Holiday Harmony ending explained – will Gail return to small-town Oklahoma?

By Nicole Ackman
Published: November 25, 2022

We discuss the ending of the HBO Max film Holiday Harmony which will contain spoilers.

HBO Max has given us a few new Christmas films this year, including Holiday Harmony. Our review includes a synopsis of the plot:

Gail (Annelise Cepero) is an aspiring musician who has been living in her van for a year, traveling around to small gigs and open mic nights. She’s thrilled to win a contest her friend convinced her to enter to perform on the Christmas Eve special for iHeart Radio and begins her trek to Los Angeles. However, when her van breaks down in Oklahoma, she’s forced to reconsider what she wants in life with the help of local mechanic Van (Brooke Shields) and her son Jeremy (Jeremy Sumpter).

It’s a fairly average low-budget Christmas movie of its type with a small-town romance and someone torn between a slower way of life and chasing their dreams. Subpar acting and an unoriginal script keep it from being anything special for the genre.

Holiday Harmony ending explained – will Gail return to small-town Oklahoma?

After a complicated break with Jeremy and ensuring that her music class of children is ready for their big show, Gail decides to head the rest of the way across the country to make it to the iHeart Radio performance on Christmas Eve which could be her big break. However, when she gets there, things aren’t what she expected. A music label agrees to sign her on but wants to change everything about her — her image, her hair, her music, and even her name.

She’s conflicted and unsure how to proceed, wanting this success that she’s chased for years but not if it means giving up being her authentic self. She leaves the rehearsal suddenly and calls Van from the bathroom to ask her what to do. When she emerges, she finds one of the iHeart Radio hosts who encourages her not to let a label change her. She offers her travel agent’s services to get Gail back to Oklahoma in time to see her class’s performance in the Christmas competition.

She realizes that her dream is to make music, but not necessarily in conjunction with a big record label. She loves teaching her music class to the children and realizes she can find fulfillment in a way that doesn’t ask her to change who she is.

Gail returns to the delight of her class of children, one of whom is dealing with bad stage fright. But the performance goes off excellently and Gail performs the original song that she wrote that was meant to be her entry into the iHeart Radio competition. The kind iHeart Radio host, Amy, has worked with Van and they live-stream Gail’s performance via an iPhone to the show. Of course, Gail and Jeremy reunite and seem ready to embark on a relationship together.

The ending is pretty much exactly what you would expect from a film like this. It’s sort of annoying to see small towns and certain jobs continually glorified over chasing opportunities – especially since we know that music teachers at elementary schools have small paychecks and little job security. However, it certainly is a happy ending that encourages holiday cheer.

What did you think of the ending of the HBO Max film Holiday Harmony? Comment below.

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