29 user 10 critic

The Christmas Setup (2020)

1:09 | Trailer
As they enjoy the local holidays together, Hugo and Patrick's attraction to each other is undeniable but as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him.


Pat Mills
4,788 ( 202)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Ben Lewis ... Hugo Spencer
Blake Lee ... Patrick Ryan
Fran Drescher ... Kate Spencer
Ellen Wong ... Madelyn McKay
Chad Connell ... Aiden Spencer
Pedro Miguel Arce ... Cousin Jimmy Spencer
Peter Nelson ... Frank Ryan
Glen Grant Glen Grant ... George Vogel
Lucinda Miu Lucinda Miu ... Gladys Klaus


Just before he and Madelyn McKay, his BFF since college freshman year, are to head off to Milwaukee to spend Christmas with his long widowed mother Kate Spencer and his army soldier brother Aiden Spencer, hard working and talented Manhattan lawyer Hugo Spencer, facing his regular year end review, issues an ultimatum to his boss, George Vogel, for a position as partner in the new year, he looking for a job elsewhere otherwise, such forthrightness about himself unusual for Hugo. Vogel admits that the thought of Hugo being partner at this time had not yet passed his or the other partners' minds, something that they will have to ponder over the Christmas break. In Milwaukee, Hugo finds that his mother, as is her usual nature, has assigned them all 24/7 tasks, this time associated with her role of the Carroll Avenue Neighborhood Association President in organizing the annual Christmas Eve Festival at the historic Carroll Avenue Train Station, this the last year in this role for her not ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance



Did You Know?


Lead actors Ben Lewis and Blake Lee are married in real life. See more »


When Kate and Hugo are in the kitchen discussing Mr. Carroll's deed to the train station, Fran Drescher flubs a line - instead of saying "Have I ever told you that I met him?", she says "Have I ever told HIM that I met him?" See more »


Aiden Spencer: Hey, you guys want a drink?
Hugo Spencer: Yeah.
Madelyn McKay: Um, I'm gonna get, hm, Prancer's punch.
Aiden Spencer: Okay, I think I'm gonna get the gin and Comet.
Patrick Ryan: Oh, that's a good choice, I highly recommend the rum rum Rudolph.
Hugo Spencer: Oh, I'll have that.
Aiden Spencer: All right, I'll go get them. Maddy, you want to come?
Madelyn McKay: Yea, of course. You know what, first round's on me.
See more »


References A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) See more »


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Written by Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane
Performed by Ben Lewis
Arrangement by Michael Richard Plowman
Published by EMI Feist Catalog Inc.
[Hugo sings the song at the open mic at Patrick's friends' party]
See more »

User Reviews

14 December 2020 | by CHTO76See all my reviews

While Lifetime in recent years have put many LGBTQ characters in their movies, The Christmas Setup is their first attempt to put a gay couple front and centre. Although the title of the movie is as forgettable as any Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas movies that get churned out faster than superhero reboots, the movie itself is anything but.

Meticulously written, directed, well acted with pleasing visuals and incredible chemistry between the two leads, The Christmas Setup allows its viewers to take a peek into the lives of two people who in most parts of world are still not legally allowed to marry. This movie manages to normalise their relationship so beautifully while at the same time show the world just how loving a relationship between any two people can be, regardless of their orientation or whichever gender they identify with.

Ben Lewis and Blake Lee lit up the screen with every interaction, and Fran Drescher is as adorable as ever. Every gay guy should be so lucky to have a mom like Fran/Kate, much like Sharon Gless as the supermom for Mikey in QAF. Ellen Wong provided the much needed best friend / confidant without being overbearing, and Chad Connell played the straight brother who every gay person out there could only dream of having.

Although this movie was never intended to redefine any particular genre, it didn't need to. The fact that it got greenlit and produced to such high standards indicates a slow but positive steady shift of the world's point-of-view of what love is. Hopefully, more of the same will be made in the future.

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Release Date:

12 December 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Christmas Setup See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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