Her name is Jenny.
- Wow!
- I know, right?
I'm crazy about her.
And I-it's only been a year
and-and she moved out to Chicago
a little after me.
And, yeah,
we're not living together.
And that's fine, I get it.
Space, independent lives,
et cetera, et cetera,
but things have been...
Things have been
a little tense recently.
And w-we're kind of in, uh...
- Some sort of rut?
- Okay.
And I'm looking
for that grand gesture,
you know,
t-to get things back on track
'cause I don't think
I'm gonna do better than this.
I need a gift, man.
I'm looking
for the Christmas gift.
That is
less than three weeks away.
That is not enough time, man.
- Sorry.
- Please?
- I'll think about it.
- Thank you.
But I'm not making any promises.
All right, well, before
I decide to take you on...
you need to fill out
one of these.
- What is it?
- This is Jenny in a nutshell.
That's step one.
And if I decide it's a good fit,
then we go on from there.
People are remarkably simple.
We like to think we're all
beautiful, unique snowflakes...
but when you really
get down to it,
we're all just slight variations
of the same clump of ice.
Case in point. Question one.
Likes and dislikes?
According to a national study,
52% of US population
would say they like puppies.
Okay, maybe some ice clumps
have more points than others,
but they're still just clumps.
- Thank you, Jimmy.
- Mm-hmm.
Of course, not everyone
is good at sharing
their intimate feelings.
Or maybe their partners
just aren't good at listening.
You can't just
leave spaces blank.
How am I supposed to know
her favorite childhood memory?
Have you tried asking her?
This is good.
Thanks, babe.
What's your favorite
childhood memory?
Some answers require
a little more legwork.
I've found that if you really
wanna get to know someone,
you should read
their favorite book.
It says a lot.
The questions don't always
have to be complicated,
like number four. How do they
spend their downtime?
Ah. Hi.
The secret to my business is...
Well, there is no secret.
It isn't a gift,
it's just a lot of research
and understanding
that deep down,
most of us want the same thing.
the simplest questions
can lead
to the most profound answers...
but not always.
Of course, it does help to ask
the big questions
to find out what inspires them,
what moves their world.
This takes discretion.
People aren't always honest,
even with themselves,
when faced
with questions like this.
But if you really wanna know
what makes someone tick,
you might only get the answer
by seeing it for yourself.
Truth be told,
these questions might feel like
they're impossible to answer,
but with the right person,
they can be painfully obvious.
No, I am not giving up,
I'm saying it's impossible.
- There is a difference.
- Come on, dude.
I thought you were supposed
to be good at this.
I am good at this,
but the process takes time.
And two weeks is not enough,
especially for someone
as interesting as Jenny.
Congratulations, by the way.
She's a winner.
Much more difficult to figure
out than most of my clients.
Yeah, I know.
That's why I'm asking for help.
Come on, Tom,
you're not gonna let
one little speed bump
throw you off, right?
But it can't be done,
I'd have to focus
all of my attention on her
to get the information
you're missing.
That's a good idea.
You'll figure it out in no time.
- Come over for dinner tomorrow.
- What?
- Yeah.
- Why?
So you can meet her.
Get the intel in person.
So, Tom, Paul tells me
you're a consultant.
- He did?
- Y-yeah.
Well, when I told Jenny
you were coming over for dinner,
she asked what you do,
so I told her.
Yeah, but Paul
didn't really elaborate.
What sort of, uh, consulting
do you do?
Uh, you know, um,
finances and branding
and outreach.
- The youzhe.
- Those all sound like buzzwords.
- They do, don't they?
- Mm-hmm.
- What about event planning?
- Hm?
Well, it seems you have
a wide array of contacts,
given the breadth
of your expertise.
Mm. Well...
Yeah. Yeah, I, uh, I-I...
Yeah, I dabble in, uh,
event planning.
- Really? That's perfect.
- Mm-hmm.
You're just the guy
I've been looking for.
I'm gonna get some more wine.
You want some more wine?
- You guys want some more wine?
- I would need...
- Good.
- Yeah, I'd like some. Thank you.
- What is she talking about?
- I don't know.
I don't know anything
about event planning.
Then why did you tell her
that you do?
- Paul.
- So, Tom...
I could really use your help
if you're available.
Oh, yeah, sure.
What exactly do you need?
Well, I don't know
if Paul told you,
but I actually run a non-profit.
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
The Family Shelter Network.
Providing shelter and comfort
for families in need.
I-I saw that when I looked it up
on the Internet.
Well, I still manage
the LA office remotely,
but while I'm here, I figured
I'd explore the possibility
of expanding a Chicago branch.
So what better way
to spread the word
than to throw
a big holiday benefit?
- Uh-huh.
- And since I'm new to town...
I could really use
some help planning.
You know, finances,
branding, outreach?
Those sorts of things.
You want his help
planning a charity benefit
for Christmas.
Yes, that would be amazing.
I know two weeks
is not that much time.
Yeah, I-it's a little bit
short notice.
But I think
that we could pull it off.
- If you're interested.
- Uh...
And as an added bonus,
I would actually have
a friend in town,
given the fact
that we'd have to spend
pretty much every day together.
- Um...
- I-I'm-I'm sorry.
I didn't mean
to just dump all this on you.
No, no, it's fine.
I've known you, what,
20 minutes?
And I'm already trying
to recruit you into my charity.
- Don't worry about it.
- No, really.
Forget I said anything.
Honestly, I, I can handle it.
I just get a little carried away
Say yes.
You know what, I'd love to help.
- Really?
- Sure. Sure.
- How can I say no?
- Oh!
Wow. Thank you.
Yeah, Tom, thank you.
- You're welcome, Paul.
- Hm.
Well, given that we do not have
the luxury of time,
when would you like to start?
What's your day like tomorrow?
Oh, this is gonna be great.
I fail to see
how me getting another job
with another Christmas deadline
is a positive.
Dude, two birds, one stone.
You jab about the charity
and then suddenly
push the conversation
towards deepest desires.
Plus, it's another paycheck,
so I'd say
you're having
a pretty good holiday season.
You and I have very differing
definitions of good.
Well, here she is now.
I'll let you know how it goes.
- Hey!
- Hey. Oh, wow!
- We're, uh, hugging.
- Sorry I'm late.
I walked by the Rookery Building
and I couldn't not go in.
- Sure. Who could resist?
- I love this place.
It's so quaint.
Oh, what?
Nothing. I had a client
who described it the same way.
It's funny how different
a word can sound
depending on who's saying it.
- Right.
- Something to drink?
What are the odds
they have an herbal tea?
- Not a coffee drinker?
- No, I am. Well, was.
Paul and I
usually avoid caffeine.
The tea helps him unwind.
Seems like
he needs to do that a lot.
Yeah, you know,
he's tried everything.
Massages, sleeping pills,
aroma therapy.
Maybe he could try
a less stressful job.
Yeah, try telling him that
and let me know how it goes.
- Have you ever heard of ASMR?
- Mm-mm.
It stands for Autonomous Sensory
Meridian Response.
They're these weird, little
videos that help you relax.
Like, people whispering,
water boiling, stuff like that.
- Paul does this?
- Oh, can't sleep without it.
Uh, what would you like?
Wow! It has been a long time
since I've had caffeine.
Well, Paul is not here,
so go crazy.
All right.
I guess I'll have
a black coffee.
Whoa! Slow down there.
Hey, Justin, could we have
one more black coffee, please?
- Of course.
- Thanks, man.
All right,
let's get down to business.
The event's in two weeks,
so I think
the most important part
is getting the venue.
What are you thinking?
I would like something
with a lot of space, you know?
I'm hoping for a good turnout.
And I'd love something
with some history.
So the pancake shack is out.
Oh, and if we can get a staff
included, that would be amazing.
That way we don't have to hire
extra help
for serving and everything.
- Staff.
- Oh, and a kitchen.
For food preparation
and what not.
- Thank you.
- Thanks, man.
No problem.
Mm. I forgot how good
coffee tastes.
So, uh, the venue.
To recap...
Big space, lots of history,
staff included, kitchen,
and it needs to be available
in the next two weeks,
during the busiest time
of the year.
And affordable.
- It's impossible.
- Actually...
- I think I know a place.
- You're kidding?
I'll make a call tonight
and see.
Maybe we check it out tomorrow?
That'd be amazing.
- Perfect.
- Perfect.
How is everything there?
Oh, I've got it locked down.
You should've put me in charge
a long time ago.
How about you?
Is Chicago
as magical as you remember?
Yes, it is. It snowed today.
So I'm working
for a 8-year-old?
- Hey, did you get my e-mail?
- I did.
Benefit's a good idea,
but you got
enough bandwidth to manage it?
Nope, but I think
I found someone that can help.
One of, uh,
Paul's fraternity brothers
in this kind of thing.
Ooh, a fraternity brother.
Is he cute?
- Meg!
- What?
I have a boyfriend, so do you.
So? How's that relevant
to my question?
- Yes, he's cute.
- I knew it.
Doesn't matter because I'm only
using him for his expertise.
- And his body.
- Okay, I'm hanging up now.
I'll talk to you soon.
Miss your face.
- All right, miss you more. Bye.
- Bye, babe.
Wow! It's so...
This place is amazing.
It's almost like a museum.
- Oh, I know.
- Beautiful.
- Oh, here. I'll take that.
- Oh.
Well, Merry Christmas to me.
Uh, hello, Victoria.
This is Jenny Stone.
The friend I told you about.
It's a pleasure to meet you.
This place is so beautiful.
Yes, mother at least
has good taste.
You know, Tom didn't give me
too many details,
but I imagine
it should do the trick.
Oh, it's perfect,
and thank you again
for letting us
have the event here.
Oh, any excuse to keep Thomas
under my thumb
is worth the inconvenience.
Why don't you tell Jenny here
something about the history
of the house?
Well, it was constructed
in 1870,
but it's undergone
extensive renovation since then.
And a year later,
it became local lore.
1871? Wait.
Are you telling me that
this place is somehow connected
to the Great Chicago Fire?
Some call it an urban legend.
I assume you know
the origin of the fire.
Yeah, Miss O'Leary's cow
knocked over the lantern
in the barn.
Well, the barn is true enough,
but the cow's absolute nonsense.
The story goes,
that the lady of the house,
fell in love with
a poor cobbler's son, Nathaniel,
but at her father's behest,
she was already engaged
to the heir of
a prominent family, Alexander.
Now, even though
Margaret was engaged,
she was in love with Nathaniel
and couldn't bear the thought
of being without him.
So the two of them
would meet in secret
at the O'Leary barn.
In the weeks
leading up to the wedding,
Alexander grew suspicious
of his future bride's
nightly disappearances,
and one night he followed her.
- Oh, no.
- Oh, yes.
He trailed her
to the barn and he
found the two lovers embraced.
he pulled out his pistol
and shot Nathaniel dead.
Heartbroken, Margaret
flung a lantern at Alexander,
starting a blaze.
She locked the barn,
sealing his fate,
then raced home, threw a noose
over the rafters of her barn
and hanged herself.
Wanting only to be reunited
with her lost love.
If the tales are to be believed,
the fires of her love and loss
were so strong,
they engulfed the entire city
in flames,
except for her home,
which somehow
withstood the blaze.
It's as they say,
"Hell hath no fury
like a woman scorned."
Oh, that is the most romantic
story I've ever heard.
Yes, no good romance is complete
without murder
and mass destruction,
but it makes
for a wonderful story
for the beginning of a tour.
Shall we?
Lead the way.
Oh, uh...
We have a fully-equipped kitchen
designed for entertaining
and our chef
makes wonderful appetizers.
Salmon puffs, chicken tarragon,
mushroom cappuccino.
Wow, that all sounds amazing,
but I was thinking
something a bit more basic.
Yes. I imagined you would.
And this is
played his violinre my fr
through the years.
And this is the ballroom.
- It's perfect for a waltz.
- Oh.
The Viennese Waltz
if you're feeling adventurous.
- You wanna dance?
- Okay.
Or whatever that is.
That place
was incredible! And for free?
How'd you manage
to pull that off?
Oh, Victoria
is a very grateful client
who may have
a bit of a crush on me.
Yeah? I get it.
I mean,
because you're so selfless
and you get things done,
not because of...
Wow, let's just
change the subject.
I, um, I saw you writing
some stuff down back there.
- Anything you wanna discuss?
- Oh? Uh, nah.
Just minor details. I don't
wanna bore you with them.
But we should talk about
some bigger-picture stuff.
I'd love to wrap my head
around the charity
so we can strategize
what the event might entail.
Awesome. You wanna come inside
and talk about it?
You can see
how my whole operation works.
Now, these are
all the families we've helped.
I like to keep them up to remind
me through the rough times
that it's all worth it.
Not a bad place to work.
Yeah. Well, work and live.
My apartment's right upstairs.
Ah, so you struggle
with separating your personal
and professional life.
- That's too bad.
- Oh.
And your coworkers...
Ugh, they must drive you crazy.
Oh, yeah. All, all one of 'em.
Drive myself crazy.
Now, I'm hoping the benefit's
gonna help with that.
It must be tough leaving
your whole other life behind.
Yeah, but you know,
it's only temporary.
Well, I mean, there is a lot
of opportunity for growth
here in Chicago,
but I'm just not sure
how permanent my relocation is.
Though it is really nice
being back.
- Back?
- Oh, I'm from here.
Yeah, my mom and I went to LA
when I was a kid.
Yeah, and I missed it
every day since.
- So you're a Chicago girl.
- Through and through.
Yeah, you know, being back here
just feels right, you know?
Like, I'm finally home.
Well, for what it's worth,
I'm glad you're here.
Maybe you'll find
some reason to stay.
Yeah, you never know.
Maybe I will.
So you have helped
all of these people?
Yup, we've helped them, uh,
pay off homes,
get jobs, buy groceries.
I mean, really anything
we can do to help.
Yeah. We've been lucky.
Nothing, it's just that...
you're doing
very important work.
Thank you.
You know what,
I should get out of your hair.
You have put up with me
enough today.
No. It's, it's been a great day.
Hey, you wanna come upstairs
and have some hot chocolate?
My way of saying thank you
for everything that you've done.
- Sure. Why not? Yeah.
- Okay.
Mm. You know,
I just love Christmas.
Families coming together,
hot cocoa.
- The snow.
- Crackling fires.
No other holiday
even compares in my book.
I am with you there.
It's just something
so magical about it.
Oh, and the music.
I just love Christmas music.
Okay. All-time favorite
Christmas song. Go.
Oh, that's easy. "Baby Won't You
Please Come Home?"
Not really a Christmas song.
Go again.
Oh, it was when my dad sang it,
but he added "For Christmas"
to the end of it.
Well, was your dad a musician?
- Yeah, he was a blues musician.
- Really?
Yeah, he wasn't famous,
but you know,
he would play around here
in the Chicago blues clubs.
I guess I'll always have
a soft spot for sad songs.
Me, too. I grew up
on the Chicago blues.
That's so cool that your dad
is a blues musician.
Mm-hmm. Yeah, look.
I have a picture right here.
Here's him and his band.
Robert Stone
And The Chicago Fire.
That's my dad in the middle.
And that is Sam Baker.
He was, like, my uncle,
growing up.
Okay, hold on.
Who's that?
- Is that you?
- Yes.
I'd love to listen to them.
Oh, so would I.
You have no idea.
Yeah, this was
pre-Internet days,
so they only had
a few songs recorded.
And I didn't buy their album
because I obviously didn't think
I needed to.
I haven't heard
my daddy's voice in...
almost 20 years.
Yeah, I was, I was eight
when I started going
to the Chicago blues clubs
and watching him play.
And my mom hated it.
My dad and my mom,
they loved each other,
but they fought
like cats and dogs.
One day, my mom just
couldn't take it anymore,
so she packed up her stuff
and on December 1st,
we moved to LA.
Started a new life.
I get it now. "Baby Won't You
Please Come Home For Christmas?"
It's about the love of his life
leaving him.
You know,
he called her every day
and sung that song to her.
Drove my mom nuts, but I thought
it was the most romantic thing.
You know, we never came back
to Chicago,
but a couple of years later,
my dad came and visited me
on my birthday.
And a week later,
he was killed in a car accident.
I never got to say goodbye.
I'm so sorry. That's horrible.
I have no idea
of why I just told you that.
I'm glad you did.
You know what,
I should get going.
Yeah, of course.
Uh, I guess...
if you wanna meet up again,
just give me a call.
- Okay.
- We'll, we'll be in touch.
Uh, uh, goodnight. Thank you.
Of course. My pleasure.
- Have a nice night.
- You, too.
- Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.
Oh, what are you doing?
Uh, coming!
- What?
- Hi!
I'm sorry. Is this a bad time?
- Hi. Hi.
- Hi.
I'm sorry.
Paul gave me your address.
- I tried calling you a bunch...
- No, no, no, it's okay.
Just, just give me a second
to put a shirt on.
Maybe some pants.
Sorry about this.
Almost ready. Hold on.
It's okay.
All right.
- Delivery!
- Hey.
- Straight from Caf Libertad.
- Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.
- Mmm.
You're awful chipper
this morning.
- What time is it?
- 6:30.
- In the morning?
- Ah.
Are you a functioning adult?
So I had a flurry of inspiration
last night
and I couldn't wait
to share it with you.
I came up with a theme.
It's all about giving
and family and warmth.
So why complicate things?
Yeah, all the food
could be homemade favorites.
Sugar cookies, toffee and fudge.
We can make gingerbread houses.
- I think it's great.
- Right!
So now that
we have a day and a theme,
I'm gonna send out the invites
to the network.
Now, we have less than a week
to make this happen,
so we can't waste any time.
- Do you have a pen?
- Hey!
Have I told you about the view?
Tops in the city.
The view from the back porch,
it is really spectacular.
Go ahead right up there,
over there on the porch.
This time of morning
with the sun coming up...
- Okay.
- You're really gonna love it.
- Yeah.
- All right, there you go.
Oh, wow!
- You weren't kidding.
- Right?
It's amazing out here.
Oh, my gosh!
- Is that the Lincoln Park Zoo?
- Sure is.
I used to go there
all the time when I was little.
I wonder if it's changed much
in the last 20 years.
- Tom?
- Hey-hey!
What a zoo, right?
You know, if you're into animals
and such.
- Are you okay?
- Yeah.
Yeah, I'm awesome. Why?
I, I don't know,
you're just acting kinda...
- Aloof? Cool?
- Like a freak.
- Let's look at the plans, huh?
- Okay.
Now, you did
this whole thing last night?
Mm-hmm. And this morning.
We have decoration ideas,
some gift suggestions,
sample recipes,
gingerbread construction.
Well, hold-hold on,
this is an article
from Architectural Digest.
Oh, yeah. I'm very thorough
with my research.
I think
we both can agree on that.
Well, this is gonna be
a whole lot of work
and we don't have
a whole lot of time.
I hope Victoria doesn't mind
some free Christmas decorations.
Um, all right, give me a ribbon.
Hit it.
- All right.
- Hit it.
I'm lucky.
Okay, let's do red.
- Yeah.
- Yeah. Ah.
- Hey!
- Paul?
- Who is this?
- The boyfriend.
- Wonderful.
- Hm.
- The place looks great!
- Mm-hmm.
What are you doing here?
I thought
you were to work late...
Yeah, I got out
earlier than expected.
Figured I'd stop by, see how
things were coming along.
- Well...
- Perfect timing. We're done.
Yeah, well, you know me.
Swoop in last minute,
take all the glory.
Hi, I'm Paul.
I don't think we've met before.
Victoria Stolle. Delighted.
We were just about
to sit down to dinner.
Won't you join us?
- Ah, I don't want to intrude.
- Oh, I insist.
It'll be nice to have
another man around the house.
I've been feeling
like a third wheel all day.
Wow, the food
is delicious. Mm...
Only a year and you're moving
across the country
to be together.
I'm not quite sure yet about...
You must be very serious.
Don't you think so, Tom?
Don't you think they make
a lovely couple?
Oh, yeah, yeah, she's great.
Uh, they're great.
You guys are great.
It's a shame you don't have
political aspirations.
What a power couple.
This is nice. Isn't this nice?
Mm. Mm, mm, mm.
let me just say thank you
for letting Jenny
host her charity thing here.
- This place is incredible.
- Well, it's not mine yet.
Jenny, this is the kind of house
I've been talking about.
Really? I actually quite like
my apartment.
No, your apartment is great,
but you can't raise five kids
in an apartment.
I'm sorry, five kids?
Oh, I agree.
Yeah, five kids need a house.
They need a house on land.
Family needs space.
Uh, Jenny,
you have quite the catch here.
I mean, a man with a plan
for your future together?
- He's a keeper.
- Take a good look.
This is what
we're working towards.
Thanks again, Victoria.
Tom, I'm sure we'll talk soon.
I'll see you guys soon.
- Bye.
- Bye.
Thank you for dinner.
I should probably
be hitting the road, too.
Do you wanna stay
for a nightcap?
I told you, mother's out of town
and I could use the company.
No, no, thank you. Rain check?
Come on. Stay with me.
You can stay the night
if you want.
Pick whichever room
fits your mood.
Mm-hmm. Goodnight, Victoria.
That was awesome!
I feel like I only saw
one wing of the house.
And that was huge.
Did you have fun? Babe?
Jenny. What is it?
Five kids? Really?
Five kids?
Where'd that come from?
I come from a big family.
I've always
kinda wanted five kids.
That's totally fine, but talk
to me about it, personally,
not in front of strangers.
I didn't think
it was a big deal.
It's not like
I want five kids tonight.
I've never heard you
say this before.
Look, I'm sorry.
I didn't mean
to get carried away.
I didn't mean
to make you feel uncomfortable.
Well, it's not all bad, right?
Me thinking about our future?
I just want you to know
that I am in this...
a hundo percento.
I've got big plans for us.
You should have heard her
in the car.
I mean, she-she's starting
to wriggle, man.
L-like a worm.
Man, you, you gotta get
a grip on the situation.
You, you can handle this
much better if you just
stop doing... push-ups.
- Five kids?
- I know, right?
It's not the fact
that it's just five kids,
it's the fact that he's talking
about kids at all.
You know, and our future,
Is he gonna propose?
It's just crazy.
I don't even know what to do
with this information.
Well, at least,
he's talking about a future.
I mean,
that's a good thing, right?
Yeah, I guess so,
but how's he
planning it without me?
You know what I mean,
like, five kids?
Man, I thought
women liked this stuff.
Like, marriage and kids and...
You know, a, a guy
who's thinking about the future.
Some women do, sure.
But are you sure
that Jenny's that kinda woman?
I think I am,
but do I even want that?
I mean, something just doesn't
really feel right, you know?
Maybe you're just not ready
for that type of stuff with him.
And what's that
supposed to mean?
All I'm saying is
it's only been a year.
Maybe you should
pump the brakes a minute.
No, I don't need
to pump the brakes.
I mean, I didn't hire you
to pump the brakes.
What I need is the gift.
I'm just saying, maybe you need
to plan your future
with somebody else.
Somebody like Tom.
I... No, that's, that's crazy.
- You're crazy.
- I'm just saying.
I've only known Tom
a whole week, okay?
And I've been with Paul,
who I'm still with, by the way,
we've been together for a year,
you know,
and you just, you don't just
throw that away over a crush.
I moved to Chicago for him.
Look, first of all,
you out in Chicago on business.
Second, you don't have a ring
on your finger.
- You free, honey.
- Your soul is not crushed.
Yes, it is.
- And my heart is dying.
- Stop being so dramatic.
Worst-case scenario, you're both
just a little confused.
I think you're right.
Yeah, I think you're right.
I'm just over-thinking it all,
I think, you know?
I think you should just
take a minute, breathe it in,
soak it all in, I'm sure
you'll be right as rain.
And just, just take time,
you know?
Yeah, I guess you're right.
Yeah, it's fine.
Everything's fine, just...
Do me a favor?
Help me smooth things over.
You guys still have to plan
that event, right?
- Mm-hmm.
- But is it wrong...
that I look forward
to seeing him so much?
- Of course not.
- Ugh!
You know I want
what's best for you.
- Right?
- Yeah.
The question is,
what do you want?
That's the thing, I don't know!
I don't know what I want.
I don't know, I'm just
so confused right now,
but I think maybe you're right,
you know.
I need to just relax,
and let the whole thing breathe
and see what happens.
Thanks, Meg.
You're the best.
- You're welcome, babe.
- All right.
- I'll talk to you soon.
- All right, boss.
- Talk to you soon.
- Talk to you soon.
- Bye.
- Bye.
You're welcome. That's what
big brothers do, huh?
Tau Sig?
That's the only T-shirt
you own, isn't it?
I think it's good
to be prepared.
Won't be left here.
- Come get it.
- But-but... Okay.
There it is. Bam!
All right.
Now, call my girlfriend
and do whatever it takes
to get what we need.
Hey, I am so happy
you called me.
Seriously, I was going crazy
holed up in my office.
This is exactly what I needed.
No, it's my pleasure.
Actually, it turned out
to be a very nice day.
Yeah. You know, I can't believe
this record store is still here.
I used to come here
all the time.
This is the best record store
in Chicago.
Same family's owned it
for generations.
If anyone can find
a Robert Stone album,
it's these guys.
You have tried to find it
before, haven't you?
You know, I have,
but it was, like, a year ago,
and I didn't have any luck,
so I figured it was a sign.
Well, your luck
may be about to change.
- Hey, Rosie. How are you?
- Hey.
Uh, we could use some help
finding a blues album.
Sure. What do you need?
You know, if it's the blues,
Tom, we can find it.
My friend here's father
used to play in a local band,
and legend has it,
they cut an album.
Oh, yeah? They got a name?
Yeah, but I doubt
you would have heard of them.
You never know until you try.
Robert Stone
And The Chicago Fire?
- Sorry, never heard of 'em.
- Told you.
But you could find it, right?
- Robert Stone And...
- The Chicago Fire.
Chicago Fire.
All right, let me see
what I can do.
Thank you,
I really appreciate it, but...
I don't think
you're gonna find anything.
Well, I got a lot of friends
in this town.
Don't give up on me quite yet.
Well, I have faith in you,
Give me call if you find
something, okay?
- Okay, Tom.
- Thanks.
- All right.
- Thank you.
Oh, I just love this place.
You know, this was one
of my favorite spots growing up.
So many memories.
My father and I used to walk
this walk every Sunday
on the way to the record store.
- Really?
- Yeah.
Oh, would you look at this?
This is so pretty.
You really haven't
been here in a while.
They put this up, like,
seven, eight years ago.
- Really?
- Yeah.
- What?
- Nothing.
Just... Paul has to work late.
Boy, that guy must
really love his job.
Yeah, sometimes
I feel jealous of it.
You know, we were supposed to do
a walking pizza tour tonight.
This is the third time
he's canceled this week.
Well... I'm available.
I was gonna walk you home
Might as well do it
with pizza, right?
I still can't believe
you like Pizano's
- ...more than Lou Malnati's.
- Oh, that's not what I said.
What I said was that
I'm still savoring it.
And, besides, you don't have
the leg to stand on here
because your palate
has been corrupted
by what passes for pizza in LA.
And I've still got Pequod's
on my mind.
- Wait, do we have Pequod's?
- Ooh, we will next time.
And that tour
will include Tavern Crust.
Okay, you know, that's like
a dream come true for me.
Do not mess with my heart.
You really love it here,
don't you?
Yeah, I really do.
I wish I had never moved.
And today was like
being 12 again.
We did all the things
that I love.
The music, the food,
the history... the people.
- Hey, hey.
- I'm sorry.
No, it's okay.
It's just,
today was the kinda day
that I used to have with my dad.
For the first time in years,
I felt like...
he was with me again.
Well, for what it's worth,
I'm sure
he'd be extremely proud
of the woman you've become.
I don't know about that.
No, I'm serious.
You're the most amazing person
I've ever met.
You give everything
and expect nothing in return.
You're not afraid
to follow your heart
no matter
where it takes you, and...
most people don't have a shred
of that kind of courage
and passion.
We, we shouldn't be
doing this, I'm...
I'm, I'm with Paul.
I'm sorry.
Open up!
- Paul?
- Come on, it's me.
Hey, man, you okay?
You seem... anxious.
Yeah, you-you could say
I'm anxious.
Okay, but first of all, Paul...
it's not what you think.
Yeah. Yeah, of course
it's not what I think.
I don't know what it is.
Look, I can't wait any longer.
Tom, I need the gift.
Tell me you have something.
So, this is about the gift?
So, come on, tell me.
Do you know what it is yet?
Uh... um, no.
- Not yet.
- Oh, God, this is not good.
This is not good.
Jenny has been distant lately.
I don't know.
I'm, I'm, I'm desperate.
And may have done something
a little impulsive.
- Paul, that's...
- Huge, I know.
Cost a fortune.
I don't know.
I just think
maybe this is what I need
to really seal the deal.
And if there's any doubt
about her saying yes,
your gift will lay them to rest
once we've sprung it on her.
Tom, you okay there?
Actually, no.
I don't think that
this is a good idea.
Hey, I'm sure
the gift is gonna be great.
You're Mr. Christmas.
No, I mean...
I don't think
I should help you do this.
- What?
- Doesn't this feel wrong to you?
I don't wanna trick Jenny
- ...into marrying you.
- What?
That's exactly what we're
doing, we are pushing
all the right buttons
to make her feel
like you really know her,
but you don't.
Of course I know her.
Oh, really?
What's her favorite song?
"Don't Stop Believing." Journey.
No, that's nobody's
favorite song.
That's your favorite song.
God! I can't believe I did this!
- Do I do this to all my clients?
- No! No, no, no.
No, no, you help them.
Just like you're helping me.
- This is your job.
- Not anymore. I quit.
Where is this coming from?
I don't know
her favorite song, big deal.
She deserves better, Paul.
Why do you care?
I am sorry.
I did not mean for this
to happen, but the more time
I spent with her,
the more I got to know her,
the more I have feelings
for her.
Did, did something happen
between you?
- You kissed?
- Yes!
I don't even know
how it happened.
You know, we were walking
through the city,
and... it was reminding me
of when I was a kid,
and I started talking
about my dad, and...
And then it started snowing.
Perfect storm.
I know, and then...
you know, he just, he said all
of these amazing things to me
that nobody ever says,
and then, I just, I gave in.
So, how was it?
Oh, it was perfect, and awful
and magical,
and horribly guilt-inducing,
and really all of these whole
range of competing emotions
packed into
one single, wonderful
terrible moment.
Ugh, I can't believe I did that.
Wow, Jenny, that's some kiss.
I know. I don't know what to do.
Have you told Paul?
No. I haven't.
Are you going to?
Of course, I have to tell him,
I just...
I don't know what to say.
He's called me, like, six times,
and I keep ignoring it,
'cause I don't wanna lie to him.
I just...
I'm pretty much
the worst person ever.
No, you're not.
You're one of the best person
I know.
You just
in a complicated situation.
Yeah, you could say that again.
When's the next time
you see Tom?
The event's in three days,
so definitely by then.
Okay, well, you've got
the next three days
to figure out
the rest of your life.
Thanks, Meg. You're the best.
Look, whatever you decide,
I know you'll make
the right decision.
I love you.
I love you more.
I'll talk to you soon.
I'll talk to you later, babe.
I, uh... tried calling you.
I know. I'm sorry. I...
- We need to talk.
- Yeah.
Yeah. We, we do.
I don't know... what's happened
the past couple of weeks.
Past couple of months, really.
We've been... off.
- Paul...
- But...
I want to fix it.
Smooth things over
once and for all.
will you marry me?
Is this shock?
Okay. What's happening?
Paul, I can't marry you.
I thought it was probably
a long shot,
but... can't blame a guy
for trying.
Look, what happened between us
was nothing more
than two people realizing
they're just not right together.
I held on too tight
and I messed it up.
We both held on too tight.
And sooner or later,
we would've realized
the same thing.
It's more than that.
Isn't it?
There's Tom.
I saw him earlier,
and he told me what happened.
Oh, Paul, I am so sorry.
Okay, this is all my fault.
Please don't blame him
for any of this.
I'm sorry if I pushed you
to move to Chicago.
Don't be.
I really do love this place.
I know.
And I'm glad.
What's your favorite song?
"Baby Won't You
Please Come Home?"
I was way off.
Maybe I'll give it a listen.
Oh, can you put that
in the library for me?
Thank you.
- Quite the circus today.
- Yeah, I'm sorry. It's a lot.
Oh, please.
I signed up for this.
It's the price we pay for
being such incredible people.
Where's Tom skulking about?
You know, I don't know.
He was supposed to meet me here,
but I haven't seen him.
What's wrong?
Paul and I broke up.
Oh. That's awful.
I'm sorry.
Although, I have to say,
I'm not surprised.
- What?
- Oh, you know.
The whole Tom thing.
He should've known better.
I'm honestly shocked the whole
thing didn't blow up sooner.
Victoria, what are you
talking about?
You do know what he does
for a living, don't you?
Yeah, he coordinates events,
Uh... I'm sorry.
I know I should've called you,
but I thought
maybe you'd want some space.
Is everything okay
with the venue?
Mr. Christmas?
So Victoria was
telling the truth.
- Jenny...
- Now, you need to tell me...
- I was going to, I promise.
- When?
Let's not do this here,
and it's probably better
if I show you.
You've been researching me?
It's what I do.
I told Paul this was a bad...
Don't blame this on Paul.
God, I'm such an idiot.
This whole time
you've just been studying me?
I mean... yes.
It started out that way, but...
So, all the questions
you've been asking me,
getting me to open up...
I thought it was 'cause you
were actually interested in me.
- Was any of it even any real?
- Yes.
So what you do, you just...
lie to people?
Play with their feelings?
- I try to help people.
- How?
By finding out
what they care about,
and then exploiting it?
What about when these people
figure out
that this heartfelt
personal gift
that meant everything to them
was given to them by a stranger?
It's not exploitation.
If you wanna
really connect with someone,
you have to know
what's important to them,
what makes their world turn.
All I do for my clients is help
them realize what that is
for the people they care about.
And then you make them
fall in love with you.
It's okay, I'm over it now.
You know what, don't even bother
coming to the event.
I have everything handled.
Jenny, can we talk
about this, please?
There's nothing left
to talk about.
Oh, hey, Paul...
I'm not...
What happened?
You look awful.
I... proposed to Jenny.
She said no.
- Sorry to hear that.
- Yeah, it sucks.
Basically, run a marathon,
and try to not freak out
about it,
which is kinda awesome, but...
It's okay.
Jenny found out...
what we were doing,
and she hates me right now.
We're kinda pathetic.
Let's just say there's
plenty fish in the sea.
You'll be fine.
Hug it. Yeah. Hug it out.
You'll be fine. Hug it out.
Come on, it's okay.
I'm here for you. It's okay.
Look, man, I was planning
on drowning my sorrows tonight,
and if you would like
to join me,
you'd be more than welcome.
You know, misery,
company, et cetera.
Dude, you're the only person
in Chicago I know
that I haven't dated
or worked with,
so my options are limited.
- Yeah, you'll be fine.
- Unh-unh.
It's okay. I'm here for you.
It's okay.
I love you.
I love you, too.
It's not like you can say "No."
This is really nice of me.
I guess it beats
being alone on Christmas.
Tau Sig?
Tau Sig.
I really gotta keep
my heart rate up though, so...
You know, I really think
you just helped her realize
how wrong we were
for each other.
Well, if it makes you
feel any better,
I'm pretty sure
she will never talk to me again.
It doesn't.
It actually makes me feel
kinda terrible.
Look, I mean, I'm still
getting over the fact
that Jenny and I
aren't right for each other
but... well, it hurts.
It's the truth.
You and Jenny...
Like, why do we all have to be
miserable and alone?
Look, dude, if she winds up
with someone else...
I just can't think of a single
person in the whole world
that would treat her better.
- So, what's the plan?
- Plan?
To get her back.
No, no, no, no, no, the plan...
is to just move on.
- Yeah, it's stupid, dude.
- Hm...
We both know you're not gonna
get over her.
Hey, when is that event?
Tomorrow night.
Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
Over 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
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...
- What are you making over here?
- Fruit doll.
Oh, fruit doll.
I love it.
You have to think of a name.
I'll come back to check.
What is this one?
Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young
Take the girls tonight
And sing this
sleighing song...
Well, I will admit,
you know how to throw an event.
Usually, these things
are so stuffy.
Thank you. I'm really happy
with the way it turned out.
Yes. Everyone seems very happy.
Well, not everyone.
I think we both know that
I had a kind of crush on Tom.
I mean, who wouldn't?
He's handsome.
And charming and thoughtful.
- Don't forget deceitful.
- Who isn't?
Look, I'm usually
not one to concede,
but I'm not a monster,
and I'm not gonna
stand between two people
who are so clearly
crazy for each other.
And I know you think that
what I said is a bad thing,
but... Tom does more good
with his talent
than you give him credit.
Tom lied to me, Victoria.
I told him things
I don't tell anybody,
because I thought he cared.
Turns out he was just using it.
But what if he does care?
I'm gonna go address the guests.
Excuse me.
If I can get
everyone's attention, please.
I'm not normally good
at speaking in front of crowds,
so bear with me.
I just want to thank you all
for coming this evening
to help raise awareness
for the Family Shelter Network.
It is our goal to open
a branch out here in Chicago.
It's because of charitable
donors like yourselves
that we are able
to help families in need.
Families like we all have,
but these just need an extra
shoulder to lean on sometimes.
So, with your help,
the money and awareness we raise
can help shelter
and nurture families
that need us the most.
Thank you.
I'm gonna telephone my baby
Ask her won't you
please come home?
Every hour in the day
You will hear me say
Baby won't you please
Come home?
Baby won't you please
come home for Christmas?
Baby won't you please
Come home?
Jen, you better take good care
of that record.
It's signed by one
of the greatest blues musicians
I've ever met in my life.
Oh, and, uh...
you might wanna take
good care of this, too.
Your daddy gave it to me
20 years ago.
He asked me to hold on to it
while he was away.
I think he'd like
you to have it.
How did you...
Rosie and I made a whole bunch
of calls.
It turns out Robert Stone
And The Chicago Fire
did make an album.
And we found a seller,
and he had a copy.
I never meant to hurt you.
I know you might think
that this is just some
kind of trick to win you over,
it's not.
The past couple of weeks,
I have gotten to know you...
and I have fallen in love
with you.
And maybe I'm crazy,
maybe it's all in my head,
but if you feel even a fraction
of what I'm feeling,
then I'm not gonna give up.
I'll play that song
in front of your office
every day of every December
for the rest of my life
begging for another chance.
So what do you say?
That is the best Christmas gift
I've ever gotten.
You just wait till next year.
That is, of course,
if you've decided to stay.
You think I would
leave all this behind?
Not a chance.
You've discovered my vice.
You over the party already?
Yeah, I've reached my limit.
People enjoying themselves
too much stresses me out.
- Hence, sugar.
- Mm-hmm.
Of course, now I won't be able
to sleep tonight, so...
Have you heard of... ASMR?
On December 23rd,
AT PRECISELY 9:17 p.m.,
two snowflakes,
completely unique
yet perfectly complementing
one another
fall in unison as they
head toward the Gold Coast.
Louis and Christina Selter
spot them
while stargazing with Matthew,
commenting on how snowflakes
are so much more
than just clumps of ice.
In Westtown,
Martin and Clara Hamilton
make plans to celebrate
Christmas together
for the first time in ten years.
From that day forward,
they never spend
a single day apart.
In Lincoln Park Theater,
Edith and Irv Struit
reaffirm the vows they made
to each other 50 years ago,
and make plans for their 75th.
In a mansion in the Gold Coast,
Paul Welch and Victoria Stolle
share a moment of serenity.
And in that moment, they realize
even the simplest pleasures
can be the most profound...
This is my favorite part.
...if you have someone
to share them with.
And as the pair of snowflakes
land on the window
of a house in West Chicago,
Tom Jacobs and Jenny Stone
While it might seem
impossible to answer,
they both wonder
if they've found the person
they're meant to spend
the rest of their life with.
But they don't wonder too much,
because with the right person,
it's painfully obvious.