YAY!!! Back to a proper HE/SHE format! This is one that I saw last year and really liked. I watched it again this morning to see if it lived up to my memory. It did. This one flips it a bit and is from his perspective. Ooooh! I would have given it a solid A or A- but it's still pretty cheesy and very predictable.
The story is: HE is SGT Cody Cullen of the US Army and is stationed in Afghanistan. One day one of his men hands him a card sent by the good folks of his home town. They've sent cards to a bunch of soldiers telling them how appreciative they are of all they're doing to protect Christmas. Ok, it doesn't say that but it kinda does allude to it. The card is beautifully written and features a picture of Nevada City all lit up for Christmas. SGT Cullen immediately falls in love with the card and it's contents. Sadly, the kid who delivered it gets hit and killed the next day. SGT Cullen's tour ends and he gets sent back to the states to deliver the guy's belongings to his fiance. Plus it gives SGT Cullen, now just Cody, a chance to see the town on the card. That's handy. He arrives and meets the SHE in the movie, Faith (played by Mrs. Ioan Gruffud). It just so happens she is the one who wrote the card. Convenient, eh? They meet cute by a coincidental ordering of the exact same meal at the diner. She eats his fries and he's immediately smitten. He meets her again the next day in church and also meets her father, Luke (played by Ed Asner), who runs the local mill. He saves Luke from almost getting hit by a speeding car. In thanks he's invited back to their house for dinner. She's definitely noticed him and his heroics but holds back because she has an oft-absent fiance. Her fiance is a big-city type (played by Sex and the City's Skipper) who does not fit in with her blue collar family. Hmmm, I wonder if this will come up again. Of course
I'm going to now abridge the rest of the story because you've probably already guessed what happens. He is invited to stay with them through Christmas because the father loves him. He fits in quite well with her family and even helps out at the mill. Her fiance shows up but is constantly overshadowed by Cody's ease and natural altruism. He and She kiss but she feels terribly guilty about it. She and the fiance break up but Cody, feeling pretty awful about it himself, takes off. She finally realizes how much she loves him and chases after him. Ok, yes, it's a bit rushed but they do have a natural chemistry that kind of excuses the shortened timeline. They fit together as well as her parents do and I think that's a pretty big deal for her.
It's a sweet movie and not filled to the top with cheese. He doesn't push her even though her family does. There are lots of honest conversations about relationships throughout which I appreciated. Ed Asner was very good and not goofy in any way. Oh! Plus his brother is played by the guy who played Santa, er, Calvin Claus in Annie Claus so there's that. This one just left me with a nice feeling and isn't that what these movies are supposed to do?