Kate Sackhoff plays Liz Darling, the manager of a luxury Seattle hotel who also bears the Holmark’s favourite surname. Ever since a fire destroyed her home (an incident we luckily only heard of because house fires are too scary for a Christmas movie with Hallmark!), Liz plans to spend the holidays with her daughter Hannah (Emma Oliver) at her hotel.
However, after their father was injured, Liz and Hannah decided to spend Christmas with their grandfather, even though Liz became estranged from her father after her mother’s death a few years ago. Then his father (Terry O’Quinn) breaks his arm and saves a small child from a fallen Christmas tree – which appears to have crashed, which begs the unanswered question: Who is Portside’s monstrous log?
In town, she meets Luke (Patrick Sabongui) again:
Your growing friend who also helps his family with the boat stuff? Ship assignments? Ship maintenance and tours. Luke is friendly, quiet, brave, and befriends his father. Is that the material for true love? Liz should understand that! He also had to think about how he could save the bank from taking his father’s house with him for Christmas – and for that, he couldn’t think of anything better than winning the grand prize at the annual boat parade.
Surrender to Patrick Sabongui! I love the romantic lead role – and I’m writing this with the same love for all the men who take on the role! – doesn’t look like the Chris Evans brand. You don’t have to have perfect jelly hair to be an expert in the art of courtship! Sabonguis Luke is calm, funny and exciting. Please give him a Hallmark movie as a gift every year.
There is an annual Christmas Boat Parade which is part of the annual Portside Lights Festival. There’s also the annual Winter Ball – seriously, if you’re looking for a Hallmark drinking game, have a drink every time someone says the word “annual” in one of these movies.
There’s also a rather unusual new tradition where some local Portside actors present themselves as elves (sorry to spoil the illusion, movie!) and recruit children to save Christmas by collecting perishable food. He also gave us a gift for Terry O’Queen with a fairy hat.
Are there sails flying for Christmas?
Yes, here. But for a film that does nautical puns for fun, there must be a better title for it. Jingle Screen is here! Or hear the screen! Carol screen! Come on. The task is a sea pun! Wait – now I realize the title is a pun for the Christmas sale?
Like all Christmas Sail Hallmark movies, you don’t conform to originality. Some unique things happened with Christmas Sail because I can’t remember the last time a Hallmark movie had so many scenes on board. Or ended with a boat parade. But the script itself is nothing to worry about.
There is a lot of exposure, especially in the first scene. Where the film reveals Liz, her job, her love for Christmas, the house fire, her daughter, and family tensions. Christmas Sail is just one of those holiday movies where each character greets and remembers their last interaction. And as I said above, the plot is the standard question. “We have to win the race so we don’t lose the building that is important to our family.”
But – and it’s about the size of a barge – it all works, because for God’s sake, did you manage to get Kate Sackhoff and Terry O’Quinn on screen? In a Hallmark movie? For a boat parade?! These are the two biggest stars of the first two television shows of the 21st century that defined pop culture.
If you spent 2000 watching Lost and Battlestar Galactica – I don’t care if you’re the Grinch 365 days a year. Take the time to watch this movie only to see Starbuck ask John Locke why he stopped loving Christmas after his mother died.
As far as I know, I’ll be writing a dozen more times this year:
The success of Hallmark films is due to the show. Sackhoff and O’Quinn are fantastic together, bringing real emotional depth and lots of unspoken prehistory to the every scene (which is saying something because this movie loves prehistory). When O’Quinn and Sackhoff looked at the Christmas tree, lights flashed in their very expressive eyes. I felt the Christmas spirit.