Christmas Movie Deja vu
Riley Thomas (Abigail Hawk) works for Bullock & Barnes, a huge holding company, and her career is on an upward trajectory with Preston Bullock (Chevy Chase - Christmas Vacation) impressed with her work when it comes to closing down businesses which have become dead weight. It is how Riley finds herself in Chestnut, Vermont in the lead up to Christmas as a clothing company which Bullock's late partner backed has become dead weight and so she is being sent there to close the operation down. The thing is that having hired Nick Harper (Howard Hesseman - Crazy for Christmas), the retired business founder, to help as she doesn't know the town everyone thinks she is there to help save the business. Matters are made all the more complicated not only by the fact that most of the town work for the business but despite having a boyfriend and life in the city she finds herself falling for the small town and the business's youthful CEO, Wyatt (David O'Donnell - Christmas Under Wraps).
Ignoring for a moment that "A Christmas in Vermont", which is also known as "The Christmas Apprentice", features some familiar names and faces such as Chevy Chase, Howard Hesseman as well as Morgan Fairchild and what you have left is a clear case of Christmas Movie Déjà vu. Here we have that frequently used idea of the big city employee sent to shut down a small town business only to fall in love with the small town and also finding love whilst deciding that maybe she can save the business rather than shutting it. It is so typical that as soon as it is clear what the storyline is you wonder if they will find some fresh ideas to run alongside the typical element of Riley and Wyatt initially getting under each others skins and pushing each others buttons before falling for each other.
Now there are some slight subplots to "A Christmas in Vermont" which depending on your mood are either touching or manipulative but truth be told there is little to this Christmas movie which will surprise you. And sadly the acting won't surprise you either with both Abigail Hawk and David O'Donnell doing attractive and playful together but not having that great chemistry or character depth to make it magical. As for the veterans like Chevy Chase and Howard Hesseman they give the movie some comedy and character but them seem to be working with thin writing and at times almost come across as filling in the gaps.
What this all boils down to is that "A Christmas in Vermont" is a nice movie, it trots along at a nice pace, delivers humour and romance as well as plenty of Christmas decorations and some heart. But this is a made for TV Christmas movie which recycles an old theme and doesn't manage to escape from it.