Hallmark’s “Godwink Christmas” series of movies always contain the most touching, beautiful storylines inspired by real life. The first in the series, “A Godwink Christmas,” is no exception. This movie, which first premiered in 2018, stars Kimberley Sustad as Paula and Paul Campbell as Gery. Their story is based on a real-life love story.
The Film Is Based on Paula & Gery Conover’s Real-Life Love Story at the Charlotte Inn
The film finds its roots in the enchanting love tale of Gery and Paula Conover, proprietors of the esteemed Charlotte Inn located in Martha’s Vineyard.
Interestingly, while the Charlotte Inn wasn’t the film’s setting, its charm and history greatly influenced Hallmark’s decision to adapt this story. The movie was actually filmed in Gibsons, British Columbia, Vancouver and other Canadian locations, according to What’s Filming. A few exterior shots, however, were later filmed at Martha’s Vineyard to give it a more authentic touch.
The tale was pitched to Hallmark by SQuire and Louise (DuArt) Rushnell, the authors of the Godwink books, Vineyard Gazette reported. The couple pitched six Godwink stories to Hallmark, and Hallmark picked this one to start. Hallmark loved the picturesque nature of Martha’s Vineyard setting and the idea of a movie taking place there.
The Charlotte Inn in Edgartown was built in 1866, and Gery and Paula Conover have been the inn’s owners for more than five decades, according to the Charlotte Inn website.
Gery purchased the property after moving to the island in 1972.
After moving to the island in 1972, Gery recognized the property’s potential and purchased it.
It wasn’t long before he crossed paths with Paula. Their fateful meeting occurred about three decades ago, the Vineyard Gazette shared.
Originating from St. Louis, Paula has been dreaming of opening a gift shop and meeting her own “prince charming,” the Godwinks Facebook page shared. She was supposed to visit Nantucket with a friend, but ended up having to go alone when her friend had to work. When she arrived, there were no available taxis. Fortunately, destiny played its card as Gery was nearby, ready to offer Paula a ride to Edgartown.
Mesmerized by her charm, Gery treated her to a tour of his inn and the island. As their day culminated, he invited her to extend her stay at the Charlotte Inn.
Initially hesitant, an unforeseen fog rolled in and she wasn’t able to fly out. (This part sounds exactly like a Hallmark movie!)
She stayed another day — but only one more day! Gery wanted her to stay even longer, but she flew back to Boston. Later, Gery tracked her down after calling every gift wholesaler in Boston. He asked her to come back, but she turned him down.
She returned to the Boston airport and was about to board a plane to St. Louis when she heard someone calling her name over the loudspeaker. It was Gery, proudly declaring that he wanted her to come back for just one or two more days. With such a romantic gesture, Paula couldn’t say no. They spent a few more days together, and it ended up opening the door for a lifetime together.
According to the Godwinks Facebook post, Gery to this day still misses Paula, even if she’s just going to the store. They have a lovely romance.
The note on Facebook adds: “In the pursuit of love, there’s a big difference between desperation and determination. Gery was not desperate. But he surely was DETERMINED with a small still voice within, guiding his steps.”
Stephanie Dwilson has been working in entertainment journalism for more than a decade. She's led teams of writers covering top TV show franchises like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Rick and Morty, and more. She's a veteran Hallmark journalist and runs a 60,000-member Facebook group dedicated to the genre.
Stephanie is a licensed attorney and she has a master's in science in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].