Nutwood movie hits TV screens 

Published 6:46 pm Friday, October 27, 2023

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The Christmas romantic comedy set at Nutwood Winery in LaGrange has made its U.S. debut.

“A Perfect Christmas Pairing,” starring Ansley Gordon and Chris Connell, is currently available to watch for free on Amazon/Freevee with ads. The movie will be available on other Video On Demand platforms including Peacock, Tubi, Roku, Pluto and more starting Nov. 1.

In the movie, top chef Grace (Gordon) hides out at her family’s winery B&B following a bad review and connects with a worldly travel writer (Connell) who helps her learn to appreciate her family’s Christmas traditions and rediscover her small-town roots.

The movie is set in LaGrange and uses many locations around town, including Nutwood Winery, where much of the movie was shot.

Nutwood owners, Neil and Trish Liechty, allowed the production team from Nicely Entertainment to shoot at the winery without charge if they used the real names of the locations in the movie such as LaGrange and Nutwood. The agreement ended up being a good deal for both parties as the filmmakers got an inexpensive shooting location, and the Liechtys got to help show off LaGrange.

Creative Executive Producer Dave Hickey said shooting in LaGrange was a delight and the city is the epitome of southern hospitality.

“Being in Georgia, it was like, everybody is really nice here, but when we went to LaGrange, it just seemed like a step up. Everybody was super nice and helpful,” Hickey said.

Everyone from the Liechtys to Bill Hunnicutt to Barbie Watts from the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority and Lynne Holle at Visit LaGrange were super helpful, Hickey said.

“I went with the list of things that I needed or places I needed to get for shooting locations and [Hunnicutt and Watts] just took me around everywhere and made introductions. Same thing with Lynne Holle over at visit LaGrange. She actually went with me in my car and drove around everywhere and pointed out all these places and then introduced me to the business owners,” Hickey said. “It was just amazing.”

Hickey said that LaGrange was a perfect shooting location for what they wanted to portray with a wholesome small town. He said the only issue they had was housing for the crew. 

“You can’t really hire any local crew there because there’s not a big group to pull from. So we had to bring a lot of people from Atlanta or even from out of state. It was just kind of tough,” he said.

Hickey explained that the film didn’t have a huge budget, so they couldn’t afford to put crew members in hotels for the duration of filming. He said they ended up renting some cabins near the lake and AirBnBs, while others commuted.

Hickey said he would love to come back to LaGrange for another movie.  

“Hopefully, sometime I can go in there with a bigger budget movie where we have a little more money, and we can just put everybody up in hotels,” he said.

“To make a movie in LaGrange was just amazing. Just between the people and how beautiful it is,” Hickey said. “When I go to small towns, it’s usually kind of run down and old. I don’t know if it’s because of the Callaway Foundation or whatever, but everything in the whole downtown square is just beautiful.”