Toying With the Holidays (The Holiday Train)

On Track

Workaholic Danielle ( Can we get a Hallmark heroine who is kinda lazy just one time?) is taking her son home for Christmas to experience the holiday the way she did when she was a child with all of the bells and whistles, including the town’s famous holiday train. At the last minute, her boss lays a project on her that she can work on through her vacation. She briefly stands up to him but when he frowns at her, she caves. When will we have a female employee who is a shining star for the company not give up her power and submit to the boss’s unreasonable demands? In this case though, she is not struggling with the project throughout the movie casting a pall on the family time and celebrations. She pretty much knocks out the project right away and we move on to the important stuff. How refreshing!

Dani is as energetic at home as she is at work and when she learns the Holiday Train which her late Dad took the lead on for the town is kaput, she is determined to set it back on track (no pun intended). To that end, she gets together with Chad Michael Murray who repairs her Dad’s Lionel train she found in the attic. He is a train enthusiast as well as a hobby shop owner. CMM is as lazy and disorganized as Dani is efficient and hardworking. He’s also a little grumpy and a slob. (“Sorry, It’s the maid’s day off.” “Are you sure she isn’t hiding under all that stuff?”) His business is suffering (surprise surprise) possibly because he leaves his store open with no one on the floor while he is in the back room repairing stuff with headphones on so he can’t hear if he has any customers who might would want to buy something but more likely just steal it and he would never know the difference. But opposites attract. Danielle whips his business into shape in no time with a website and a human presence minding the store. CMM embarks on restoring the holiday train and romance ensues, despite some competition from the frisky flower shop owner next door.

Cindy was well cast as the peppy smiley Dani and I liked the pairing with laidback CMM who can do “scruffy” like nobody’s business. Cindy looked great as did the actress who played her Mom who had a little promise of a romance of her own. The Lionel train aspect was interesting. I love trains. Also, I loved Danielle’s house, which looked like a real home in a real neighborhood.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

December 21, 2021

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