Its 4:20 pm
Now I know what you must be thinking when you read the title…..hey Paladin and Patrick,ain’t Christmas and Christmas movies over? Well,sorta……see the cheetah and I know that the holidays are over but since we really are more about just watching a good film no matter what time of year it is,well that is why we’re watching Christmas movies in January.
Well that and the fact that the four Hallmark Christmas movies that our Family Video store carried didn’t go on sale until now. So we had to wait and watch until they did before we could get our copies. Anywhoooo……Merry Christmas to you all!!
pt. Grace Garland (Eloise Mumford) is getting honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in Spokane,Washington. She seems pretty sad about it but after several tours in Afganistan as a dog handler for a Search and Rescue detatchment,she is coming home to start a new job in Ohio. Its sort of noticable that while every other Marine has someone to greet them,Grace has no one,she is on her own.
Picking up her new car,Grace begins her trip but as heavy snows has made the roads tricky,her moment of distraction finds Grace losing control of her car and crashing into a fence. She suffers a small cut on her head as she surveys the considerable damage to her car.
As she ponders what to do,a young boxer puppy pops up and Grace follows it to a large house. She knocks on the door and when Joe Peterson (Sean Faris) opens the door,Grace explains what happened. Joe gets Grace inside and treats her minor cut and also arranges for a tow to the only garage in town. He is also the boxer,who is named Justice,owner as well. Joe is the local judge in River’s Crossing.
Because the damage is so bad and its so close to Christmas,getting parts is going to take some time and Grace can either catch a bus or stay in Joe’s guest cabin. Since this IS a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie,you can guess what Grace does.
Joe introduces Grace to just about everyone in town and the folks all take a shine to Grace right away. Grace even gets an job offer to head up the county’s Search and Rescue team from Joe’s best Cooper is happens to be the sheriff.
Things get a little dicey when Joe runs into an old flame who wants to rekindle their romance despite the fact she ran off with a another guy. While Joe likes his ex’s Marnie’s father,a retired Marine colonel,he isn’t too happy about Marnie or so he tells Marnie.
But when Grace sees Joe and Marnie act quite cozy both in person and one the phone and Joe gets offered a dream job,Grace has had enough and decides to leave…..will Joe be able to win her back and balance his own hopes and dreams??
First the pros: This is a lovely movie and the acting from Faris and especially Eloise Mumford is way above average for a Hallmark movie. Faris,who has had a very steady career,is a solid lead actor and he is a perfect Hallmark Channel lead actor. He projects warmth and trust that every woman wants in their partner. He has a nice touch for comedy as well and I definitely can see him doing as many of these films as he wants.
But Eloise Mumford is the real heart and soul of “A Veteran’s Christmas”. Her Grace Garland is an very interesting soul. What made this work for me was that while Mumford is pretty,she isn’t drop dead beautiful and for Grace to be taken seriously,she needed to look relatable. Her face is so expressive,you could see every emotion Grace was feeling…..the loneliness,despair,heartache,hopefulness,betrayal and finally,love.
Mumford made you fall for her Grace and really root for both her and Joe. Eloise was excellent here.
The script and direction by Mark Jean is rock solid,this is my second Christmas film I have watched of his, “The Nine Lives Of Christmas” was the first and that was also a very good film of which we should review as well….
The cons – “A Veteran’s Christmas” is the WHITEST Hallmark Movie I have ever watched,other then a small supporting role by Tong Craig who plays a local Reverend,there wasn’t a single minority in the whole damn town!! There are plenty of outdoors scenes and nary a single POC was seen in the background extras. It was rather jarring to see that because up to now,no one had ever done that. I know these films are made in Canada but still…..only ONE African-Canadian was cast?
But despite this glaring omission,Paladin and I both thought “A Veteran’s Christmas” was definitely one of the stronger films that Hallmark has released and we really enjoyed it thanks to Sean Faris and especially Eloise Mumford.
“A Veteran’s Christmas” has a run time of 84 minutes and has no special features.
You can find a copy of this film by going to the website of Hallmark Channel.