Cross Country Christmas (2020 Hallmark)
Cast: Rachael Leigh Cook, Greyston Holt, Jon Cor
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Synopsis (via Hallmark)
Snowstorm threatens both Lina’s and Max’s holiday plans. They are forced to work together to figure out a way home – without taking it out on each other.
Lina talks to her family while walking to a happy hour with friends. She has an early flight for Denver to be with them for the holidays. Max is also at the same restaurant on the phone with his mother, planning a trip out of town as well.
The next day Lina and Max continue to run into one another in the airport. On the plane, they are seated next to one another, and they finally notice each other. They went to the same high school and are heading to the same town. Their flight is re-routed due to weather. Lina tries to book a bus ticket, but they are sold out. Lina and Max decide to share a rental car. Max is reluctant, but it doesn’t matter because they are out of rental cars too.
Lina starts asking strangers for help but gets nowhere until she talks to an Elf who is driving to Chicago. Lina talks Max into joining them. They quickly make it out of Ohio and ditch the Elf after giving her some love advice. Lina asks a Christmas tree farmer for a ride. He offers to provide them with a ride if they help him deliver Christmas trees. They get dropped off at the train station and get tickets.
Over some lunch, Lina and Max realize that they live in the same neighborhood and get to talking about home. They, of course, almost miss the train and jump on a cargo train instead. (WITH COWS) Lina also loses her phone. They fall asleep on the hay and wake up the next day to a farmer and his kids… in Missouri.
The farmer invites them to his house, and the kids show them around. They are adorable and helpful. Lina and Max look up the bus schedule and have to stay the night for the nativity play, which takes place in a barn. Little do they know that they will be playing Mary and Joseph. It goes well and is adorable. (But seriously, can Lina and Max get away from barn animals?) Then they sleep in bunk beds, which is better than they hay… I guess.
The next morning, they borrow a dog grooming truck and hit the road. They sing along with the radio and eat car sandwiches. (Sometimes they are the best!) The van begins to rattle and then breakdown. Lina gets angry and storms off with her umbrella. Max saves the day with a tractor ride to his cousin’s house, who happens to live close by. They hang out by a fire pit and dance to “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.”
Max and Lina stay in town for the night to spend time with his cousin and his wife. They all sing Christmas carols (“We Three Kings”) and drink cider. Max and Lina hit the road again. Lina brings up Max’s family situation and lets him know if he needs to talk; she is there for him. (Which is nice!) Lina’s family doesn’t even seem to care that she isn’t there.
They stop at a gas station that also has a beautiful gazebo in the middle of a forest. They take a selfie with reindeer antlers and are interrupted by Max’s mom calling. The mother/son relationship is tense.
Back in the van, Lina asks Max what is up. He opens up about his father recently passing away. He is extremely vulnerable and almost child-like as he speaks. I’m glad Lina was there for him to talk things through before heading home. She drops him off and gives him a big hug before he sees his family.
When Lina sees her family, they are surprisingly welcoming, given their indifference to her the whole movie. Greg is there, Lina’s ex, and everyone tries to set them up. The spark isn’t there like it is with Max.
Max, his mother, and his brother have Christmas dinner for the first time without his father at the table. Max makes a toast “to dad.” (Keep it simple!” I’m glad Hallmark decided to depict the effects of losing a family member rather than having it be just another plot point. Very touching and important to talk about.
Max shows up at Lina’s house with her luggage. He tells her that he has her back and will be there for her too. Then he takes her to a tree outside where he placed gifts in stockings that he collected during the road trip. It is very sweet. They kiss and spend Christmas Day together with their families combined for a holiday.
Minority Report: Sheila, Flight Attendant, Joe, Tom, Dana,
This movie was a great ending to the Hallmark Countdown to Christmas season.
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