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And we learn that the chick at the hunt is Lady Arabella Marchand du Belmont, Ashton’s fiance. Now we see the light die in Jules’ eyes. *sniff*
Later, Jules is decorating the tree. Let’s pause here to remember that the owner of the house, the Duke, expressly forbade a christmas tree. Also, Jules is not only a guest, but not even family. So where does she get the cojones to go out and buy a tree and then decorate it – in the Duke’s study? With his money? Frau B-tch has the same feelings, and says Jules can’t decorate the tree. Jules asks if Frau B-tch remembers what it was like being a child. Suddently, the Frau makes a 180 switch that so typifies this movie’s characters. She immediately bursts into tears and gasps out that she was “misserable” and that one year as a child she actually got a lump of coal. Literally.
No wonder she’s such a bitch.
This personal revelation leads, inevitably, to the Frau spearheading the decorating committee.
Meanwhile, the kids feed ponies or something like that. Back to the study, where Ashton has joined Jules.
Girlfriend, what is UP with that monstrosity you call a sweater?
The kids come in and they assist with decorating. Ashton points out one ornament that is Stick Up His Ass’ favorite, apparently. Speaking of, here comes the Duke, irate at being disobeyed. Maddie gives him his “favorite” ornament, and just like the Frau, the Duke suddenly melts under the magic of Xmas, explaining he and his (apparently dead) brother each got an identical ornament. Klutzy Duke (or whatever he was then) broke his, so his brother gave him his. I guess that’s all that remains of the dead brother. The Duke then mists up, thanks Jules, and goes to help with decorating. From a chair. Best not to spend too much effort. Also he’s old.
The next morning, Ashton teaches Milo archery. This is the key to break through all of Milo’s defenses.
It’s like the target is Milo’s heart.
Interestingly, and inexplicably, when Jules comes out to see what’s going on, it is snowing like crazy where she is, on the terrace – but not at all 5 yards away where Ashton and Milo are. Hello, continuity! Wake up!
And now there’s going to be a Christmas Eve ball. Ashton teaches Jules to waltz, while Milo takes electric guitar lessons and Maddie takes ballet. All in 3 adjacent rooms. Jules changes the music to rock (or what passes for rock on Hallmark) and everyone boogies down – until Arabella comes in and shuts off the music, proclaiming it’s “ghetto dance”. Racist b-tch. She tells Ashton “they” are not like “us” and it’s not fair to change them. Hisssssss.
The day before the ball, Arabella has a new dress. Frau and the maid don’t see a dress in Jules’ closet, so they confer with Paisley. Julie is fixing a clock outside a room where the Duke and Ashton are talking about the guest list, and lamenting they have to invite someone who is an embarrassment. Jules, of course, immediately leaps to the conclusion that they’re talking about her. PS – They’re not.