It’s OK to admit it.
Twinkle All the Way gave you Christmas bumps, didn’t it?
Lifetime is determined to get you in the Christmas spirit, and now that the Turkey holiday is nearly behind us, there’s no reason not to be feeling the holiday spirit.
Sarah Drew is no longer on Grey’s Anatomy, but she has another Lifetime holiday movie under her belt.
She’s earning a title as one of Lifetime’s Christmas Queens.
If you missed April Kepner, then you got a little taste of her via Cadence Clark. Yes, that was her name, and it’s fabulous. It still didn’t have anything on a grown woman named Twinkle, but brilliant, nonetheless.
Cadence had a familiar anal-retentive quality reminiscent of one of Grey’s Sloan’s former fan-favorites, and it makes you wonder what Sarah Drew is like in real life since she plays these type of characters so well.
Cadence was passionate about wedding planning, but bloody hell, the woman was a lot.
Sometimes you have to sit the listicles down and embrace some spontaneity. You can’t schedule and plan every single aspect of your life, people.
Cadence: My mantra has become organize and prioritize.
Life has a funny way of not going according to plan. It knocks you off your feet and throws curveballs, and while you’re too busy looking down at the scroll in your hand to determine if you had a backup plan for the latest development, you risk getting hit the in the face.
It’s not the best prose, but you get the picture.
If it’s not apparent by now, Henry Harrison’s (again, don’t you love these names?) approach to life was more appealing.
Opposites attract love stories are the catnip of fictional romance.
Harry: Did I miss a meeting?
Harry: Did I miss like ten meetings? When did you do this blueprint? It’s like color-coded.
In reality, sustaining a relationship with someone fundamentally different than you is more complicated than assigning tasks for an elementary school play.
But, as is the case with the best complete opposite love stories, Cadence and Harry were similar enough in the ways that mattered.
They were both single parents who were doing their best to raise precocious little girls. Their job interests were aligned even though they approached them in different ways.
They were both accustomed to doing things on their own and putting their needs on the backburner.
Henry was a “feel the moment” type of person compared to Cadence and her endless lists and organization, but they were just different enough to balance each other out.
However, they weren’t so different that they should be ripping each other’s eyeballs out.
For someone who had a reputation for not playing well with others or turning off the other parents with his “exuberance” as Twinkle called it, Henry adapted to Cadence well and was spouting things about fate and destiny five minutes into working together.
He gets away with it as the handsome, sweet romantic lead, but if some random school dad started talking about destiny over a school play, I would hit the hills.
Of course, they both took this play too seriously.
Cadence got a sneak peek of the theme and had lists and color-coded blueprints, and Henry was Christmas-obsessed and used it as an extension of the business he ran with his mom Twinkle, and brother, Lex.
Fortunately, the movie elaborated on the job thing because it would be hard to believe a three-person family could sustain themselves on a small-business dedicated to Christmas decorating.
What would they have done the other months out of the year?
Maybe the Cadence in me jumped out, but once it was evident fate brought Henry and Cadence together, I already mapped out how they could combine their businesses.
She’s an anal wedding planner, and he’s a creative painter. Twinkle handles finances, and Lex was an electrician with business acumen. Together, they would have all of their town’s event planning in the bag.
You love to see it.
Avery’s wedding and the Sutton party combined thanks to a pesky snowstorm (was it Winter Storm Megan? They never said if it was this time) was their first project together, and it was a success.
Financially stability and family stability? Yes, please.
Henry was able to loosen Cadence up. When she opened up about her reasoning for all the lists, it was easy to sympathize with her.
Twinkle: Some parents find his exuberance overwhelming.
Cadence: Really? That’s my favorite part about him.
When her ex-husband left her, it was the best way she knew how to stay in control. It was how she functioned and kept things going.
Meanwhile, the death of his wife left Henry accepting how unexpected life can be; he put his energy into trying to manage a business with his family, and of course, taking care of Ruthie.
You love to see someone overcome sadness and atrocities and still find hope and beauty in life.
Lex: Henry, you’re such a good dad, and I know for a fact Melissa would be so proud of you… Losing her was a blow to all of us. But since then, you’ve just been running around taking care of everyone else except yourself. So if you are starting to feel that spark again for somebody new … we just want you to know that it’s OK. Henry, you more than anybody deserve to feel that kind of love again.
He spoke about Christmas with such a passion and well, a twinkle in his eye, that he wrapped you up in his magical way of thinking too.
Despite a few amusing moments, the movie handled their personality differences with sensitivity.
Most of the time, it’s played up for kicks with the more organized person being the laughingstock out of the pair and viewed as uptight.
When you add context and background to why someone operates the way they do, it makes them more relatable and authentic.
Cadence seemed like she would be the uptight, control freak trope, but then it was dismantled.
She was warm and easy-going. She was accessible and adaptable.
She knew how to let her hair down and have fun, and she didn’t hesitate to try new things or other ways of doing something different than her own.
Henry was more spontaneous and “feelsy,” but he wasn’t immature or irresponsible. He wasn’t the traditional cocky person who felt their way was the best either.
They were different, but neither of them was judgmental.
It’s refreshing when it plays out like that, but it would’ve been fun if they switched up the personality types. Doesn’t it seem like you always see the woman as the Type-A, super-organized one and the man as the spontaneous, disorganized type?
It happens often enough.
The little clashes gave us some of the best moments, though. Henry discussing his wife after convincing Cadence to sit in the sleigh with him was a touching scene.
The sparks were flying when they were going through Cadence’s Christmas box and making hot chocolate. Their near-kiss had you leaning into the screen, waiting for the inevitable.
However, the sexiest moment included the painting scene.
Um, painting evergreens on a flannel shirt should not have been that hot. Then again, sexy couple arts and crafts moments have been a personal kink since the pottery scene in Ghost.
Don’t kink shame me.
And the cutest moment was their freaking kiss at the wedding. Since we’re on the topic of kinks, we may as well gush over the height difference between Henry and Cadence.
He lifted her off the ground and swung her around, and she did the leg lift thing. It’s quality content.
Cadence needed someone to help her. She didn’t have anyone, and she tried to micromanage every aspect of her life.
Cadence: Well, I think I finally got them.
Henry: Got what?
Cadence: Christmas bumps.
Henry: Yeah, well I told you they were contagious.
She didn’t like asking for help. Her entire world fell into place when she worked up the nerve to ask Henry for help after getting stuck in the snow.
He helped her salvage Avery’s wedding. He painted a replica of the Lodge view, and he improvised a four-tier cake using ice-cream sandwiches.
He was such a help to her, and part of it was his natural inclination toward being a good guy. The rest of it was his love for her, and willingness to make her happy.
Cadence: Life is full of so many big moments, and it might be nice to share them with someone again.
We saw how he benefited her and what she needed out of their relationship. It was unclear from Henry’s angle, though.
His plight was opening up to love again, but it was something he had to work on for himself. It wasn’t something Cadence could do for him.
She was there when Twinkle fell ill and needed to go to the hospital, and their bright idea of joining forces during the storm helped him land the Sutton account.
Henry’s issue was not letting people help him and putting himself on the backburner, and it would’ve been nice if we saw more of how Cadence fulfilled that for him.
They were taking care of each other, but it happened to be that Henry tended to her needs more. It isn’t to suggest Cadence didn’t care and wouldn’t have supported him through anything either; we know she would have.
It just so happens that we didn’t get to see it as much.
They were a cute couple, though, and the best part is Mary and Ruthie can have all the hot chocolate playdates they want. The two of them already behaved like sisters, so they were beyond thrilled over their parents falling into each other’s arms.
They were the cutest cuties to ever cute!
Each movie has a secondary pairing, which warms your heart almost as much as the primary couple.
Lex and his hot husband were also cute as the dickens (and maintaining the diversity theme Lifetime has going on that is very much appreciated), but Mary and Ruthie stole the title with their precious friendship.
Twinkle was beside herself; the movie ended with her touched by all the love in the room.
Her dad was right; she did have a twinkle in her eyes.
Over to you, Lifetime Movie Fanatics.
Are you a sucker for an opposites-attract love story?
Did Cadence give you April Kepner vibes?
How would you rate this holiday movie?
Hit the comments below.