‘Christmas a la Mode,’ helmed by director John Stimpson, is a heartwarming holiday film centered around family, romance, and heritage. The narrative acquaints us with Emily White, a dairy farmer facing financial struggles after her father’s passing. When her sister pressurizes Emily to sell their land to an investment firm, she makes up her mind to buy out her sibling’s share and preserve the farm left behind by her father. As the family farm’s future hangs in the balance, Emily finds unexpected help from a representative of the firm, Charlie, who helps her develop an ingenious idea to raise funds.
Amidst the seasonal festivities and challenges, Emily finds her Christmas miracle made manifest in her supportive community and Charlie. The film delivers a touching message on the importance of heritage, community, and the spirit of the holiday season. With the narrative taking place largely around the farm and its cozily festive atmosphere, one may wonder where the 2019 Lifetime movie was filmed, and who are the talented individuals behind it.
Christmas a la Mode Filming Locations
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‘Christmas a la Mode’ was filmed largely in Sutton and Worcester, Massachusetts, with a few scenes being lensed in New York. Principal photography was carried out between April 24, 2019, and May 2019, during which time the film was tentatively titled ‘A Sweet Romance.’ Let us take a look at the specific filming sites used in the Holiday movie.
The rural town of Sutton in Worcester County saw a majority of the Lifetime movie shot in and around it. The farmstead pivotal to the narrative was chosen to be portrayed by Whittier Farms on 90 Douglas Road. The dairy farm suited the filmmakers as it had an abundance of livestock and a rustic charm about it. The location was used largely to lens landscape and exterior shots of the characters out on the farm. The town is located in the Blackstone Valley and offers scenic wooded expanses on its outskirts, which feature scenes depicting areas around Emily’s farm. Additionally, a bakery on the town’s fringes was used to shoot scenes involving Emily’s bakery. Sutton’s sparse and remote urban landscape has previously been used to film the Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin starrer romantic thriller, ‘Labor Day.’
The film crew arrived in the central Massachusetts city of Worcester at the tail end of their shoot. The team used some locations around the city and rented a studio to lens the remaining scenes over one week. Local businesses and sights can be seen around the city as our protagonists rush to gather funds. These include Bay State Savings Bank on 28 Franklin Street, People’s United Bank on 120 Front Street, Robbie’s Place Ice Cream Parlor, and Crystal Caves in Auburn. Worcester’s historic charm and diverse neighborhoods offer a blend of urban sophistication and cozy settings conducive to storytelling, and have thus been used in the making of notable films such as, ‘Free Guy,’ ‘American Hustle,’ ‘Knight and Day,’ ‘Captain Phillips,’ ‘Defending Jacob,’ and ‘The Judge.’
There’s movie shooting in Worcester, Mass with Katie Leclerc of Switched at Birth, called A SWEET ROMANCE, written & directed by John Stimpson, who also did The Spruces and the Pines, The March Sisters at Christmas and A Christmas Kiss, so expect to see this on ION or Lifetime. pic.twitter.com/Zwo8fKyo5h
— Ho! Ho! Holiday Viewing! (@SleepyKittyPaw) May 7, 2019
New York City, New York
New York City was used by John Stimpson to shoot a few initial scenes involving Emily’s big city sister. An office space was converted into the film set and played the part of the investment firm. Initially, Stimpson was expecting to shoot the film in Canada, but upon receiving a larger budget started to explore locations in and around New York and Massachusetts. Before traveling to Massachusetts, the crew took some exterior shots of the sprawling cityscape of Manhattan as well.
Christmas a la Mode Cast
The Christmas movie is led by Katie Leclerc and Ryan Cooper as Emily White and Charlie Blanchard. The pair have previously co-starred in the romantic drama, ‘Confess.’ Katie Leclerc first saw the limelight enacting a hearing-impaired girl, Daphne Vasquez, in ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth.’ She went on to take up the roles of Emily in ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ Rebecca in ‘Letters to Santa,’ Carol in ‘Community,’ and Olivia Davis in ‘A Deadly Lullaby.’
Ryan Cooper is an Australian actor who can be seen essaying the roles of Jake Bolin in ‘Eye Candy,’ Jay in ‘Rough Night,’ and Travis in ‘And Just Like That….’
Supporting cast members include Jennifer Ellis as Dorothy White, Kathy Harum as Susan White, Caroline Keeler as Gloria Jones, Tom Kemp as Mr. Blanchard, Nick Verina as Trey Bailey, Charles Van Eman as Edgar Samuels, and Celeste Oliva as Mrs. Carlson. Other cast members include Caroline Portu as Party Singer, Erin Cole as Reporter, Donna Ognibene as Ice Cream Patron, Steve Oksenuk as Drummer at Christmas Party, and Rickland Powell in the background.
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