Temperatures may be soaring across the country and Shark Week is just a few days away, but just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we can get some merry up in here. In fact, thanks to Hallmark‘s “Christmas in July” campaign, fans of the frostier season have been able to trade swelter weather for sweater weather with a lineup of festive TV movies perfect for a holiday-anyday escape.
It all kicked off on July 1 with daily blocks of movie marathons of past flicks from 10 a.m. through midnight, which will continue until July 31. Along the way, there’s also a trio of new originals, beginning with last week’s My Grown-Up Christmas List. This weekend, it’s Campfire Christmas, a rom-com mashup of Wet Hot American Summer, The Big Chill, and Hallmark’s trademark love for all things Yule. The film stars NCIS: Hawaii‘s Tori Anderson as Peyton, an aspiring author who reunites with her childhood chums — including her teen-years boyfriend Thomas (Corbin Bleu) —to spend one last holiday-themed summer at the woodsy sleepaway camp run by her parents before it closes.
And while there is the central romance and perfectly staged decorations everywhere, Campfire takes a surprising detour from the usual Hallmark formula by focusing more on the ensemble of characters who descend upon Camp Evergreen. Each of them arrives with their own emotional baggage that eventually gets sorted out as they revisit their formative years, the many firsts one experiences at camp, and even attempt a full-blown dance number.
We spoke with Anderson and Bleu (when his hotel wifi was working!) about making the movie, busting a move and it turns out, there is way more to where they shot the thing than we ever got to see.
So whattaya say, Hallmark? Maybe Campfire Christmas 2: Back to the Cabins?
Campfire Christmas, Movie Premiere, Saturday, July 16, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel