Turns out, a Hallmark Channel TV movie was filmed in the town, last spring. It’s called “Moonlight & Mistletoe” starring Tom Arnold and Candace Cameron-Bure (loved her in “Full House”).
Description: A man and his estranged daughter fight to save Santaville, their year-round family business, after a mysterious investor puts the Yuletide attraction in jeopardy.
The movie was broadcast for the first-time over the weekend. One of the stars of the movie (the Villain) actually stayed in our inn, the Henry Farm Inn.
We all sat down to watch it. It was a heartwarming story. My favorite part:
Daughter (Candace): I can’t believe that someone can come in and trick us into signing a piece of paper and take our home away from us!
Older Friend of Family: It happens every day, in this country.
In reality, there was no trick. The Older Friend of Family was in charge of reading the contract between the Villain who wanted to purchase Santaville and the Father who owned the property but had stopped paying his bills. The contract said that if the Father didn’t pay off his past due bills by Christmas Eve (natch) then the Villain could take complete ownership, immediately.
I don’t think I’m ruining any surprises to let you know that, in the end, the town rises up to help the family keep Santaville and that the last shot is of the Villain ripping up the contract, now invalid, and stomping off into the snow (no doubt, to take his own life).
What you should take away from the movie is this:
* Most children don’t like wooden toys, anymore;
* If you sign a contract with someone to buy your property and you change your mind, you are most likely on the hook;
* An attorney can be very helpful in reviewing a real estate contract and can work on your behalf to make sure your interests are covered;
* Tom Arnold can’t act.
There is a real “Santaville” up in the area, but it’s called “Santasland”. Check it out on Google.
Many of the locals appeared in the movie, including our hosts, Pat and Paul (the back of their heads, at least).
And, the producers rented a couple of cool items from nearby antiques shops, including William Austin’s Antiques.
You can even take Amtrak up to Chester, making it an easy trip from the city (of New York, that is; apparently you have to go into Penn Station before heading out to Chester … w/e).