"Operation Christmas Drop" is another one of those holiday romance movies that Hallmark, Lifetime and Netflix have developed a real talent for making. You know the type -- our handsome hero (appearing at least once shirtless) meets bossy city girl, sweeps her off her feet, they overcome some sort of nonsense standing in the way of true love, often there is a dog and the spirit of the holidays reigns.
But unlike all of those -- and there are literally hundreds -- this one is the first-ever Hollywood production to film on the island of Guam, and almost entirely on Andersen Air Force Base.
"Operation Christmas Drop," which premieres November 5th includes plenty of familiar scenes for anyone who has ever been stationed there including beaches, local businesses and even the base's beachside bar, Bamboo Willies.
The movie uses the real Operation: Christmas Drop as the backdrop for the story of a congressional aide Erica Miller (Kat Graham, "The Vampire Diaries) who's sent to a remote Pacific island Air Force base to collect intel that will help her boss slash budgets and eliminate wasteful spending. The core mission is to defund Operation: Christmas Drop.
Once she lands on the ground, she encounters Capt. Andrew Jantz, played by Alexander Ludwig, Bjorn Lothbrok from "Vikings" and star of the new WWII thriller "Recon." Jantz is carrying on the decades-old holiday tradition of delivering gifts and supplies to remote neighboring islands via parachute and that's the exact program that young Ms. Miller has been sent to eradicate.
There's banter. There's conflict. There's underlying romantic, even sexual, tension. Will the two hard-charging personalities find common ground and maybe even love? Will the Washington climber forget her mission and risk her career to help preserve this heartwarming Christmas tradition?
Those above queries are what we call "rhetorical questions" in the trade. It's a Christmas movie on Netflix, slightly racier than the ones on the Hallmark channel and maybe a little less sexy than the Lifetime versions. What do you expect is going to happen? It's whatever result that will make you feel all warm inside and full of the holiday spirit.
Virginia Madsen fans will be happy to see the iconic "Candyman," "Dune" and "Sideways" actor as Congresswoman Angie Bradford, the politician who sends Erica Miller to ruthlessly eliminate the program. "Battlestar Galactica" fans will recognize Aaron Douglas (Chief Galen Tyrol on the 2004-2009 series) in the role of Daniel Sampson.
As the holiday season gets rolling, many of us will be looking for some low-stress entertainment as we decompress from an epicly challenging 2020. "Operation Christmas Drop" promises to do that job nicely.
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