“Maybe it’s not always the journey that matters, but rather who you take it with.”
Lindsey and Wes are dueling piano partners. After they lose a gig at the governor’s party due to the ox flu, they decide to hit the road together, driving from New Orleans up to Ohio to celebrate Christmas with their families.
Along the way, the pair end up having some unexpected adventures, fun, and even find themselves in a little bit of peril in the 2019 Lifetime movie “The Road Home for Christmas”.
’Twas “The Road Home for Christmas”
Lindsey needs to get home because her sister is about to give birth. Wes, meanwhile, wants to get home to visit his mother, who we learn later has a disease that affects her memory.
Lindsey is all about structure. As their journey begins she has their entire trip planned out – even the bathroom breaks. Meanwhile, the charming and very outgoing Wes is all about improvisation. So you know something will have to give on this trip.
Indeed it does, but oddly at first it’s due to Lindsey. During a dinner stop in Mississippi, Lindsey decides they need to attend a local nativity play. And Wes ends up saving the day, providing his piano skills for “Away in a Manger” after a CD malfunctions.
Their next unexpected adventure comes in the form of performing at Grand Music Hall in Tennessee with Cassie, an award-winning singer-songwriter who is considered music royalty in the film. Wes plays piano, while Lindsey is a backup singer.
It’s at the concert, when Wes notices Lindsey in her dress, that things start to shift toward the romantic. After the concert, the two talk over drinks and find it hard at the end of the night to let each other go outside their hotel rooms. After she goes inside, Wes almost knocks on her door, and then, after he goes back into his room, Lindsey comes out and almost does the same.
Back on the road, the pair runs into trouble. In Kentucky, they crash during a winter storm. They’re stuck. After spending a night bonding in the car, they are rescued by a bus full of nuns.
This leads to their next adventure – caroling at a local school. Wes also plays the part of Santa Claus before we get a fun rendition of “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.” The nuns get Wes and Lindsey to the bus station, but there’s only one ticket left to Ohio.
After some discussion, Wes gets Lindsey on the bus and they say a tearful goodbye. Luckily for Wes, Cassie’s bus pulls into the station and she agrees to take him to Ohio (as a result, we later get a nice rendition of “Silent Night”).
Both get to Ohio – and end up at the same hospital. Lindsey is able to greet her new nephew and Wes gets to visit his mother in a tearful and touching scene.
On Christmas day, Wes confesses his feelings to Lindsey (he wants to watch her home videos, eat her Christmas sandwiches, play music with her, and be with her). She feels the same. They exchange a couple of kisses.
We flash forward a year, to see that they went from dueling pianos to a beautiful duet. The former dueling piano partners now are sharing a piano, have released an album, and have been touring with Cassie. We end with the happy family all wearing matching flannel pajamas.
Our Review: “The Road Home for Christmas”
The first few new Christmas films of 2019 have been like getting coal in the stocking, but “The Road Home for Christmas” hit all the right notes.
Wes and Lindsey just have tons of chemistry. Before they ever realize their feelings for each other, their banter is fun – without ever being malicious or mean to set up a manufactured conflict.
It’s fun to watch Wes and Lindsey transition from being competitive to cooperative. These opposites are able to recognize the strengths of the other and how they can complement each other.
The pace of this film is also spot on. There was a natural transition and progression from scene to scene, and the ending was spot on without feeling rushed at all (as quite a few Hallmark and other Christmas movies have felt).
The time jump to a year later is also nice – as clearly Lindsey and Wes are dating. Their relationship wasn’t rushed to marriage just to hit some happy ending checklist.
And all the things mattered in this movie, unlike so many other Christmas movies where stuff just happens. Lindsey’s wish. The hymn (“In the Bleak Midwinter”) Wes mentions is his mother’s favorite (which Lindsey later plays). Even a jelly bean is used for a nice callback to when the pair was stuck in the car.
“The Road Home for Christmas Review” also is a winner because it felt different. It was actually better for not relying on Christmas movies cliches and tropes, and instead focusing on telling a great story with characters we want to invest in.
The Nice List
Great Visuals & Sound
Music was really a standout. The movie featured lots of great carols. There was a lot of singing, but it was good and mostly helped move the story or played a part in it somehow.
Generally, we’re not big fans of Christmas movies with so much singing. But in this one, it worked well.
The visuals were all on point as well. There were lots of decorations. And all of the stops Wes and Lindsey made featured Christmasy things.
Both leads were excellent. They had lots of chemistry and did equally well with the humorous and the serious.
While neither of them may be considered a perfect 10 (Wes had dad bod and Lindsey was cute but didn’t have model looks), they are perfect for each other.
Wes and Lindsey were the main focus, but all the supporting characters were solid in their performances. Marie Osmond was also pretty great in her role as Casssidy.
It was nice to have something actually at stake, rather than just having some typical Christmas movie mix-up or one character somehow hurt the other’s feelings.
Wes had to make a choice: going to Colorado on Christmas to get on a big tour he wanted – or to choose seeing his family and Lindsey.
Meanwhile, Lindsey had her own conflict, where she was doubting herself as a singer. Throughout the film, everyone from Wes to a nun tell her how talented she is and she is able to believe in herself again by the end of their journey.
Out Favorite Scenes
There were three scenes in the movie that stood out from the rest for us.
One of our favorites was when Wes spots an eyelash on Lindsey’s face. He gets it and tells her to make a wish.
This scene is all the better because it pays off later in the movie, when Lindsey reveals what she wished for here came true.
The opening piano duel was also great fun. It helped set the stage for the rest of the movie and featured some great Christmas music.
As for the third one?
At the gas station scene in Mississippi. As Lindsey is gassing up their car, A Santa comes out of the gas station. Then another. Suddenly, Santas come pouring out of the gas station. Then, when Lindsey and Wes find themselves waiting in long lines for the bathrooms due to a bunch of people dressed as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, elves, and reindeer.
At the ox flu references. It is a small running gag throughout the movie.
When Wes tells Lindsey about his mom being sick. Up until this point, it had been a lighthearted movie, but this added a new layer of emotional depth to the film that was sustained the rest of the way. 😪
When Wes calls Lindsey on the bus and tells her not to get off. 😪
When was gets to the hospital and can’t wake his mother up to wish her a Merry Christmas. Lindsey comes into her room and starts playing the mom’s favorite hymn, and everyone in the room is in tears. Definite tear jerker moment! 😭 😭
Did You Catch That Christmas Movie Reference?
At the inn, Lindsey and Wes are watching “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”. Lindsey says that her family used to watch this every year on Christmas Eve and eat pecan pie.
Winter Storm Megan
Another interesting connection is sinter storm Megan. This is same storm that is referenced in another 2019 Lifetime movie, “Sweet Mountain Christmas”. Will this be a recurring theme this year from Lifetime? (Update: Megan is also referenced in “No Time Like Christmas” so it seems there’s a definite trend happening.)
The Naughty List
Wes the Golfer
Not a huge goof here, but Robby points out Wes’ buff arms and says he plays golf.
The next day, he mentions he has a bad back (which we later learn is due to an old football injury). So, if Wes really has a bad back, should he be out playing golf?
The WORST List
When Wes eats a chocolate-covered almond he finds in the dresser at the inn.
Just a few moments earlier, Lindsey thought it was a bug!
If You Liked “The Road Home for Christmas” You Might Like
- Debbie Macomber’s Dashing through the Snow (2015)
- The Road to Christmas (2006)
The Road Home for Christmas
“The Road Home for Christmas” is the first excellent Christmas movie of 2019. This is one road trip we look forward to revisiting every year.