Having grown up on movie sets as the daughter of a world-famous, Oscar-winning actress mother and a producer father, NATALIE BLAKE (30s), is determined to carve out a career in filmmaking as a Set Decorator on her own merit. When she finds out the big budget movie she was supposed to work on has been shut down, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for her old friend BOB GOTWALT (30s) to call asking if she knows anyone available to step in last minute as the Propmaster on the movie he’s about to direct in the quaint seaside town of Rockport, MA. Natalie jumps at the chance, but is less thrilled to discover this movie is the kind she doesn’t care for: a romantic Christmas movie filled with what she considers to be every Christmas cliché, including wintry scenes that will need to be filmed in the middle of a heatwave in July.
Enter hunky, but down to earth Argentinian actor, RAYMUNDO “RAY” RAMOS (30s), who stars as the European prince hiding his identity from JESSICA DEWINTERS (20s), child- actress turned Christmas TV-movie star, who plays the American baker his character falls for. When Natalie and Ray meet, their chemistry is undeniable, but since Natalie believes Ray and Jessica are a couple, both on and off screen, she refuses to let herself fall for him despite growing feelings as they get to know each other. When Ray learns that Natalie isn’t a fan of Christmas movies or Christmas in general, they shake on a bet that by the end of filming, she’ll be a Christmas convert or else she’ll have to live out her worst nightmare of singing a Christmas carol in front of the whole crew at the 4th of July fireworks / wrap party. As Natalie and Ray bond over both having lost a parent and wanting more for their lives, the truth about Ray and Jessica’s relationship finally comes to light; that they’re friends and nothing more, allowing Natalie to let her guard down and, in one of many parallels to the Christmas movie they’re filming, open herself up to the possibility of romance.
However, before Natalie gets the chance to explore her feelings with Ray, Jessica reminds her that she is only in Rockport until the movie wraps, and her inevitable departure would hurt the hopelessly romantic Ray, who lives there full time. When Ray agrees that Jessica is probably right about not getting involved so as to avoid getting hurt, he pitches to Natalie that they should hang out as friends until the end of filming which, of course, only serves to deepen their bond as they do all sorts of both Christmas and summer activities together that make Natalie fall for him even more. Further complicating matters is Natalie’s mother, VICTORIA WALKER BLAKE (60s) who comes to set, blows Natalie’s true identity as Hollywood royalty wide open, and unbeknownst to Natalie, offers Ray a big acting role that he accepts. When Natalie’s mom sets her straight that Ray only accepted the New York-located acting role in order to spend more time with her and see if their friendship could turn into something romantic, it is up to Natalie to make amends by facing her fears in hopes that Ray will give her a second chance and seal it all with a kiss.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY is a holiday rom com written by Margaret "Maggie" Maloney, who grew up in the suburbs of the Garden State, 30 miles and a world away from New York City where she would eventually work as every kind of assistant on TV shows like Rescue Me, Law & Order and 30 Rock and films like The Devil Wears Prada, The Switch and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 while also recording voiceovers for national TV commercial campaigns for Verizon Wireless, Lean Cuisine and Airwick. Realizing she wanted to do more than make other people’s stories come to life, she obtained her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA’s prestigious School of Theater Film and Television where she was awarded the George Burns & Gracie Allen Fellowship in Comedy.
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