Holiday treat: Discovery+ gets into yule spirit with feature film 'Candy Coated Christmas' - Albuquerque Journal

Holiday treat: Discovery+ gets into yule spirit with feature film ‘Candy Coated Christmas’

From left, Aaron O’Connell as Noah Winters, Lee Garlington as Kim Winters, Molly McCook as Molly Gallant and Landry Townsend as Dakota Winters in “Candy Coated Christmas.” (Food Network/Discovery+)

Molly McCook and Aaron O’Connell are getting in the holiday spirt early.

The two actors are the leads in the Discovery+ film “Candy Coated Christmas,” which begins to stream on Friday, Nov. 19.

“Holiday movies are amazing,” McCook says. “What piqued my interest was I was madly in love with the script, and it felt exciting and different to me. I thought there was an edge to my character.”

The feature movie is the streaming platform’s first foray into scripted feature film.

“Candy Coated Christmas” follows Molly Gallant, played by McCook, who was counting on seed money from her father to help launch an exciting new venture with her best friend.

However, just as she and her dad are supposed to be jetting off to Hawaii for their annual Christmas trip, Gallant learns that the family business is facing bankruptcy. The only way to recoup the funds she needs is to sell her late mother’s childhood home in the town of Peppermint Hollow, Washington: the “Peppermint Capital of the World.”

Ree Drummond as bakery owner Bee delivers a basket of treats to the Winterses for their annual holiday party in the Discovery+ holiday movie, “Candy Coated Christmas.” (Food Network/Discovery+)

Gallant fully intends to get the house on the market and get out of the cold to sunny Hawaii by Christmas, but then she meets the current renters, Noah Winters and his family, who warmly welcome her into their home, sharing their holiday traditions with her.

It begins to seem as if fate, and the weather, are conspiring to keep Molly in Peppermint Hollow, even as she begins to appreciate the value of family.

The movie also stars John McCook as Molly’s father, Fred Gallant, Lee Garlington as Kim Winters, Jae Suh Park as Gracie, newcomer Landry Townsend as Dakota Winters, Lonzo Liggins as Patrick, Dia Frampton as Chloe and the Food Network’s Ree Drummond as bakery owner Bee.

O’Connell plays Winters in the film, and says he was drawn to the character because of his heart.

“Noah is one of those characters that you just fall in love with,” O’Connell says. “He lives with his mother and helps take care of his niece. He’s struggling with the mint farm and can’t figure out how to make it work. Molly comes in, and they help each other out. They connect to each other. Each one of them needs the other. He’s definitely a character that grows through out the film.”

McCook enjoyed working with O’Connell on the film.

“Aaron is such a fun partner in crime,” she says. “He’s a nice guy, and by the end of the film, we’re buddies. The chemistry was very natural, and I wouldn’t have asked for anyone else.”

O’Connell says that with “Candy Coated Christmas,” the cast was breaking new ground for Discovery+ with the platform’s first feature film.

“There were nerves, because we are setting the bar,” O’Connell says. “I wanted to be the best possible version of Noah that I could be. I pulled in pieces of my life to bring Noah to life. It’s the first feature film for the platform, and we did feel a little bit of pressure to make it a really strong film. In the end, it’s a story of family coming together.”


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