Grounded For Christmas: Wanderlust & A Winter Love Story!

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Winter Storm Megan is more meddlesome than a mom, grandmother and sister combined.

She has a much better track record with bringing lovers together over the holidays, too. Cupid could never be this effective.

Cute pilots, Nina and Brady, of Grounded for Christmas were her latest project.

Loving on Autopilot - Grounded for Christmas

Fanatics of The Resident may still be mourning the loss of Jessie Nevin, but Julianna Guill was living her best life as an adventurous pilot, Nina Rooney.

Nina, like many, struggled with returning home for the holidays as a single woman.

What is with the holidays bringing out the loneliness? Nina spent the better part of three years avoiding spending Christmas with her family because of her singlehood.

Nina the Pilot - Tall - Grounded for Christmas

She felt like the Rooneys were couple obsessed, and ever since Ivan the terrible broke her heart the night of the Snow Ball, she felt like an outcast.

Ideally, when you're a couple, you want both families to get along. Unfortunately, it makes it awkward as hell when a pair splits, and the families are still thick as thieves.

Nina opted for trips around the world with her best friend, Tara, instead. Her sense of wanderlust was one of the best things about her.

She had a hunger for globe-trotting, and there's something magical about it. It's why she overcame as much as she did to become one of the few female pilots.

With a job like that, she could scratch her itch and see the world. I love that the movie did have Brady bring up and admire Nina for her determination.

Brady: How about a bet. If it's yours, I'll give it back. If it's not, you give me your number. 

He's right; even in this day and age, there's still a surprising lack of female pilots. When you happen across them, it's a rare treat.

Family Holiday Photo - Tall - Grounded for Christmas

The last flight I was on had a female pilot, and it was a mini-celebration and a couple of picture opportunities (mostly with excited young girls) when the flight landed.

That alone explained why Nina (and Tara) had a rule in place about dating pilots. She had a reputation to uphold, and when you're one of the only women in your line of work, the last thing you want is to be attached to a male colleague.

Of course, it almost meant Nina was judgmental of Brady from the moment she met him. She had a knack for assuming the worst.

Brady - Grounded for Christmas

He was hard to grasp in the beginning, but more time spent with him, the more likable he was.

He even had the Clark Kent appeal and dreaminess.

Brady: If it's one thing I learned it's that tomorrow is not guaranteed. You have to treasure every day you have like it's your last.

It's funny how Nina was doing everything in her power to avoid her family with their traditions and celebrations, and it's what Brady longed for as someone who never had that.

He grew up a military brat, and his family traveled most of his life. He lost them years ago, and he didn't have any family left.

SnowBall - Tall -  Grounded For Christmas

Nina offering to let him stay at her parents during the storm was his prayers getting answered in more ways than one. He loved being part of a family, and as a result, it made lying to her folks harder for him.

Because what's one of these movies without a fake-dating plot, am I right? It's one of the top-favorite tropes for any decent rom-com.

The family falls in love with the fake boyfriend. They see the chemistry between the fake boyfriend and their loved one before she sees it herself, and the ex is somewhere in the wings jealous and trying to sabotage.

Brady knew how to make a hell of a first impression with her folks, which makes you wonder why his first one with Nina was so bad.

They loved him instantly, and he had no problem jumping into their lives and abiding by all of their traditions and shenanigans.

In hindsight, his reluctance to pretend to be Nina's boyfriend made sense when we found out how he felt about her before he bumped into her again.

Loving on Autopilot - Grounded for Christmas

He never wanted to pretend to be anything. He wanted a real date. As time went on, and they got to know each other better, he wanted a real relationship with her.

They discovered how much they had in common over time, and Nina discovered she misjudged him.

Brady: As long as you think I'm a good guy, that's all that matters to me.

Nina: Whelp, I don't think you're a good guy. I know you are.

Brady was a good guy, kind, and friendly, too. He wasn't some lothario she built up in her head, nor was he the sort who didn't respect her.

He wouldn't have forced her to give up on her dream of being a pilot for the sake of her relationship like Ivan the not so great.

Ivan - Grounded for Christmas

He understood her in a way Ivan nor her family did, and it made it easy for her to fall for him hard over the few days they were stranded.

It's such a frustrating but human and authentic experience that with everything Nina accomplished in her life, she still felt so inadequate and insecure.

Her family didn't realize how much they alienated her by not understanding how much she loved what she did and focusing so much on her having a relationship.

They wanted her to be happy, but they treated her like much of it tied into her having a romantic partner in her life too.

But Nina also was someone who wanted both in her life, and it was lovely when she recognized that.

Not only did she develop feelings for Brady, but she was wrapped up in the idea of what a couple means. She loved going to the Snow Ball and being the Snow King and Queen.

SnowBall - Grounded For Christmas

She loved the couple's activities and having someone support her and tend to her needs. It was something of importance to show that she wasn't less than a badass pilot for wanting love and the fun, frilly, "girly" stuff.

Ivan: You know they uh still refer to you as the one who got away.

Nina: That's sweet.

Brady: But she didn't get away from me.

It's a necessary balance. You can have both, and Nina realizing she wanted it and taking the steps toward getting both were sweet moments.

It also made it hard when she put herself out there on the dancefloor with Brady, and Ivan came in to burst her bubble.

Ivan - Grounded for Christmas

Ivan truly was terrible. Begone, Ivan. Good riddance!

Brady's ex-girlfriend Veronic blew into town after seeing him tagged in an Instagram post. Initially, Brady's archaic stance on social media was eye-roll worthy and judgy, but based on how Roni stalked him to Ohio, maybe he had a point.

She blew into town, not bothering to figure out the situation. Did she not think about him moving on with the woman he was taking pictures with or did she just not care?

He said she was a nice person and all that hoopla, but forgive me if I was still side-eying Roni as she was riding away.

Mabe she and Ivan the Terrible deserved each other. The movie did lack a secondary romance, so they could've been it.

Brady: I care about you.  You're a good person, but I know now that you're not my person.

The blow out at the Snow Ball was awkward. All of the lies coming out at once -- everything fell apart like a house of cards.

Brady's confrontation with Veronica put his lying into perspective, though. He and Veronica had one of those toxic relationships where they broke things off and reunited again, mostly out of fear of being alone.

SnowBall - Tall -  Grounded For Christmas

It made sense why she thought it was more of the same, and also, why he separated from her and didn't think twice about her screwing things up with Nina.

It also made sense why he lied about meeting family in LA. He didn't want to come across pathetic either.

Brady struggled with his reputation. It seemed common that people made snap judgments about him and assumed the worst.

Brady - Grounded for Christmas

He didn't care about what anyone thought of him, though. All he cared about was Nina.

Nina returning home instead of going on the island getaway trip was for the best. She can't avoid home forever, and she made progress with her family.

Tara forcing it so much was a bit annoying after a while. It's not like she couldn't go with Jay, who was better than me. I couldn't take an invitation as an afterthought. It's the principle of it.

Family Holiday Photo - Tall - Grounded for Christmas

But Brady showing up at the Rooney home and making amends with Nina was the cutest scene of the movie. They only knew each other for a short time, but the did seem to have a kinship.

They understood each other. You can't fake that.

She got a guy who understood her passion and love for travel and more. He's a guy who wouldn't hold it against her if she couldn't spend every waking moment with him.

Nina the Pilot - Tall - Grounded for Christmas

And he got a woman who shared his interest with a family who adored him too. He got Nina ad her family, and it's something he was missing in his life for a long time.

Marcy: You two really get each other. Is he the one?

I'm also quite pleased Mama Rooney got her African Safari trip, and Marcy and Will are having another baby, so their daughter can be the big sister she dreamed of being.

Happy endings all around! Except for Ivan, but you know, he was terrible, so whatever.

Loving on Autopilot - Grounded for Christmas

Nina and Brady were such a picture-perfect couple, and this movie was adorable.

Winter Storm Megan's success rate is off the charts. Does she have a card? I'm asking for a friend.

Over to you, Lifetime Movie Fanatics.

Did any of my fellow Resident Fanatics watch this one? Did you love this romance? Are you a sucker for a fake-dating movie?

Hit the comments below!.


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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