“Life is full of little surprises.”
Audrey Brown and Matt Evans have been writing letters back and forth for a year while Matt is deployed overseas in the U.S. Army. But Matt finds out he’s going to be stationed in the town where Audrey lives for the next 30 days.
When Matt unexpectedly shows up in Audrey’s coffee shop, will it be love at first sight, and will they spend a magical Christmas together? Find out in the 2019 Hallmark Movies and Mysteries movie, “Holiday for Heroes” (2019).
Our Review: Holiday for Heroes
“Holiday for Heroes” is simply excellent. We absolutely loved this movie.
The story of Audrey and Matt falling in love is very much one of surprises and also enjoying the here and now.
Melissa Claire Egan and Marc Blucas are simply amazing together. This is what chemistry is supposed to look like in a Hallmark Christmas movie!
These two character have so many great scenes together, whether it’s romantic, serious, or even flat out silly and fun.
Early on, after Audrey tells her partner and friend Jade that she is falling for Matt and worries that he will get deployed, she responds with some advice, based on her own experience of being married to a soldier: “You can’t live in the what-if’s. Instead I have to live in the what-I-haves. And what I have is pretty great.”
In addition to the romance between Audrey and Matt, there’s a lot going on with the main characters. Audrey is organizing a Holiday for Heroes party, which is meant to honor and support the troops, after the town cancels it while also contemplating expanding her coffee shop. And her brother, Devin, who is still deployed overseas, calls to tell her he won’t be home in time for Christmas.
Meanwhile, Matt is struggling with what to do with his life. He has two job offers: one to reenlist for three years in the Army or to teach in Virginia. But luckily a third path emerges near the end of the movie, thanks in large part to Matt’s love of history and hockey, one that will keep him close to Audrey.
Even as he’s dealing with all the uncertainty about his career path, there is one great scene, at Audrey’s house, where he tells her that he wants to set all of that aside and “just be here, with you.”
The writing and pacing is also a giant leap above what we’ve gotten so far in 2019 from Hallmark. The characters are well-developed and the story is constantly moving forward.
Notice how the characters are actually doing romantic and Christmasy things together? They aren’t talking about the past for the entire movie or doing everything at a snail’s pace. We need more of that, Hallmark!
The Nice List
Our Favorite Scenes
There are so many great scenes and moments in this movie. Our three favorite:
- The coffee shop scene near the end, when he tells Audrey he’s staying and she reveals who she feels about him.
- The smores scene – so cute and fun!
- In the barn, when Matt and Audrey dance after decorating the tree.
We said it already, but it bears repeating. Melissa Claire Egan and Marc Blucas are just awesome in “Holiday for Heroes”.
In particular, Egan’s performance was filled with so much warmth. Everything she did felt so heartfelt and you could feel what she was feeling, like whenever tears would well up in her eyes.
And Blucas is great, as always. His “super sexy whispering” was a massive hit with Danielle. 🙂
So many feels!
The entire cast was great. Jade wasn’t just there as a sidekick to Audrey – she had her own story. Pam brought the fun. And Carlos was so over the top, but it worked for the most part (maybe he could have dialed it back to 8 from his 11).
Visuals Get an 11 (Out of 10)
This felt so Christmasy – every scene looked great. It made the scene with the “Charlie Brown” tree that much funnier, because everything else was so beautifully decorated and gorgeous to look at.
The skating rink was beyond beautiful. The spotlights creating a heart on the ice was a highlight, but all the lights and trees at the rink made it amazing.
Even the military base was decorated to perfection. There were multiple trees – everywhere you looked it was so Christmasy.
- When Aubrey and Matt, their mouths covered in smores, ask each other if they have anything on their faces (oh yes, they do!).
- When Matt arrives at Aubrey’s house with a wrapped present that looks eerily similar to a hockey stick. “What could it be?” asks Aubrey.
- When Matt does the robot!
- When Audrey tells Matt in the barn about the significance of the Christmas tree and how her parents died.
- When Devin tells Audrey during a call to use the barn for the party and to “fill the barn with Christmas.”
- When Matt tells Audrey how her letters really got him through and made him feel like he had someone to come home to.
- When Matt is on stage, paying tribute to Aubrey.
- When the Toy Solider reveal themselves – and even more when the barn door opens at the national guard reunited with their family. This is how you do a military family reunion that packs an emotional punch.
It’s a Wonderful Christmas Movie Reference
After getting some bad news, Audrey tells Matt that she’s going to go home and recharge and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
We can only assume by recharging, she means she’s going to get a good three-hour nap.
The Naughty List
He Certainly Wouldn’t Do the Robot in Public
The worst thing about “Holiday for Heroes” was the contrived misunderstanding involving Audrey and Luke, the real estate agent who clearly is interested in Audrey.
Matt arrives at a bar where Audrey and Luke are having drinks, and Matt sees Luke touch her hand and her shoulder (gasp!).
And, in cliched Hallmark fashion, Matt turns around and leaves, with Audrey none the wiser he was ever there.
Luckily, Matt’s friend, Tom, tells Matt that he needs to get his intel correct.
If You Liked ‘Holiday for Heroes’ You Might Like
- Operation Christmas
- The Christmas Card
Holiday for Heroes
“Holiday for Heroes” is packed full of Christmas feels. This has nearly everything you want from an outstanding Christmas romance movie. We’ll be making this movie part of our yearly watching tradition.