Fox Feel-Good TV Movie Takes 'Break' From The Norm

A Gaelic football match on Christmas Eve will determine whether a century-old, family-owned pub in a small Irish town will live or die.

I know what you’re thinking: What in the world is Gaelic football? And what does this life-and-death struggle for the future of an Irish pub have to do with a daily blog about TV?

It is today’s blog topic because the Gaelic football match is the centerpiece of a Christmas TV movie coming to Fox on Thursday.

Very generally speaking, the movie -- titled “The Christmas Break” -- is vaguely similar to the formula for seasonal holiday movies that has been long-established on Hallmark Channel and Lifetime.



In recent seasons, CBS has joined the fray too. “The Christmas Break” appears to be Fox’s first foray into the feel-good holiday space.

The movie is the only one of its kind on Fox this month.

In the Christmas TV movies seen on the other networks at this time of year, the plots go something like this: A youngish woman -- between 30 and 40, say -- is enjoying a hard-charging career in a big city until her life hits a rough patch.

Perhaps she broke up with a long-time boyfriend, or she somehow went off the rails in her career and lost her job, or her dog died.

And so, she heads home to the bucolic small town where she grew up and bores everybody there with her tales of woe.

But she then meets the boy who was her first love, now grown to be handsome fireman. And before you can sing the first line of “White Christmas,” romance is rekindled just in time for Christmas. Or something to that effect.

The plot of “The Christmas Break” is a little different, except for the timing of the story just before Christmas. 

In addition, a trip to Ireland to celebrate Christmas with family does represent a homecoming for a young Irish woman who is advancing quickly through a high-powered marketing career in Chicago.

The woman, Caroline (India Mullen, above photo, left), goes home with her husband, Jack (Justin Long, above photo), at a time when they are at loggerheads over whether to start a family. 

To sum up, he wants children. She does not. But during their trip to her home and family for Christmas, he’ll learn a thing or two about the ordeal of child rearing, and she will relearn the meaning of family -- all on Christmas Eve, no less.

And this is where Gaelic football comes in. As I understand it from watching the show, Gaelic football has elements of soccer, but the big difference between the two is that in Gaelic football, players are allowed to actually handle the ball and carry it for brief lengths -- four steps, actually.

In the movie, the future of the family tavern, O’Reilly’s, hangs in the balance. Will this game of Gaelic football save the day?

The star of this movie appears to be Long, who plays the role of the husband, Jack, so hyperactively that it would not have been surprising if Caroline broke up with him.

For the movie’s first 30 minutes or so, I was certain that the word “Break” in the title would turn out to be her breaking up with him on Christmas Eve.

But that would defeat the purpose of a Christmas TV movie airing just days before the holiday.

“The Christmas Break” airs Thursday, December 21, at 8 p.m. Eastern on Fox.

1 comment about "Fox Feel-Good TV Movie Takes 'Break' From The Norm".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, December 19, 2023 at 4:11 p.m.

    You don't know of, or heard of Gaelic Football?!?!   Adam you need to get out more often!

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