Holiday Road (2023) Movie Script

Hey, hey, hey.
Merry Christmas besties.
It's your girl, Maya
Way or the Highway here,
and I'm about to
tell you what's up.
Okay, so I'm in Portland
trying to get to Denver
to spend Christmas
with my parents.
And it is a mess.
I mean, there are
storms somewhere.
And it's messing
things up everywhere.
Now, weather is
not my thing, obvi,
so I rely on the experts
and the people on TikTok
are saying it's epic,
but in a bad way.
I know that's confusing
'cause your girl Maya
typically uses
epic as a positive.
But in this case it is bad.
And to make things
worse, the WiFi here
is next-level terrible.
Can you do whatever it is
you're doing somewhere else?
Are you like for real right now?
Do you like wanna find out?
So I apologize for that photo
bomb of negative energy.
Let's just say
some people handle
the stress of holiday
travel better than others.
I'll tell you what
helps me though,
a homemade holiday bomb that
I'm cooking up for y'all.
Part of the soon-to-be-released
My Way Home Collection.
Oh, hints of nutmeg
and evergreen.
It smells like Christmas
and it feels like
Sorry, just talking about home
reminds me of how bad
I wanna get there.
And I just, I, I just...
Um, excuse me.
Hi, you're, you're in my frame.
No, what I'm in
is a public airport.
But you could be anywhere
in a public airport, right?
Not if I want to check the
status of my flight to Denver.
O-M-G, I'm going to Denver.
Well, this day just
keeps getting better.
So what's the deal?
If you're referring to the
flight, doesn't look good.
You know, I've got this
radical lens on humanity
and I'm sensing you're
a glass-half-empty type.
No judgment.
Can I stop you right there?
All I really care
about right now
is getting to Denver
for Christmas.
Excuse me, sir. We are
traveling from Hong Kong.
We are going here.
- Denver.
- Yes.
Well, the weather's bad.
My advice, if you don't
need to travel, don't.
Thank you. Thank you.
Did you hear what he just said?
If you don't have to
travel today, don't.
Oh, is he a part of the airline.
I don't think so.
Oh, then it's just
another traveler's opinion.
His luggage had
diamond tags on it.
He must know something.
Mom, if you don't want to
spend the holidays in Denver,
just say something.
Honey, this whole
thing was my idea.
Of course. I wanna go.
Well then maybe you
could start acting like it.
Okay, I'm concerned
about the weather, Ben.
I can't just turn
off being a mother.
All right, I'll
go get some snacks.
Get me a slice of pizza.
Few things harder
than raising a teenager.
Tell me about
it. Do you have a teen?
No, but I was a terrible one.
But I do have a really
great relationship
with my parents now.
So there is light at
the end of the tunnel.
Oh, that's a relief.
Are you going to see
them for the holiday?
No, I'm headed to
Colorado to snowboard.
Once-in-a-hundred-year storm.
First tracks if I get
there by Christmas day.
Hope you make it.
Where there's a
will, there's a way.
Oh, excuse me.
Uh, hey, are you
there? How's the snow?
Nope. No, that's not it.
It's double shot, no foam
candy cane cappuccino.
Oh, so you mean
a candy cane latte?
No, I don't mean a latte.
Because lattes have no foam.
Yeah, no, I know that.
But they also have more milk.
Oh, but you said
you didn't want milk.
Actually said I wanted oat milk.
Well, that doesn't
foam up anyways, so.
Yeah, as of now,
the flight is still on
so I'll be there.
That is, if this guy ahead of me
can finish ordering his
candy cane Chad-uccino.
Chad-uccino, really?
Lemme call you back.
Sorry, it's just a
playful little term,
you know, for a, a
complicated coffee order.
Yeah, yeah. No, I know it.
I just don't typically hear
it from, you know, an adult.
Sorry, where were we?
Let me think. Nowhere.
You know what,
just for the record,
my order is not
that complicated.
It's not that
complicated, right?
Employee handbook says
I can't answer that.
Okay, even if it was,
nothing wrong with
saying what I want.
- Nothing wrong at all.
- No.
Actual data does suggests
the biggest blockage in
healthy communication
actually comes from people
who don't say what they want.
- Makes perfect sense.
- Yeah.
And as that's clearly
not an issue for you,
maybe you could do us all a
favor and just hurry it along.
- Everything's delayed.
- What's the rush?
There's no rush.
I just think a little
common courtesy
during this busy
holiday travel season
would be much
appreciated by all.
Says the lady who
called me a Chad.
Okay. I suggested that your
order was typical of a Chad.
I didn't call you a Chad.
Okay. And now we're
splitting hairs.
Okay. Okay.
How about this?
What I want is for you to
please finish your order
so that everyone
behind you in line
can go on with their holiday.
How's that for
healthy communication?
Attention, all travelers.
Status for flight 554 to Denver
will be updated momentarily.
Please check the
departure boards near you.
So where were we?
- No.
- Oh, no.
Well, it's your lucky day.
Yeah? How's that?
You were seated next to me.
Worst Christmas ever.
Attention passengers,
flight number UA1480 to Chicago
scheduled to depart from Gate 47.
Hey! Hey again.
I'm Dana, by the way.
So I'm thinking we're all
headed to Denver, right?
How about we all
share a rental car?
I mean, between the three of us,
we could drive straight through,
be there by Christmas Eve.
Oh, thank you.
Yeah, I'm thinking we'll try
to get on a flight tomorrow.
Good luck with that.
Three flights to Denver already
got canceled, so I'm in.
We're in too.
Honey, I'd like us to
consider all our options.
Well, you heard him.
There's no chance we're
getting on another flight, so.
He's Diamond. He
must know, right?
Okay, we're in.
You drive? To Denver?
They're trying to
get to the same place.
- Sure, no problem.
- Thank you.
Okay, so that's six of us.
We'll get an SUV.
- Excuse me, I'm Ember.
- I overheard your plans.
Look, I can't pay much,
but I'm a night owl
so I could take the
late shift no problem.
Fine. Still an
SUV, but that's it.
- Let's go.
- Okay.
Um, guys.
What about me?
Let's hustle people.
We're gonna need to
divide and conquer
to cover every company.
I think I have a coupon
for 20% off my next car rental.
It's only for compact.
I get a little car sick
so I just need to
keep my window open.
Are you both aware it's winter?
Let's pick it up.
A lot of people probably
doing the same thing we are.
You in the back,
can you please pick it up?
Okay, so I don't know
that one's name yet,
but that one's being
a little extra.
I mean, where's the
Christmas spirit?
Stop right there.
Whatever it is you're about
to ask, my answer is no.
Just, keep walking buddy. Yeah.
- And Merry Christmas.
- He's very scary.
All the other rental car
companies are sold out.
I saw one group
that found an Uber
to take them to Pittsburgh.
I can't even imagine
what that would cost.
That's okay. We're next.
Everything should be fine.
Hey, hey!
Wait till I call you, please.
But I'm next.
I have a Platinum member
I have to help first.
Promise to, um,
how'd you put it?
Hurry it along.
- How you doing?
- You know that guy?
Not well.
Yeah, what?
What? W.
Sorry folks. There's
only one vehicle left
and it's going to this guy.
It's a lot to handle.
Probably not what you
had in mind but...
Whatever it is, I'll take it.
Thank you.
See? Real fast.
Why are you still standing here?
- We could get a hotel.
- Hunker down for the night.
Maybe, maybe they'll
have more cars tomorrow.
- Ah, checked every hotel.
- There's nothing available.
Hey, stop.
Stop, stop, stop, stop.
Are you nuts? What the...
You're gonna drive this
thing to Denver on your own?
If the alternative is
driving with you, then yes.
Okay. Clearly we got
off to a rough start.
Oh, no. Rough start implies
the beginning of something.
Well, let's not get
caught up in semantics.
I'm not caught up in anything.
Okay, I just want
to hit the road.
Okay, listen, I, I
admit that sometimes
I say more than I
should and I'm sorry.
- Was that hard?
- What?
What? That apology - A little.
Um, so I'm Dana.
- Chad.
- Oh, wow.
It's actually.
Okay. So that's why
you took it so hard.
I'm kidding. It's Clay.
I- by the way,
I, I didn't take it so hard.
- You kind of did.
- And there you go again.
Saying more than you should.
Okay, listen.
You have this very large
van with a lot of empty seats.
And I have a group of people
who could not only fill those
seats, but also help you drive
because Denver, it's
a, it's a long way.
Fine. Yeah, I'll take them.
Thank goodness.
But not me?
Maybe next time you think twice
before you're so judgmental on
someone else's coffee order.
Or maybe you'll think twice
about complicating your order
when there's a very long line.
I'll have my friends load up.
Great. Finally on the same page.
All aboard, everybody.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you so much.
- Thank you.
You really don't need to help.
Some of us still
have Christmas spirit.
Okay, look, this
stuff is not gonna stay.
Well, not packing
like that it won't.
What, you think you'd do better?
You set a pretty low bar.
What was I thinking.
Honey, what
you have in your hand?
Mom, stop it.
Do I have your
permission to film you?
- We agree.
- Yay!
Do I have your...?
I'll assume that's
a yes on permission.
We're in.
Hey, you know what I
just wanted to say,
you are fantastic.
Aw, sweet.
So do you follow my TikTok?
Or, or my YouTube?
Yeah, I, yeah. Well, I
am now is what I'm doing.
Great. I can never have
too many fans.
Excuse me.
So I need to get something
very important out of my bag.
Which one?
Oh, maybe that one.
You said it was important.
Um, I think making the
van feel like Christmas
is very important.
Oh, and since you
seem to be so handy,
maybe you can hang them
while I start pre-trip
interviews for our TikTok.
Tick what?
You're kidding me, right?
Okay. So what
does Christmas mean to you?
Uh, family.
Uh, we are visiting my sister.
Your husband doesn't
seem very happy about that.
Oh, he's happy.
So happy.
Okay, let's load up.
You know, I feel bad for Dana.
It was her idea.
There's definitely enough room.
As long as that snowboard fits.
And despite being
a little extra,
she does have can-do energy.
Don't be a scrooge.
Okay, so.
In the spirit of Christmas,
want a ride?
I thought you'd never ask.
Yep. That makes two of us.
Did that hurt?
A lot.
Okay, listen up everybody.
This here is how
it's gonna work.
18 hours to Denver.
Now, we probably won't hit
any really bad weather
until Colorado,
but as of right now,
I-84 is backed up
all the way down to Boise so,
may have to take
some side roads.
We got six drivers.
So that's three hour shifts.
Bathroom breaks on
driver changes only.
Meal stops every other driver.
That's a great plan.
- Thank you.
- Except it'll never work.
- And here we go.
- I'm sorry,
but you have made
no accommodations
for how life actually works.
Yeah, that thing
you're almost living.
What exactly makes you
the expert on life, hmm?
More than my fair share of it.
Um, guys, you should know
that my license has been
temporarily suspended.
Distracted driving.
I tried to get out of it, but
the evidence was on TikTok.
Yeah. Fine.
Fine. No problem.
I'll just rework the
schedule for five drivers.
When are we stopping for snacks?
See? Life.
Traveling all this way,
you and your sister
must be very close.
We are trying to become closer.
What did he say?
He is not as supportive
as he could be.
Do you have any other family?
Only our son.
- He lives in London.
- Hmm.
Uh, we have not seen
him for many years.
- I can't imagine.
- That must be very hard.
What did he say?
He says,
it is complicated.
And, hello, Idaho. Whoo!
Okay. That was terrible.
We're gonna need
to do that again.
I'm not doing it again.
I don't expect you to understand
but in my world, the last
thing you wanna be is boring.
And we're boring
with a capital B.
Speak for yourself.
You all could try my dating app.
You have a dating app?
Yeah, I do.
It's called Check the Box.
"Click here for true love."
Are you being serious right now?
I am, yeah. And it works.
And I gotta say the initial
questionnaire, it's pretty fun.
Okay, let's check some boxes.
All right.
I So what does
Christmas mean to you?
- Christmas?
- Mm-hmm.
Okay look, I know it's
not a popular opinion,
but as a data guy,
doesn't add up.
I mean, people are
extra nice to each other
for a couple of weeks
and then it's just back
to business as usual.
It's an anomaly.
Personally, I'd remove it
from any data set, you know?
No such thing as
Christmas magic.
Wow. What's
worse than bah humbug?
Leave your answers
in the comments.
It was my first kiss.
I was expecting lip on lip.
Nobody told me about
the French part.
All right, next one.
Uh, worst first date.
Trish's first kiss.
Ember, why don't
you take this one?
No thanks. I'm good.
Good to get outta
your comfort zone.
Okay. Okay.
Um, well his name was Stevie.
Not Steve, not Stephen, Stevie.
Stevie? Was he like 12?
And Stevie still lived with
his mom, which is cool.
You know, not
necessarily a red flag.
Lots of young men still do it.
Turns out Stevie's mom
didn't just own their house,
she also owned their only car.
And Stevie had lost
his driving privileges.
I feel him.
So Stevie's mom
drove us on the date.
- Ooh.
- Uh-huh.
Oh, no, no, no. It gets worse.
I sit through the most
awkward dinner ever.
Get back in the car with Mom.
She drives me home,
parks the car.
Like car in park, engine off.
And it's clear at this point
that Stevie wants to
kiss me goodnight.
And so I thought I
had the perfect out.
So I said "I can't. Not
in front of your mom."
And he said, I kid you
not, "Mom, close your eyes."
I think Stevie
should leave the nest.
It sounds like she was
coming from a loving place.
Really? Mom.
What? He lost his
driving privileges.
Okay, next question.
On a scale from 1 to 10,
how important is it to
be in a relationship?
- 9.5.
- Yeah, same for me.
But you can't let it show.
Oh no.
I don't know, six.
I'll pass.
What about you guys?
Not applicable.
Oh, 10 for sure. You?
Um, record scratch.
- Three?
- Yeah, three.
What's wrong with that?
No, nothing.
Would just be the lowest
number ever reported, but...
Do you mean by a group
of people going on an app
to find love?
Biased sample, don't you think?
Well, I think the app works
because people are honest.
Um, guys?
I'm not convinced
the app works at all.
I don't think love can be
reduced to an algorithm
and I personally don't need
to be in a relationship
to feel complete, so.
Stop the car.
No, it's not time to switch.
- Stop the car.
- O-o-okay.
I can't get air. I
gotta get outta here.
Hey, Mom, what's going on?
I dunno.
Everything suddenly felt
like it was closing in.
Okay. Should we call for help?
No. No, it's fine.
Maybe it's just,
ah, claustrophobia.
What do you think's going on?
Maybe she got triggered
by Clay's dating app.
Thought only young
people got triggered.
Okay, uh, take your time, but.
Oh, what, Ben? Am
I embarrassing you?
No, sorry. It's fine.
You know, really. It's fine.
It's okay. I know
just the thing.
Keep recording.
Tricia, I have a
question for you.
Do you wanna be helped,
heard or hugged?
It's a distress management
technique I picked up on Shine.
It totally works.
W-well you have to pick one.
I actually think
a hug might help.
Well, it's not for you, Ben.
No, I meant for her is...
I agree.
Come on, bring it in.
- Come on, Mom.
- Come on.
Just try it, please.
Oh, for Pete's sake.
Aw. It's working.
Oh yeah, yeah. That was nice.
Just a touch of
claustrophobia, I think.
It's better now.
You get all that?
You filmed your chest
the entire time.
Did I?
How can this be happening.
The most perfect moment
ever not recorded.
It's like it never happened.
No, with this group
it is definitely gonna
be more than 18 hours.
Yeah. I'll call
you with updates.
Can't wait to see you too.
Let me guess, an
almost love interest.
Eavesdropping part
of your skillset?
I wouldn't call it eavesdropping
when you're 10 feet away.
Why do you say
almost love interest?
Well, I could tell by
your tone that you care.
"I can't wait," implies passion.
But I didn't hear the word love
which leads me to believe
that you're still
in the newish stage.
Couple of months.
You know, being in
different cities,
only seen each
other a few times.
Let me guess, you
met on your app?
Told you it worked.
Mm. So she checks all the boxes.
Well, I mean, nobody
checks all the boxes,
but, you know, what's
important to me.
Pretty close.
Does she also pack her
own snacks while traveling?
Oh, come on. What is
your problem with planning?
I mean, seriously?
Nothing. I just, I just
prefer the unexpected.
- Oh, come on.
- What?
Shutting down the interstate.
Imagine that. Gimme your hand.
Come on, I'm not
giving you my hand.
Relax. I don't bite.
Come here.
I'm just curious how your
body reacts to change.
So what's the verdict?
Could be good for you.
Google says Route 17 to
Highway 23 than back on 80.
Apple says 17 is slower.
Waze says stay
clear of 17 and 23.
Hang on, I just lost service.
Me too.
We're lost?
Oh, we're nowhere close to loss.
It wouldn't be the worst thing.
One of the many problems
with your generation.
Have all the answer's
right at your fingertips,
and you can't even
think for yourselves.
You say that like
tech's a bad thing.
It is if it tells
you what to do.
So what's the alternative?
These are called
maps. Have at it.
Thank you for
finally agreeing to do this.
Can we just get this over with?
Sure. What do you do for work?
- Oh, I like that.
- Succinct, to the point.
Tell me about your family.
Not to say bar tending
isn't enough.
Here's one you should
be able to answer
with maybe a few more words.
What does Christmas mean to you?
Uh, Christmas means
never having enough.
Okay, so you're gonna stay
on this road until Route 14,
then take a left.
Thank you navigator.
Yeah, you know, I had no
idea there were so many roads.
- It's just kind of cool.
- Hmm.
It's nice not being
glued to my phone.
research has shown
that despite being
more connected,
people are feeling
more lonely than ever.
I mean, think about it.
If we had all gotten
on the plane to Denver,
it's unlikely we would've
spoken a word to one another,
let alone gotten
to know each other.
Yeah. I hate to admit it.
I really hate to admit
it, but Dana's right.
Might be the best road
trip I've ever taken.
Is it the only one?
Oh, well, yeah, pretty much.
Well, it's definitely
the most popular.
Last time I checked, #VanClan
was blowing up.
Blowing up?
Oh, our TikTok
people like it a lot.
Tricia, your claustrophobic
moment got a ton of likes.
Wait, people saw that?
Only the beginning,
thanks to Dusty.
Uh, I'm not comfortable
with them seeing any of it.
Tricia, vulnerability
is courage.
Then show some yourself.
Oh, I'm sorry.
How about some music?
Oh, I have a karaoke machine.
Yes. Always at Christmas.
- Thank you.
- Yeah!
- Thank you.
- Whoo!
- That was wonderful.
- Amazing.
Okay, okay. Who's next?
- Whoo!
- Oh, no.
Oh no, thanks. I'm
not following that.
Van rules. Everyone
takes a turn.
Come on. What song?
Fine. Uh, okay.
You know, I, I don't need music.
You can't do
karaoke without music.
Oh gosh. Sorry you guys.
You got nothing to be sorry for.
Well, that was
beautiful. Oh, God.
Thanks, you guys. Thank you.
Ah, look at this.
- So good.
- Nice.
Aren't these cups adorable?
- Thank you.
- Come on.
These are so yummy.
Hi. I'm sorry to interrupt.
I'm Amy. This is my husband.
We're so glad to see
you're feeling better.
I'm sorry?
Oh, Bart suffers from
claustrophobia too.
He won't even go
near an elevator.
- Amy.
- Bart! It's okay.
Tricia normalized it.
Thank you for your bravery.
It takes real courage
to be that vulnerable.
- You saw that?
- Yeah.
But I mean, you're welcome.
But I don't actually
have claustrophobia.
I, I mean, I didn't until this.
So you're following our story?
Yes. On TikTok.
YouTube for me.
Are you hearing this?
Over 500,000 views.
Guys. We're viral.
Would y'all mind
if we got some pics?
Our kids are just gonna freak.
- Yeah.
- Oh my God.
Excuse me.
I love how grouchy he is.
- Thank you.
- Bye.
You mind?
I'm not up for idle
conversation right now. Sorry.
Suits me. I never am.
Where'd you learn
to sing like that?
My mother and church.
Well, a gift like
that shouldn't be hiding behind a bar.
I gave it a shot, but, uh,
God had other things
in mind for me.
God can't do better
than that voice.
He can and he did.
I've got the most beautiful
little girl you've ever seen.
Is there a reason
you can't have both?
Well, after I got divorced,
the courts determined
that this aspiring singer could
not provide a stable home.
Yeah, so.
Well, growing up poor is
the reason why I'm a success.
You and me, we got grit.
The courts are wrong.
No, they were
right. But it's okay.
I still got visitation.
It's why I'm headed
to Denver to see her.
Christmas morning,
the joy on her face.
I can't miss it.
Hey guys, loading up.
- Hey.
- Hi.
You okay?
Yeah, I just, um,
I left something at the airport.
Something important?
It's all good. No worries.
I'm an adventure travel writer
so Christmas for me
usually means travel.
This year, its first tracks
through the deepest
powder in a hundred years.
Last year I was jumping out
of a plane over the Sahara.
Oh, the year before that
it was photographing
penguins in Antarctica.
- Wow.
- Mm-hmm.
Do you ever just wanna
be at home for the holidays?
Not really.
You gotta live every day
like it's your last, right?
What did you leave
at the airport?
Nothing I can't find in Denver.
Little light on specifics.
It's just some medication.
Well, if you need, we can
probably find a pharmacy.
What I need is a navigator.
Keep heading this way.
For 25 miles, I think.
Must be hard not having your
phone tell you what to do.
I'll have you know, I don't
need my phone for everything.
Other than finding love.
Look, just because you don't
value human companionship.
Never said that.
You gave it a three out of ten.
Be-because that's
how it's been for me.
A bunch of half-step
relationships that don't go anywhere
because we're so programmed
to think we need to be in one
that we settle for good enough.
I don't wanna settle.
I don't want any
more half steps.
I wanna jump.
I wanna jump without knowing
where I'm gonna land.
- Can I ask you something?
- Yeah.
Why a dating app?
It's what the customers want.
Little light on specifics.
Dating can often
be hard to navigate.
I just wanted to build
something to lessen the risk.
You know, the
disappointment, heartbreak.
- Speaking from experience?
- Yeah.
Well, you might
say I'm an expert.
Oh, now we're getting somewhere.
No, no, no.
That's it. Done.
You know who I'd like to meet?
The old Clay.
The one who still
believed in fairytales.
Um, guys.
Oh, sorry, everyone. Oh, ah.
It's okay, gotta
stretch my legs anyways.
Oh, I don't know
what's wrong with me.
It's fine. Really.
Turns out claustrophobia
is pretty common.
- Not claustrophobic.
- I love elevators.
The music, the vibe,
it actually calms me.
- Excuse me.
- What's this?
Uh, herbs. For peace.
I don't know. I don't know.
Come on, Mom. Just take it.
What, do I put it in my mouth?
No. Your wrist.
Uh, shouldn't we
be heading east?
Yeah, we are heading east.
Look, right there on the map.
If we were right there,
wouldn't there be
a lake right here?
Haven't we been on this road.
Yeah. I'm backtracking.
Christmas is tomorrow.
If we're backtracking,
we're not gonna make
it to Denver in time.
Guys, can we just
take a moment and look.
If we hadn't gotten lost,
we wouldn't be right here
right now to see this.
Maybe a little Christmas magic.
Maybe so.
Hey look, if anybody has a
better idea than backtracking,
I'd love to hear it.
Take this road,
cut straight through.
- Doesn't even have a name.
- Probably not even a road.
If it weren't a road,
it wouldn't be on a map.
She makes a good point.
You still think this is a road?
It's getting us
where we need to go.
It's probably fine.
Okay folks, here we are.
So you're not gonna take
any responsibility for this.
I'll take full responsibility
for getting you outta
your comfort zone.
You're welcome.
- Yep.
- Thank you.
You're very
welcome. Merry Christmas.
Oh guys, we have cell service.
Hey everyone. Good news,
the Van Clan is back online.
Bad news, the van broke.
It's serious,
like, I don't know,
something underneath
with the wheels.
Let's check out Greenfield.
Is this for real?
This is brill.
Perfect job for a single mom.
Never missed a school play
or a baseball game or...
I'm a junior, high school,
um, looking at
colleges right now.
Mostly in-state.
I don't know. Closer to home.
And for us, I guess
Christmas means holiday movies
and yeah, just being together.
Aw. Any other family?
Nope. Just the two of us.
I mean, well...
I'm adopted.
Yeah. Your upper control
arm needs to be replaced.
Now the good news is,
the part is available
in Salt Lake City.
- That's great news.
- What's the bad news?
I ain't got nobody to
go pick it up for you.
All my guys are competing
in the Elf Games.
I mean, we're
feeling pretty good.
I mean, this is the
year we take the crown.
Well, rental car company
says they won't have
a replacement till after Christmas.
You cannot teach
someone to dream
then not let them dream.
Do you have almond milk?
- Nope.
- Soy?
- Dude, it's a coffee stand.
- Do you want one or not?
I feel ya.
We'll take two coffees, black,
and keep the change
for your troubles.
You know, you would be amazed
at just how good plain
black coffee can be.
Is this your way of apologizing?
Admitting that you were
wrong about the road?
Uh, no. I stand by my statement.
A road on a map is still a road
even if it doesn't have a name.
Your little detour
is the reason we're probably
stuck here for Christmas.
Or my detour, is how
we discovered the Elf Games.
You really see things that way?
That's the way it is.
We're on this planet for a
very finite amount of time.
So I just wanna make
the most of it, right?
Yeah, maybe you're right.
Look, if you don't make it
to Denver for Christmas,
all you're missing
is first tracks.
Some of us are gonna miss
people we actually care about.
And all this time, I thought
it was me and said too much.
Dana. Hey, you
forgot your coffee.
Wait. Can't have it till
you accept my apology.
Oh, come on. Seriously,
You're right.
I don't have anyone
waiting for me in Denver.
I know, but I made it seem
like what's meaningful to you
isn't as important as
what's meaningful to me.
For that, I'm really sorry.
Thank you. It was
really burning my hand.
- Oh, in that case.
- Oh, and she's back.
I heard about this
very, very cool
Christmas tree
decorating workshop.
What do you say?
Wanna show off our mad skills?
- On one condition?
- Oh, what's that?
You tell me about the old Clay.
So you don't strike me as a
grand gesture kind of guy.
This was bigger
than a grand gesture.
What's bigger than
a grand gesture?
Bigger, Trent a.
This was the equivalent of
the biggest coffee order ever.
A horse-drawn sleigh, choir
singing her favorite song.
I even had a dog trained
to bring the ring
on one of those little
barrels around its neck.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
It was the most spectacular
Christmas proposal ever.
And she said, "No."
What? Not, not even like
a, "Let me think about it."?
Nope. No thinking required.
She was absolutely clear that
she would not be marrying me.
That's brutal. I'm sorry.
No wonder you're not
a fan of Christmas.
You know what, here's
what I don't get.
I mean, I explore human
behavior through data analytics.
How did I not see it coming?
Uh, maybe because
you're not psychic.
So, okay, is, is the
idea that your app
would prevent something like
that from happening again?
Well, make it a
lot less probable.
What about outliers?
The ones who don't
check any of your boxes.
Outliers are an anomaly,
a mystery we may
never understand.
Very rare.
So would that
relationship be impossible?
Everything was
thought impossible
until it happened
for the first time.
What do you think?
What do I think?
Yeah, of my mad skills.
What do I, about the tree?
Yeah. Oh wow.
Your side looks like there
was a tinsel explosion
- and I mean-
- Yeah.
Have you actually
ever done this before?
Not in a very long time.
Man, what do you have
against Christmas trees?
I just, I'm not usually home
during the holidays, so.
Wow. It's nice.
Maybe you should
try it sometime.
Yeah. Maybe someday.
- I, uh, I should-
- Yeah.
I should, I should uh...
I'm gonna look for
some less tinsely decor.
You know, Mom, you don't
sound happy to be here.
Well, I'm certainly not happy.
But I guess if we
have to get stranded,
at least it's in a town
where people really
know how to celebrate.
Am I right? Am I right?
Huh? Come on.
Mom, are you sure
you're not using this
as a way of avoiding
what I imagine
would be some very
complicated feelings
around our destination?
What are you, 17 going on 30?
Honey, I'm completely
fine with this.
100% fine.
One hundo P.
All right, well if you are
100% completely fine with this,
I was thinking when
we're in Colorado,
we could check out CU Boulder.
I thought you wanted
to stay close to home.
I mean, to be near your friends.
Yeah. No, I do.
It's, it's just, you know,
we're gonna be so close,
wouldn't hurt to look, right?
I'm just gonna go pay for this.
Yeah, I'll keep you posted.
You okay?
Actually, no, I'm not.
Is there anything I can do?
Yeah, you wanna
pay my child support?
Sorry. I shouldn't
have said that.
I just, I, I just really
need to get to Denver.
Love to talk more,
but we need to change into
our competition outfits.
Your competition
'fits are different?
Yes, of course.
- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
Okay, come on.
Wow, this feels like we're in
some sort of weird time warp.
Oh wait, that's good.
Our fans will love
#Twilight Zone.
Maya, how many
followers do you have?
First, I'm super proud you're
getting hip with the lingo.
Second, across all my platforms,
over a hundred thousand.
And since Van Clan,
growing rapidly.
Okay. This could actually work.
And that's how we ended
up spending Christmas Eve
in Greenfield, home
to the Elf Games.
More on that later.
So I'm reaching out to you all,
my awesome Maya Way
or the Highway family,
to see if someone
generous in holiday spirit
could pick up the car
part and deliver it to us
so we can get to our friends
and family on Christmas Day.
And I'll tag you, obvi. Bye.
Wow. You were so on point.
Is that a compliment?
Do you really think
this is going to work?
I just don't want everyone
to be disappointed.
I'm not holding my breath.
Oh, you guys, it worked.
- Really?
- Yeah.
The part will be
here in five hours.
- Really?
- Yes.
Looks like Trey is
my number-one fan.
So, now we wait.
I have a much better idea.
Thank you.
Hey y'all, check out this 'fit.
Whoo, whoo.
If you're wondering why
I am dressed like this,
lemme give you a hint.
This is Santa's
workshop. For real.
Ho, ho, ho.
Welcome friends and neighbors
to the annual Elf Games.
Okay, folks, let's try to
keep it clean, fun, and safe.
No booing, cheating, or
sabotage, you know who you are.
We're really doing it, y'all.
I don't know about
you, but this is by far
the craziest Christmas
Eve I've ever had.
Oh, let's check in
with the Van Clan.
Hey, in one word,
how are you feeling?
- Pumped!
- Okay.
Like a winner!
No comment.
Confused as to why
we're doing this.
Okay guys, I know we're all
a little out of our comfort zone
and we're going up against
some seasoned pros,
but here's what we've
got going for us.
We just spent two
days together in a van
learning both about each
other and from each other.
Together, we've overcome
every obstacle put in our way
and that is what
makes us a team.
That's the reason
we're gonna succeed.
Are you with me?
- Oh, yes.
- Yes.
Are you with me?!
Okay, you got
it. Got it, got it.
The corner!
Come on guys,
you're catching up.
Come on, come on, come on!
Nice, guys!
Go, go, go, go.
Go, go, go!
Go, go, go!
Oh, she's doing it! Oh!
Okay guys, we can win.
'Cause our team rocks!
- Whoa.
- Huh.
- Hit this button.
- Keep it running.
- You got this?
- I got it.
Let's do it! All
right, let's do this!
Lai Ling, call it.
On three.
Jat, ji, saam!
Oh my God, get this.
Hey, come on.
You got it, you got it.
One step left. Come on.
- There you go.
- Yeah!
There you go. You good?
Yeah, fine. Go.
Oh, hey!
Hey, what happened?
- You okay?
- Yeah, I'm fine.
Dana, you okay? What's wrong?
Nothing. I just,
I pushed too fast.
- Go, Clay.
- No, no.
I'm not leaving you.
You all right?
Maybe it's time to
share some specifics.
Yeah. I was born
with a bum heart.
It's much better now.
But growing up,
my parents lived in fear
of losing me every day.
I spent my childhood indoors
watching the world go by
from my bedroom window.
Must have been really hard.
Yeah, it was.
But you know, when I turned 18,
I decided I didn't wanna spend
the rest of my life
stuck and afraid,
reading about other
people's adventures.
I've been making up for
lost time ever since.
So, live every day
like it's your last.
Yeah. For me it could be.
Sorry, Dana.
You should be.
We could have been champions.
Good news.
Christmas has arrived.
Hi, I'm Maya. I mean you
already know that, but hi.
I'm Trey. Uh, Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
You are literally
Santa's best helper.
As promised, I'll make
your socials blow up.
Oh, that's, uh,
super cool and all.
But we're gonna need a
little more than that.
I'm sorry?
Uh, w-what do you mean by more?
Oh, we're just thinking
a delivery charge
of say like two grand.
Oh, well that is just rude.
What would your mother think?
She came up with the idea, so.
I'll pay it.
- Not a problem.
- Not a problem?
Not a problem?
No, this is a massive problem.
If you think you
can come in here
and hold that car part
hostage, which is literally
the complete opposite
of the Christmas spirit,
you're in la-la land.
And I don't mean the movie.
Actually, that's exactly
what we think we can do.
So we take Venmo or...
So I'm an influencer, obvi.
But if that doesn't work out,
I'll probably work in the
hotel business with my dad.
What does Christmas mean to me?
I'll get back to you on that.
I just don't get how friends
could be so cold and heartless.
Maybe because
they're not friends.
What's that supposed to mean?
It was just money, Maya.
Maybe to you, to some of us,
it's an awful lot of
cash to just hand over.
Yeah, well, I spent too
much time caring about money.
That's the attitude, Dusty.
I don't care what
these guys think.
I refuse to let this
ruin our journey.
I'm just gonna put the
whole thing behind me.
I'm Teflon.
Um, guys.
You're in la-la land.
And I don't mean the movie.
They did not.
They did. On Instagram.
Oh, no.
- And TikTok.
- Oh, no.
- And YouTube.
- Oh, no.
But you know, it's
just the holidays.
You know, who's even
paying attention, really?
What did he say?
He feels badly for her.
It's like one minute,
I'm on top of the world
feeling so much love.
And then just like that
I'm over, done, cooked.
That's not true.
Because of you, our story
has impacted so many people.
Yeah. Like Amy and
Bart at the diner.
No one's gonna care anymore.
- Maya.
- I don't want a hug, Ben.
I wasn't offering.
What I, what I was gonna say is,
if you connect your self-worth
to what other people think,
you'll never be truly happy.
That's very wise, son.
Thanks. I learned
it from my mom.
Never mind. I would like a hug.
Oh yes.
Um, guys...
- Hey, Mom. What happened?
- We were so close to Denver.
I know. I know.
I think that's the issue.
Oh, sorry for all
the drama, everyone.
Okay, here's the situation, um,
Ben and I are going to Denver
to meet his birth mother.
And I think what's happening
to me is I'm scared.
Scared I'm gonna be replaced.
Mom, what?
Look, she might be the woman
that brought me into this world,
but you are my mom
and nothing is ever
gonna change that.
I love you, Ben.
Oh it, it's midnight.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
- Oh, Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
- Benny, Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
Traditional Chinese
Christmas cookies.
Um, they bring good fortune.
- Thank you.
- Oh, you're welcome.
You're welcome.
- Ah, Tricia.
- Thank you.
You're welcome.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Thank you.
- You're welcome.
- Merry Christmas.
Hard to believe that
just two days ago,
none of us even
knew one another.
- And now-
- We do.
It wouldn't have happened
if you didn't bring
everyone together.
Well, without your generosity,
we wouldn't have had a ride.
So without each other...
We would've carried
on with our lives.
Business as usual.
So maybe this is proof of
Christmas magic.
I think we have enough
data to support that, yeah.
Well, here's to saying yes.
Even when you don't want to.
And black coffee.
And destiny.
Shouldn't you be filming
this Insta-perfect moment?
It's perfect because I'm not.
Three, two, one.
Hello, Denver!
Merry Christmas!
Mom. How could you?
Well, uh, don't
need Google Translate
to sense the tension here.
Listen to me.
I love you both.
You are my whole world.
But this feud between
you is breaking my heart.
Dad, I, I couldn't
have done it without you.
Look, I meant no disrespect
in leaving, Baba.
Y-you cannot teach someone
to dream,
then not let them dream.
Now, I am happy.
Hello, I'm Ming.
Hi. Oh, it's so
nice to meet you.
I'm Tricia.
Oh, I know all of you already.
Been watching Maya's TikTok.
So fun and emotional.
Aw, thank you.
I really needed that right now.
Come. I have gifts
for all of you.
Let's go into the house.
It is tradition.
I'll be right in.
Hey, I'm almost there.
No, don't, don't say that.
I am not a bad mother.
Matt, just put her on the phone.
Put her on the phone.
Matt. Matt.
But I used to work in energy.
- Oh, can you elaborate?
- Nope.
So what does
Christmas mean to you?
Not what it used to.
It's hard to believe
that she wouldn't at
least say goodbye.
What if something
happened to her?
Should we call the authorities?
Mom, chill. She took her stuff.
It's just so weird.
Did she say anything to you?
I mean, you two seem to have
formed a genuine connection.
I don't have any more
information than you.
I'm sure she had her reasons.
Looks like someone found
a little Christmas spirit.
Yeah, well.
Now Dusty, you never mentioned
why you're heading to Denver.
See my daughter.
Oh, what's her name?
- Annie.
- Aw.
- I love that name.
- Yeah.
Well, she certainly
loves Christmas.
Well, that's one
thing we have in common.
I mean, besides you, of course.
You know, may-maybe
this was a bad idea.
You know, wh-what if
she doesn't like me?
Oh, Honey.
You know, someone
really cool once told me
that if you connect
your self worth
to what other people think,
you'll never truly be happy.
Now, do you wanna be
helped, heard or hugged?
What do you think?
Okay, okay. Now go.
Get your bag, sweetheart.
Oh, thank you.
We are all so lucky we met.
Ben's lucky to have
you. Remember that.
Thank you.
Tricia, hi. Hi.
I'm so happy you're here.
Can I take your bags?
Oh, sure.
This may be the end of our
journey, but it's not goodbye.
Stop. Let's go again.
All good things
eventually come to an end.
Cut. Ah, let's just,
let's go again.
When life gives you
lemons, make lemonade.
- Really?
- Seriously.
I can just do it
later. No biggie.
Just a lot of pressure
when you're all like here,
watching me, IRL.
In real life.
Well, real life can
be hard sometimes,
But totally worth it.
You're a really good guy, even
though you pretend not to be.
Thanks. You're pretty
awesome yourself.
Even though you
don't know it yet.
I hope you both get everything
you want for Christmas.
You too.
- Bye, Maya.
- Bye.
You sure we can't
take you somewhere else?
Nope. This'll do.
All right.
Take care, Dusty.
Have a nice holiday
with your daughter.
I, I'm sorry that we
didn't get to meet her.
Yeah, she would've liked you.
Guess this is it.
I guess so. Thanks
for making room for me.
Well, I'm glad I did.
Look, I know you jump out
of planes and, and oceans,
and who knows what else.
You really think you have the
courage to just jump blindly?
Into love?
- Dana! Come on.
- We're leaving.
- I should go.
- Yeah, no, me too.
Goodbye, Clay.
I hope everything
works out for you.
Just like I planned.
Hey, Dana.
Be careful out there.
That's no fun.
Merry Christmas, Annie.
You would not believe
what I went through
to get here this year.
Portland to Denver in a
van full of strangers.
I know what you'd say,
"Recipe for disaster."
And I thought the same.
But it wasn't.
Met some great folks.
Learned how to post,
#old dog new tricks.
I mean, uh,
I'd go so far as to say
it was one of the best
trips I ever went on.
Well, not including the
ones with you, of course.
I'm so sorry we couldn't
have more of 'em.
I got caught up trying
to provide for you.
I couldn't see that all
you wanted was was me.
Here, honey, I want you
to meet my friend, Dusty.
Dusty, this is my
daughter, Grace.
- Amazing Grace.
- It's nice to meet you.
Mommy, can I go
play in the snow?
Yeah. Stay close.
How'd you find me?
Dana told me where
they dropped you.
It's all there.
I've, um, I've never done
anything like that before.
I just wanted to show that
I could be a good mom,
that I could provide.
Here's what I can tell
you about being a parent.
No one ever gets it a
hundred percent right.
I sure didn't.
And now, for me,
it's too late.
I lost Annie three
years ago. Car accident.
I can't even imagine.
It's not too late
for you, Ember.
I don't even know
where to start.
Start with this.
You find yourself a place
to live here in Denver.
I'm not taking
your money, Dusty.
Oh, you'd be doing me a
bigger favor than I'm doing you.
So take it. Please.
I don't know how to thank you.
That's easy. Just
start singing again.
Yeah, okay. I can
start singing again.
If you're there to listen.
I can do that.
Oh, it's on. Little
Hi y'all. For those of you
still watching, thank you.
And for those of you who aren't,
I'm okay with that.
Our Van Clan journey
has come to an end.
And what a
wild ride it has been.
I know, for me, it's changed
the way I see the holidays.
I love it. It's
exactly what I wanted.
I used to think Christmas meant
dressing up in fancy clothes,
sipping on champagne,
and getting a ton of
presents from my parents
who are stranded in
New York this year.
Love you guys.
But the holidays
are so much more.
It's a time to be with
the people we love.
Even if we have to travel
halfway around the world
during the busiest
time of the year,
just so we can see their faces.
It's totally worth it.
So when the ER doctor
finished examining him,
he asked what's
his favorite food?
And I said, "Carrots."
That's why he was orange?
Yep. Mother of the year.
You are. I mean that.
I never could have
given him this life.
Not back then.
Well, you're in his life now
and that's what matters.
Hey Mom, and Beth,
uh, check this out.
Because Christmas has a way
of bringing people together,
families and friends,
or friends who become family,
reminding us that the
greatest Christmas gift of all
is luck.
What are you doing?
I know how much you like
tinsel so I brought you this.
You flew up here to
give me an ornament?
That and, uh,
I want to jump.
Okay, you're not really dressed
- for it-
- No, no, no, no, no.
I mean, I mean with you.
I'm wrong again, aren't I?
Oh wow, uh. Oh no.
I mean just 'cause I was feeling
something you weren't, I.
It's nice to meet the old Clay.
It's nice to have him back.
So how do we get down?
- Oh, we jump.
- What?
I'm kidding. We'll
take the chopper.
Oh, okay.
We gotta go. We got
somewhere we have to be.
Love in all its many forms.
I learned that
from eight complete strangers.
In any other circumstance,
we would've never met.
I mean, you could see how
different we all were,
but somehow our goal of
getting home for Christmas
put us on common ground,
allowing us to share
stories, laughter, and love.
And in the end,
truly embrace that destiny
was our destination.
Shout out to my Van Clan
family. Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas!
Aw, you guys.
You said it right.
Holidays are a time to be
with the people we love.
- Girl.
- Hi.