(Photo Credits: Screengrab from Hallmark Channel’s Official YouTube Account)
Openly gay actor Jonathan Bennett—best known for his role as Aaron Samuels, the male lead in the 2004 hit Mean Girls—has a new gay rom-com movie titled The Holiday Sitter (2022, Ali Liebert).
In The Holiday Sitter, Bennett plays the gay uncle named Sam who has to babysit his niece and nephew for the holidays, but alas, his babysitting skills were next to nothing! But thanks to their handsome neighbor Jason (played by actor George Krissa), he might just get through the task, and maybe, just maybe, he might also find love while they are at it.
In an interview with Deadline, Bennett tells them, “We’re doing all the classic things that we love in Hallmark movies.” He added:
“We’re doing the tropes that we’ve come to love and expect from watching Hallmark movies. We’re just turning up the comedy and having two men as the leads instead of the classic straight couple. The audience is going to see two men meet and fall for each other in the exact same way that a man and a woman meet and fall for each other. That’s literally the only difference with The Holiday Sitter. It’s based in love.”
Jonathan Bennett also starred as a married gay man named Brandon Mitchell in Hallmark movies before. There was the 2020 Christmas-themed comedy-drama titled The Christmas House (Michael Grossman) and its subsequent sequel The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls (2021, Rich Newey).
But even though Hallmark featured same-sex couples before, according to Hallmark Media’s Executive Vice President Lisa Hamilton Daly, it’s the first time for them to have a movie wherein a gay couple was the primary focus.
“We felt that it was time for a story with a gay couple,” says Daly to Deadline. It was reportedly Daly who signed Bennett to “an exclusive, multi-picture deal” way back in April. “We are really trying to make it so that everybody sees themselves when they tune in. We are trying to stay true to the Hallmark brand values, one of which is inclusiveness. It’s true of Hallmark cards, which has a card for every kind of occasion. In the past, there was a focus on one particular kind of love story, and I think everybody thought, ‘wow, we’re not telling the whole story here.’” For more information on the film, read here.
The official blurb of the film reads: “Sam babysits his niece and nephew before the holidays, and when he recruits help from their handsome neighbor Jason, he finds himself in an unexpected romance.”
The Holiday Sitter also stars Donia Kash as Billie, Matthew James Dowden as Nate Walker, Nathan Parrott as Declan, Todd Matthews as Dr. Vance, and Amy Goodmurphy as Ellie to name a few.
The Holiday Sitter will air this Sunday, December 11, on The Hallmark Channel. You can watch the trailer below: