‘The Christmas House’ Preview: Hallmark's festive season movie about gay married couple is a must-watch
'The Christmas House' is Hallmark's first-ever Christmas film featuring a gay couple as lead characters, who are waiting to hear if they will be able to adopt their first child
'The Christmas House' is Hallmark's first-ever Christmas film featuring a gay couple as lead characters. While most holiday romantic films are only concerned with the dynamics of straight couple relationships, this one is going to be different. Besides the conventional straight romance plotline, the film will also feature a married gay couple, who are waiting to hear if they will be able to adopt their first child. Premiering on Sunday, November 22, at 8 pm on the Hallmark Channel, the story is loosely based on the experiences of Robert Buckley, the film's star and one of the co-writers of the script. Having characters in the story from the LGBTQ community was important to Buckley, whose brother is gay. "It's not an issue," he said in an interview with TV Insider. "Everyone loves each other the same."
But it is a huge leap forward for a channel known for its romantic, feel-good plotlines to include a gay, happily in-love couple.
According to the synopsis of the film, the film will center around the Mitchell family. With some tough decisions ahead, the matriarch Phylis (Sharon Lawrence) and patriarch Bill (Treat Williams), summon their two grown sons back home for Christmas. One is TV star Mike (Robert Buckley) and the other son is Brandon Mitchell (Jonathan Bennett), and both come home for the holidays. As Brandon and his husband Jake make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with Andi (Ana Ayora), his high school sweetheart. According to Buckley, Andi is the "one that got away". When Mike reconnects with her, he realizes that she's not affected by the trappings of his celebrity and keeps him grounded, not letting him get away with things.
The trailer reveals what this "tough decision" the family will be grappling with - New Yorkers Phylis and Bill might have to sell the house because times have been tough. At the same time, Phylis also wants to recreate the "Mitchell Christmas House" - the yearly tradition to turn the house into a Christmas wonderland. Jake is all on board with it but Brandon is internally cringing at all the excess holiday spirit. Bill is just keeping out of the way and making himself useful by creating powerpoint presentations for Phylis for her 'Christmas House' chore list and her exhaustive plans to pull off the festive stunt in time for the holidays. Jonathan Bennett, who plays Brandon, said that he would have been excited to see a film like 'The Christmas House' when he was younger. “I can only imagine what younger me would have thought seeing a Christmas movie with a storyline like this; two men in love, having a baby together. I think I would have been so excited, and I know I’m excited,” he told Entertainment Tonight.
Adopting a child is also something Bennett and his real-life partner, Jaymes Vaughan, have discussed in the past. “We’re thinking about that for sure, especially [after] shooting this movie, it really spoke to me,” he said in the interview. “It’s almost like life imitates art."
'The Christmas House' airs on Sunday, November 22, at 8 pm on the Hallmark Channel.