In case you were unclear if Reba McEntire was part of this Lifetime movie from the title (who else but a true icon gets her name in the TITLE?), the first 15 seconds will clear that right up. Reba McEntire’s Christmas In Tune — part of Lifetime’s It’s A Wonderful Lifetime holiday lineup, airing November 26th at 8 p.m. ET — starts with a bedazzled, boot-tappin’, Reba-riffic rendition of Up On The Housetop.
This post is in paid partnership with Lifetime but the review and opinions are 100% my own.
Reba McIntire’s Christmas In Tune premiers November 26th at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime!
But it’s not Reba. Well, it is Reba (as the title indicates) but Reba is actually playing Georgia Winter (Winter, heh heh), a very Reba-like country star who is filming her umpteenth Christmas special. And, just like Reba, Georgia is bubbly, personable, sweet as Southern tea, and flashes that famous megawatt smile often. It’s easy to get the two confused, but as the story unfolds, Georgia’s identity emerges, even though it seems she didn’t always have her own.
Georgia wasn’t always just Georgia. She was one part of “Georgia and Joe,” country music’s beloved duo who had a very public and ugly split years earlier resulting in solo careers. Joe (played by John Schneider, bringing back ALL the Dukes of Hazzard feels, even decades later) now owns a restaurant/club in Nashville and spends his time giving new performers their break, singing at the weddings (yes, plural) of his pal Richard (played by John James from Dynasty), and getting under Georgia’s skin with snarky barbs and sarcastic digs.
“He still gets under my skin, like a parasite,” Georgia tells her longtime producer Duke (Norm Lewis, Phantom of The Opera). “You two did have crazy chemistry together,” Duke points out. “Yeah, like gasoline and a match,” Georgia retorts with a Reba-smirk, and we can already tell she doesn’t really mean it.
Things get rolling when Georgia and Joe’s sweet daughter Belle (Candice King, The Vampire Diaries) lands a career-making opportunity to plan the U.S. Army’s annual Snow Ball, yet she’s put in a tough position when the General insists on having both Georgia and Joe perform…together.
Belle has to convince her mom to get back on stage with her dad. “You’ll be the headliner,” Belle tells Georgia. “I’m always the headliner,” Georgia quips back. You tell her, Reba. But, since it’s “for the troops,” Georgia and Joe agree to reunite for the fundraiser.
If you’re already thinking what I think you are — that of course Georgia and Joe will get back together off stage at the end — just settle back and go along for the wonderful ride of this delightful movie, because while it may be happily formulaic, there are some surprising moments that you won’t see coming.
Sure, there are more Christmas trees and garlands and red bows than it is humanly possible to put up, a classic holiday-movie snowstorm and power outage that leads to hundreds of battery-powered candles (because we all have those at the ready, right?), a sweet B-line love story between Belle and handsome soldier Troy (Justin David) that will melt your heart, and Christmas songs (lots and lots of Christmas songs), but isn’t that the very reason we watch these movies, and even need these movies more than ever?
The bonus of this movie, though, is that it’s Reba — I’m sorry, Georgia — singing the Christmas songs along with John Schneider’s Joe (Schneider has had an illustrious country music career, himself), and guess what? They’re good together! Not only do they complement each other vocally (hello, Lifetime, can you please release Georgia and Joe’s original song, I Needed Christmas STAT? Please and thanks) but their chemistry, whether they be bickering or laughing together, is fantastic.
They are very believable as a couple, and even when Reba is angry she’s smiling that infectious smile. I found myself smiling goofily along with both of them for the entire movie, even when they were “fighting.”
Will Georgia and Joe get back together off stage? Will Belle and Troy end up together and have ridiculously gorgeous babies? Will it take Georgia until Easter to take down all her Christmas decorations? All these questions seem to fade away as you are immersed in the music, love and the spirit of the moment, cliched ending or not. I loved every sweet, sequined and sassy minute of it!
Don’t miss this heartwarming, funny, boot-tapping movie, premiering November 26th at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime!