USS Christmas (2020 Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
Synopsis (via Hallmark)
Maddie, a reporter for a Norfolk newspaper, embarks on a Tiger Cruise during Christmastime, where she meets a handsome naval officer and stumbles upon a mystery in the ship’s archive room.
Maddie is a reporter and is invited to write a story about her fighter pilot sister on her navy ship called the Tiger Cruise. At a fancy Navy holiday ball, Maddie accompanies her sister and runs into a woman spilling wine all over her dress. Hunky Lt Billy Jenkins is unimpressed with Maddie because the woman is his date. They toast “to the Navy!” After some consideration, Maddie tells her boss, Mr. Bailey, that she would like to on a Navy Christmas Cruise. He lets her go.
Maddie and her mother, Elizabeth, arrive on base and are given a tour. Maddie is surprised to run into Billy, who flies a plane called “the grinch.” He is a fighter pilot with Maddie’s sister and will also be on the Tiger Cruise.
At dinner, Maddie learns that Billy’s date to the ball is not his girlfriend. He offers to walk Maddie to her room afterward, and they talk, and sparks fly. Maddie gets an idea for a story and talks with the captain of the ship. He assigns Billy to help her with whatever she needs. She researches the archives and finds journals from the first Tiger Cruise in 1965. (Which includes over stories.) They also find a Santa Suit and an ornament that belongs to a dancer named Doris, who is mentioned in the journal. It is a missed connection story. They look into the woman and track her down to a dance studio that still exists.
Billy and Maddie visit the studio and find Doris’s protege, who helps get closer to solving the mystery. I know I am watching Hallmark Movies and MYSTERIES, but I’m not too fond of these kinds of movies. I’d rather focus on the romance than the mystery.
While looking for more information on Doris, Billy and Maddie are handed a flyer for a Christmas showroom. Billy remembers seeing the show and wants to check it out. (Despite preferring the 4th of July to Christmas. Which he thinks is a distraction.) While looking at trains, Maddie talks about her dad, who passed away, and Billy recalls memories with his dad. Then they drink Christmas milkshakes and plan to make new Christmas memories. They are so busy making memories that they almost miss the boat and have to run to catch it.
Back on the ship, Billy dresses up as Santa for the kids, which is not only heartwarming; it is a turn-on for Maddie, who kisses Billy on the ship deck in the snow. Not thinking that the relationship could work out on land, she ends things before they begin. The ship docks, and they say their goodbyes.
Billy talks to his dad about the divorce that wrecked their relationship. His father tells him he has always been proud of him.
Meanwhile, Maddie continues to write her story and is surprised when Billy shows up at her work lobby. He asks her on a date, and turns him down because she is worried it will not work out. Billy tells her that he won’t hurt her.
Maddie buries herself in work and finds Doris and Sam. She sets up a meeting and gives them the ornament; they are very thankful. She writes the story of Tiger Cruise love in an “I’m writing!” montage. Then she spends Christmas Eve with her family. Her mother tells romantic stories about her father and inspires Maddie to reach out to Billy. He declines to talk to her on the phone.
After reading the article, Billy has a lightbulb moment. He could have a love story like the one she wrote about and runs to Maddie at her favorite diner. She gives him a toy train like the one from his childhood, and he gifts her a snowflake decoration from the ship. Then they slow dance and kiss. The end!
The enjoyable cast and the NAVY save this movie from sinking. The mystery was a little boring, not going to lie. The romance was 100%.
Minority Report: Sarah, Archivist, Kid and his father,
🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Hallmark Crown Media