The Christmas Train (2017) Movie Script

Good morning, Washington!
Only four days until Christmas,
and it's a cold one out there!
But to warm us up,
here are the soothing sounds
of Mr. Michael Bubl!
Sleigh bells ring
Are you listenin'?
In the lane
Snow is glistenin'
A beautiful sight
We're happy tonight
in a winter wonderland
Gone away
is the blue bird
Here to stay
is a new bird
To sing a love song
While we stroll along
in a winter wonderland
In the meadow
we can build a snowman...
-Hey, Helen.
Can you take us with you?
With a family like yours,
I would never want to go anywhere.
These go under the tree.
Oh, you shouldn't have.
And here's this guy.
Well, we'll take
good care of her for you.
You always do.
Thanks, Helen.
I loved that article
on sofas you did
in the Ladies' Weekly.
Oh, you're too kind.
Merry Christmas, Helen.
Thank you.
You too, Tom.
Do you really need
all that stuff?
You know I'm an over-packer.
I know you're an over-spender.
Uh, Mr. Powers?
You're Max Powers,
the movie director, right?
Guilty as charged.
Wow. I've seen
every one of your films.
-Can I get a selfie?
-Are you anyone?
I still cannot believe
you talked me into flying
all the way from L.A.
Just to ride the train
back home with you.
How else are you going to write
a script about a train?
Look, I really appreciate
the opportunity,
but I think you should
probably find somebody else.
I mean, I'm a script doctor.
I help fix other people's movies.
I don't think I'm ready
to write one myself.
You know you're the daughter
that I never had.
You have four kids.
All boys, and since you're like
a daughter to me,
I can tell you,
you have confidence issues.
Max... You're too good to be
re-writing other people's stories.
It's time you put
your name on something,
and what a better way to start
than romance on a train?
I feel something magical happening
for you this Christmas Eve.
That's our wedding day!
Is it?
-How did you know?
-Oh, my goodness!
Looks like we'll be
leaving right on time.
-That's good.
-Yes, certainly is.
People rely on us, you know.
You work for the trains?
Did, for most of my life.
I'm just a passenger now.
You ride often?
Well, it's been a while...
10 years.
-Oh, that is a while.
Actually, I thought
I'd never get on one again.
-Ah. Too many stops?
-Too many stops, you might say.
Tom Langdon.
Herrick Higgins.
My friends call me Higgins.
Higgins it is.
-Excuse me.
Hi, Leila.
I was just about to call you.
Please tell me
you're not canceling.
No, no, I'll be there.
Christmas day,
just like we planned.
In fact, I'm leaving now...
On a train.
I'm taking the train.
All the way to Los Angeles?
You can't be serious.
It's for a story.
So you need
to be on a train
to write a story?
Yes, it's a story
about Christmas on a train.
-I'll be there. I promise.
-I hope so.
Relationship problems?
Excuse me?
I'm sorry, I just--
I couldn't help but overhear.
Was that your wife?
Girlfriend, then.
How much did you
actually overhear?
Oh, you know, just...
Like, a tad.
A tad?
But don't worry.
It'll all come out on the train.
It always does.
All aboard!
There's a guy down there
writing a story.
-About the Christmas train!
Yes. Oh, yes, sorry.
Welcome aboard.
What's that,
A Christmas Carol?
I haven't read that one
in a long time.
It's my wife's.
I promised her that
I'd re-read the classics.
A lofty goal.
Afraid I haven't started yet.
Welcome aboard, Mr. Kelly.
Welcome aboard, Mr... Langdon.
Thank you, and it's Tom.
Tom. I hear you're writing a story
about the Christmas train.
Word travels fast around here.
You have no idea.
You're in compartment D.
You're right next to me.
Don't worry,
you'll get to know Agnes,
whether you want to or not.
Merry Christmas.
Don't tell me
you already started writing.
Well, if you consider staring
at a blank page writing, then yes.
I hope you're not planning
to do this whole thing
from your room.
The inspiration is out there,
not in here.
Max, we haven't even
left the station yet.
Exactly, so live a little.
Take it in.
Is this how it's going to be
the whole way?
I've been making movies
for a long time,
and you know the one word
that starts everything off?
I'll be in the lounge car,
cavorting with my fellow passengers.
Have fun.
"And so it begins,
"a 3,000-mile trek across America
"in four days.
I hope there's a story here."
Do I have to pay a toll
to pass through?
Oh, don't be.
It's nice to see two young people
who can't live without each other.
And we won't, will we?
We're getting married on the train.
Is the whole wedding party on board?
No, just us.
Well, that's all you need, right?
I'm Steve, and that's Julie.
Tom, and this is Agnes.
Yeah, excuse me.
Pardon me.
Yep... Agnes.
And remember,
Tuesday is your lucky day.
What's my lucky day?
Have a seat and I'll tell you.
You're a psychic?
I know things.
You could call it intuition.
I'm kind of more of a fact guy.
That might change along the way.
What are you drinking?
What do you got?
Uh, we got Santa-tini,
the Red Rudolph, the Grinch...
What's in the Grinch?
Drink one
and you'll think every day
is Christmas.
I'll have a Grinch.
Make that two.
Hey, is that the original
P42 cap engine?
16 cylinders, 4,250 horsepower?
Right you are.
What that thing couldn't outrun,
it would run right over.
You're a train man, huh?
Ah, well, my dad
had a thing for the trains.
Mine too.
He put me on one when I was 16
and told me, "Don't come back
until you make something
of yourself."
Max Powers.
The director?
Guilty as charged.
I'm a big fan.
Tom Langdon.
-Tom, where are you heading?
I'm guessing you're not
in any big hurry to get there?
Why do you say that?
You are taking a train.
Well, I'm actually on board
looking for a story.
You're a writer?
Um, a journalist, or at least I was.
I was a war correspondent,
way back when.
Now the most
dangerous thing I cover
is the hazardous pitfalls
of home barbecuing.
Who's this one for?
This one's for my dad...
His last wish.
Mark Twain is a distant relative,
and apparently,
he wanted to write a story
about train travel
and never did, so hopefully I can.
There's something
about a train, right?
There is.
My next movie's
going to take place on one.
Oh, wow.
You know,
I just had a brainstorm.
You and my writer should team up,
I mean, just for the research part..
swap notes, stories you've heard,
and the pulse of America on a train.
Well, thank you for the offer,
but, uh...
I'm more accustomed to working alone.
Of course, I'll pay you.
No, no, it's not that.
I did have a partner once,
and, well, it just
didn't work out that well.
Yeah, I understand.
I had a few partners myself, but
at least join us for dinner tonight.
How could I say no to Max Powers?
Trust me. You can't.
All right, Max.
Good to meet you.
"I just want to be your friend."
Hold on, I need to take this.
Hello, Tom.
Hey. Listen, I feel bad
about our conversation before.
I didn't think
my mode of transportation
would upset you.
Well, it did.
I mean, you have
four days to spend
with your covered wagon,
but no time for me?
We really need
to discuss this relationship.
I was thinking the same thing.
I am so happy you feel the same way.
Yeah, I was hoping
we could talk about it
when I get there?
Okay, great, I'll see you soon.
But not too soon, I guess.
Merry Christmas.
Hey, Tom!
Have a seat.
Thank you, Max.
My writer is running a bit behind.
A few hours on the train,
she's already got writer's block.
Merry Christmas, gentlemen.
Thank you, Roxanne.
Let me see...
For you.
Oh, I needed a pen.
Mine's gone AWOL.
Oh, here she is.
This is my writer, Eleanor Carter.
You two know each other?
-A little. No.
Not really.
It was a lifetime ago.
And yet not long enough.
No one calls me that anymore.
-Take a seat.
-Do I have to?
-I'll go.
Uh-uh, nobody's going anywhere.
Whatever went on between you two
in this "other lifetime,"
that can be settled here.
it's almost Christmas.
I see you still have
that old notebook.
I see you've given yours up.
Nobody uses paper anymore.
Ah, it always worked for me.
iPads, paper...
Whatever gets the story out, right?
Funny, I never would have pictured you
in Hollywood.
And I never pictured the man
who was going to change the world
writing about "his and her closets".
Oh, so you read it.
In the waiting room
of my dentist's, yeah.
You know, the interesting thing
about "his and her closets"
is the "her" doesn't get up
and run off without explanation.
And the "his" always
stays shut and empty.
You know, I'm going
to get off at the next stop.
There you go, running off again.
I've never seen her like that.
I'm afraid I...
I bring out the worst in her.
I should go after her...
Unless you want to.
No, I'm afraid
it's a little late for that.
-Can I come in?
-Sure, Max.
-You okay?
Just kind of caught me
off guard, you know?
He's the one you told me about?
The one that broke your heart.
I'm sorry.
I had no idea.
How could you?
Anyway, it's ancient history.
How long were you together?
-Six years.
-That's a long time.
We met on assignment,
traveled the globe together,
from one war-torn country to the next,
trying to change the world.
Anyway, that kind of thing
takes its toll, you know?
Being in love?
I just couldn't live
like that anymore.
Apparently, he could.
But he's not now.
That doesn't matter.
I left all that behind
when I came to work for you.
So working for me
was an escape from your feelings.
Hollywood isn't real.
Movies have happy endings.
-Well, maybe this is fate.
-No, it's not.
This is bad luck, that's all.
Tom Langdon was the biggest mistake
of my life.
You, uh, see anything out there?
Just a dark night.
My wife used to say,
"There never was a problem
that could defeat sunrise
or Christmas."
I'll remember that.
-Is she traveling with you?
She passed a few months back.
I'm so sorry.
We would have been married 40 years.
A lifetime.
I'm guessing that you're having
a pretty rough night, too.
The dining car tables
are pretty close.
I saw someone on the train tonight
I never thought I'd see again.
And she hates me.
-She did seem a little upset.
We didn't have the years together
you had, but we were happy.
I thought we were.
What happened?
We were in Jerusalem,
covering a story,
and out of the blue,
she says she wants to go home.
She asked me to go with her.
She wouldn't explain.
I was stubborn.
I watched her get on a train
and disappear from my life.
Tom Langdon.
John Kelly.
Chugging down the tracks
in 2,000 tons of pure steel...
Trapped in a tin can...
I always hoped I'd see her again.
With the one person
I never wanted to see.
Why do I suddenly feel
like a war correspondent again?
I need to get off this train.
Train number 17
to Newark now leaving Bay 2.
A winter storm
is pushing into the Rockies.
I think you should take on
an extra engine in La Junta.
-I'll pass that along.
-Thanks, Higgins.
That Higgins...
Once a railroad man,
always a railroad man.
He probably should still be one.
As far as I'm concerned,
he knows more about trains
than anyone I have ever met.
-Why did he quit?
-Oh, he didn't quit.
They let him go.
Norman! How's your mom doing?
How does she know everyone?
Oh, she's been riding the train
just about as long as I have,
and I've had a courtship
with this one for 20 years.
I seem to have lost a charm bracelet.
Has anyone turned one in?
Well, no, not yet, Miss Larson,
but I'll keep a lookout. Thank you.
No problem.
Have other passengers
reported things missing?
You too?
Well, it's just an old pen.
I can't imagine anyone would take it.
It's not worth anything, except to me.
-Well, I'll keep a lookout.
We leave in an hour.
-Don't make me have to come find you.
Everything okay?
It's terrible.
It's just a little snag.
Our minister was supposed
to board here, and now he's not.
He slipped on the ice
and he broke his arm.
It's a sign.
It sounds like winter in the Midwest.
This was supposed to be
the happiest time of our lives.
It still can be.
Not if your parents have their way.
Your parents don't approve?
Steve's father
doesn't think I'm good enough.
They're high-society Washington,
and I'm just some girl
from small-town Kentucky.
I work at his firm.
He said it would be a bad career
move if I didn't stop seeing her.
Well, 20 years from now,
you'll be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do
than the things you did.
-Is that from personal experience?
That's from Mark Twain.
You know, my grandmother
did marry my granddad
in a train station.
See, everything is going to be
just fine.
-Did you, uh, get your flight out?
-I'm working on it.
-I heard somewhere you got married.
-And divorced.
-Oh. Sorry.
-It's okay.
And I take it you never got married?
No, I'm seeing someone
off and on, in L.A. Mm-hmm?
I guess since the chances
of us ever seeing each other again
are pretty slim, can you tell me now?
Tell you what?
We were so happy.
You just... Walked out on me.
-Is that how you remember it?
-That's how it was.
I knew this was going to happen
as soon as I saw you. I.. I knew..
No, Ellie, I'm not trying to..
It's Eleanor.
Forgive me for living in the past
when you were just Ellie.
We didn't even fight.
You just left.
It's not like I suddenly changed.
No, Tom, you didn't.
You never changed.
I guess I did.
Deck the halls
with boughs of holly
'Tis the season
to be jolly
-You're up late.
-Yeah. You too, Agnes.
Oh, I..
I never sleep.
I wouldn't want to miss out on
anything. And I'm sure you haven't.
I'm sorry how things went
with Eleanor, in the dining car.
No secrets on a train,
especially the Christmas train.
Yeah, I'm starting to get that.
I've seen enough to know
that two people
who can make each other that miserable
must have really been in love.
So are you spending some time
with family for the holidays,
somewhere along the line?
Not necessarily.
-So... You're just riding the train?
-Is that a problem?
Uh, no. No.
Just making conversation.
You have a tree.
Wouldn't be Christmas without one.
-Good night, Agnes.
-Good night.
Christmas is only
a week and a few days away
And you haven't
seen your folks
Since Thanksgiving Day
I'll say it
loud and clear
I'll say it plain
You won't want
to miss this year...
Good morning, Tom!
Great news.
Eleanor changed her mind.
She's decided to stay on
and carve out the story with you.
Actually, all the flights are booked.
Everything's booked solid
for Christmas.
Well, I like to see it another way.
Max Powers always gets what he wants.
That's right.
So you can co-exist on this train
for a few days.
Although it does get a little
smaller the longer you're on it.
-Life is full of funny coincidences.
I went to lunch in an expensive cafe
in Beverly Hills
a few months ago, and who's there?
Not one, not two, but all three
of my ex-wives.
Apparently, they meet every Tuesday
to talk about how awful
it was to be married to me.
Yeah, sort of like a book club.
So, tell me, what have you learned
on the train so far?
That's Agnes.
She seems to know everybody
and have no destination.
She's either very nosy,
or there's something else going on.
And, uh...
That's Mr. John Kelly.
He's lost his wife
and, I suppose, himself.
Misty, who offers up random
information and calls it intuition.
Oh, and we have a love story
on board, yeah. Steve and Julie.
They're eloping.
He's big-city society, she's small-town
Kentucky, parents don't approve,
and they've lost their minister
and they have no one to marry them.
All of that in one day?
Has it only been one day?
Oh, and...
We might have a thief on board.
I can't find my sunglasses.
Because you leave them everywhere.
Or because someone took them.
Or you're creating a story
when there isn't one.
I guess we'll see.
-Good morning, Tom.
-Oh, hey, Julie, Steve. Morning.
-Hey. This is Eleanor Carter...
-Hi. And Mr. Max Powers.
Max Powers, we heard you were
on board.
-We've seen all your movies.
-I hope you see my next one.
-Eleanor's writing it.
-Oh, how exciting.
You know, it so happens
that I'm not just a director.
I'm also licensed to perform weddings.
Since when?
You don't know everything about me.
If you're still looking for someone
to officiate, I'd be honored.
-And what if I throw the wedding?
-Food, flowers, music...
It could be a Max Powers production.
Mr. Powers, we don't know
what to say.
We'd say yes.
And thank you!
This is wonderful.
My parents got married on a train.
I thought you said grandparents.
Oh. Yeah.
That's what I meant. I'm just
so excited, I can barely talk.
Oh, I hope you remember
how to say "I do".
So you're from Kentucky?
I don't hear an accent.
Ah, well, we moved around a lot
when I was a kid.
Anyway, I feel like
the luckiest girl in world.
You and Steve make a wonderful couple.
Thank you.
Yeah. I just wish Steve's parents
felt that way too.
You know, Tom and I
went through something similar.
City boy, country girl.
We couldn't have been more different,
but none of that mattered,
and it shouldn't for you guys.
And you're still together.
Oh, no, we're not,
but we were for very a long time.
My point is, if you want
to make it work, you can.
Come on, you two.
Let's talk about this wedding...
On Christmas Eve day, we're going to be
in a little place called La Junta...
You believe all that?
I did when I was her age.
I kind of still remember it
differently, and for the record,
I want you to know, I always liked
that you were a country girl.
Tom, why are you on this train, really?
What do you mean?
You were always the guy who wanted
to get there as fast as possible.
I probably wouldn't be,
except I made a promise to my dad.
-How is your dad?
-He died a while back.
-Oh, no. I'm sorry.
That's all right. Thanks.
He always really liked you.
I liked him, too.
Hey, is your mom okay?
How's she doing?
Oh, healthy as a horse,
and still criticizing my every move.
She never really liked me, huh?
No, but she doesn't like anybody, so...
Your move.
If you have one.
Who's he?
Really full of himself.
He says he's a grand chess master.
Likes to ride the rails
and play and stay sharp,
but if you ask me,
he just likes embarrassing people.
Excuse me.
-What was that, eight moves?
-What does it matter?
-It was eight.
And in your script?
The chess master gets annihilated
in the first act. Who's next?
State champion four years running.
Good for you.
So who'd you end up marrying?
Oh, well, he was pretty much
the polar opposite of you.
Oh, I'll try not
to take that personally.
It didn't last long.
And what about
your long-distance thing?
Probably better
if it stays long distance.
We see each other
just a couple of times a year,
and that seems to be enough.
Checkmate again!
Isn't there anybody out there
who can give me a good game?
Yeah, she will. What? No, no, no,
I haven't played in years.
I can't.. I don't want to..
I'm pretty sure you'll remember.
Uh, you do realize this isn't checkers.
Lucky for me,
I'm not any good at checkers.
Ladies first.
Oh. Thank you.
Let's see...
Did you just throw her
into the lion's den?
She learned the game from a rabbi
in Tel Aviv. One strategy.
She can tell in three moves
whether her opponent has bitten.
It usually works
best on the best players,
because they're overconfident.
And that would be checkmate.
Merry Christmas.
Spoil sport.
That was awesome.
Thank you.
You really nailed that guy!
Did you see his face?
You see anything out there?
Just keeping an eye on the weather.
Old habit.
Misty tells me
my next movie's going to be a hit.
Well, aren't they all?
It's a lovely watch.
Souvenir from one of your movies?
How do you do this, Misty?
May I?
"To Max from your devoted cast".
Well, I've got a wedding to plan.
Give it a shot.
You have nothing to lose.
Can I borrow that a moment?
This book has been a lot of places.
Hence the cracked leather cover.
Last time you were on a train,
you lost the love of your life.
Good guess.
There's something else.
A surprise is coming your way.
I like surprises.
I'm not sure you'll like this one.
Well, okay.
-What are you drinking, Tom?
-I'll have what he's having.
Hot chocolate coming up.
One candy cane or two?
You'd better make it two.
-Any progress?
Still on page one.
How are things with you and Eleanor?
Still on page one.
Here you go.
I added some whipped cream
on the house. The holidays and all...
-What happened to your model train?
-Oh... Good question.
It wasn't here
when I came in this morning.
I asked maintenance,
but they haven't seen it either.
-A toast, then.
-All right.
Here's to finding
things that we've lost.
To finding things we've lost.
Oh, hi, Roxanne.
Tonight's menu.
Oh. Thank you.
-How's the story going?
-Mm, actually, I'm a little stuck.
-Do you mind?
-Uh, no. Come in.
One of the little benefits
of train travel
that you don't get on a plane...
Come here.
Oh, wow.
-That feels amazing.
I just love looking out at this land
without a piece of glass
or anything else in the way.
-How'd you come to work on a train?
-It's pretty much in my blood.
Most everyone I grew up with works
on the train, but this one is special.
There's something
about this Christmas train,
I don't know if it's the magic
of the season or what,
but it has a way
of turning strangers into family.
I would have thought all trains
were the same. No, no, no, no, no.
This one is special.
It brought you and Tom
back together again, after all.
That's right, honey, everyone knows.
Ancient history. Well, you know
what they say about history...
It has a way of repeating itself.
They also say
never make the same mistake twice.
Well, they also say
Christmas comes once a year,
but true love may only come
once in a lifetime.
-Who says that?
I'm just not sure
I need love to be happy, Roxanne.
Don't be so sure
that you don't need it, either.
You trying to slip by me?
I didn't see you there, Agnes.
Well, there's a lot of things
you're not seeing.
-What do you mean?
-Think of a chess game.
You can either make your first move,
or you can wait and wait and wait
until your queen is gone
and you're off the table.
-You're quite the philosopher.
-Well, thank you.
I.. I try.
Silent night
Holy night
All is calm
All is bright
Round yon virgin
Mother and child
Holy infant
So tender and mild...
These boys will be joining us
for the rest of our trip.
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
That's just what Christmas music
is supposed to sound like.
They're performing
in our sister church's holiday show.
You know, I just might
be in attendance at that.
Well, you would not regret it.
-How long is the layover?
-Two hours and 12 minutes.
-Don't be late.
-All right, who's hungry?
Okay, well, let's go get some food.
So about your thief on board,
it turns out you might be right.
"My" thief?
I'm missing some earrings.
I'm sorry to hear that.
Are you?
I do like you saying I'm right.
I said you "might" be right.
Expensive earrings?
Actually, they were from you.
It was our first Christmas together.
I'm surprised you kept them.
I keep a lot of things.
What's the matter?
Steve's parents called.
They found out we were eloping
and they threatened to disown him
if he married me,
and he didn't say anything!
He didn't stand up for me.
Where is he?
I'm not even sure he's coming back.
You get in one of those cabs,
there's no coming back.
Maybe it's the best for both of us.
-Do you love her?
It's just, it's...
It's not that simple.
Well, it is, actually.
She may be the only woman
in the entire world
who you'll love
and will make you happy.
You don't know that now.
You think that when it gets tough,
you'll just find somebody else,
but maybe you won't.
If you blow this,
you might live the rest of your life
regretting it.
Where to, mister?
Thanks. We won't be needing you
tonight, buddy.
-Okay. Happy holidays.
-Same to you.
That was a nice thing you did.
Well, why stand by and let
someone else mess up his life?
-It's ironic...
The two of us giving them advice.
Or to anyone.
Hey, guys.
We want to ask you something.
Eleanor, would you be my maid of honor?
And will you be my best man?
If it wasn't for what you said,
we might not even have a wedding.
Well, I think you're giving me
a little too much credit.
-So is that a yes?
-Yes, of course.
Yeah. We'd be honored.
Come on.
Well, you must be pretty nervous,
being in a wedding.
Oh, no, I'm okay with
other people's weddings. Oh.
Come on.
I want to buy something.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire?
That too.
Come with me.
O Christmas tree
O Christmas tree...
Where are we going?
Oh, hey.
Oh, yeah.
-For you.
-Thank you.
And this one is for Agnes.
She has a little tree.
You're starting to like this Agnes.
I find Agnes to be one of the most
irritating people
I've ever met, and yeah, I like her.
Here you go. All right,
we have an hour and 47 minutes.
Should we go back and write?
-Come on.
-What? Where?
What are you doing?
It's beginning to look
a lot like Christmas...
-And this is advancing my script how?
-Maybe your main character's a dancer.
Oh, okay,
and why is she taking the train?
Got to get home for Christmas.
She meets someone,
a stranger in the lounge car...
Oh, how about the bartender,
dressed as Santa,
who, beneath the fake beard,
turns out he's
her long-lost dance partner.
And she never got over him.
-Oh, she got over him.
Yeah. Hmm. Well, she never danced
the same again.
Well, she just...
Moved on to other things.
Can I ask you something? Mm-hmm.
You were a great journalist.
-Why did you abandon it?
-Turns out I prefer fiction.
-Over real life?
Isn't that why you started
writing fluff pieces? I don't know.
Maybe because I lost
my sense of adventure.
I doubt that.
Or I used it all up with you.
When you left,
everything was different.
I guess I realized I couldn't change
the world after all at least, not alone.
I don't know
if we could have changed it together.
It sure felt like we could.
When I first started this trip,
it was for my dad,
but now it feels like more.
What if it's not coincidence
that we're both here?
-What else could it be?
-I don't know.
Do you believe in second chances?
Excuse me. Hello.
May I have your names, please?
Merry Christmas.
It's beginning to look
a lot like Christmas...
-Made it!
-Made it with two minutes to spare.
-Two minutes?
What are we going to do
with two minutes?
I don't know.
I'm pretty sure that's holly.
Maybe you don't know this,
but the tradition
of kissing under the mistletoe first
started in a small Bavarian town...
Oh, yeah?
And the original plant was holly.
Are you making this up?
Well, over the decades, holly was
gradually replaced by mistletoe
because mistletoe, like love,
blossoms even in the coldest winters.
-You're totally making this up.
-I'm totally making this up.
-What's wrong?
-Oh, uh, my timing is so bad.
I'm riding this covered wagon with
you all the way to California!
Uh... Hi.
Can you believe
it's my first time on a train?
Isn't this charming?
Well, we'll just have
to make the best of it.
That's all I get,
after traveling all this way?
I couldn't even get a direct flight.
I had to fly through Denver.
I'm just...
I'm surprised to see you,
especially after
our last few phone calls.
That's why I'm here.
I wanted to talk in person.
I didn't want to wait until Christmas.
I really appreciate
that you came all this way.
I was going to say all this
when I got there.
I just want you to know,
despite any of our conflicts
or disappointments, I--
No, no. This long-distance thing
has run its course.
I couldn't agree more.
I want to get married.
-To who?
-To you, silly.
I've thought of everything.
You'll move to L.A., because you can
work anywhere, and...
I know marriage is a lifetime,
every day, good times, bad times,
sickness, health, et cetera,
and I am ready for all of that.
I'm tired of being casual.
I want the whole package.
I can see that this
is a lot to throw at you.
Don't answer me now.
Take your time and think about it.
We have two days to L.A., right?
I think I'm going to go to the bar.
When will you be back?
Two days?
Well, I guess I dodged a bullet.
Something you're good at.
I'm just saying, you're waving
that white flag awfully fast.
Why am I even seeking advice
from someone who's been
married three times?
My one big love
was my first wife, Patti.
Married out of high school,
dirt poor, couldn't be happier.
I was just starting to make it
when she passed away.
I loved her more than
I ever loved anyone or anything.
I'll always love her.
My three ex-wives?
In a way, I loved them,
I guess, but not like Patti.
If she had lived, I would have never
looked at another woman.
You never told me.
Well, one of the few things
I keep to myself.
I'm telling you now
because I understand the urge
to close yourself off
when your heart is broken.
I'm pretty sure that Tom
was your one great love,
and from what I can tell,
you were his.
Are you really going to let it
slip away this time?
Happy endings are for movies, Max.
Life can be like a movie sometimes,
and you are a really good writer.
I only seem to know
how to fix other people's stories.
Well, then, maybe it's time
you re-write your own.
You look worried.
A storm in the Rockies.
-You think it's trouble?
-I don't know.
I'm probably inventing problems
just so I can feel useful again.
Who knows, in 10 years, trains
could be a thing of the past.
And what will we do then?
We'll tell people
how wonderful they were to ride.
Tom, there you are.
You won't believe what's happened.
Our wedding bands are missing.
I think someone took them
when we got off in Chicago.
If this isn't a sign,
I don't know what is.
This might be more of a thief
than a sign.
I will tie a string
around your finger if I have to.
Look who we found.. our maid of honor.
A Christmas present.
They were given to me
many Christmases ago, in Kenya.
They're good luck.
They're beautiful.
Well, they go wherever I go,
and they've brought me here.
We can't accept these.
Well, they belong on someone's hand,
not in a duffel bag.
Thank you, Tom.
We won't forget this.
-Thank you.
-Of course.
Wow. Can you believe this?
I can't believe you kept those rings.
I suppose I have a hard time
giving some things up.
Not that hard.
-Please, let me try to explain..
-You don't need to.
I wasn't expecting her.
It was a total surprise.
I was going to L.A.
To break it off.
I know she felt the same way.
Well, apparently, you were wrong.
No, I.. I'm not.
There's something off about this.
Just... It doesn't make any sense.
She would never fly
to the middle of nowhere.
I mean, not for me, anyway.
Tom, we both know that love makes
people do strange things.
It's not love.
Ho, ho, ho!
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun, it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun, it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun, it is to ride...
Come in!
-Oh, wow, you look great.
-Gorgeous, right?
This dress is one-of-a-kind.
You're not going to believe
who I ran into in the club car.
Oh, before we get into all of that,
uh, can we talk?
Max Powers! Did I ever tell you
that I auditioned for him once?
I really thought he was going
to hire me, and if he had,
my career would be on a whole
different trajectory.
I thought you liked your career. Of
course I don't. I'm a cartoon rodent.
Here's the best part..
He's invited us to dinner.
This could be a huge break for me.
-Uh, Lelia, I.. I..
-No, we can talk later.
-Come on, we're going to be late.
-Uh, okay...
I do voice-over work now.
Actually, I'm the voice
of Cuppy the Beaver.
I would love to get
back on the big screen.
Tom says that you're working
on a new script.
Eleanor is.
-Tom's been quite helpful.
-Not that helpful.
I agree.
I read for you once.
It was for
Bells of Christmas.
I always wondered
why I didn't get the part.
Obviously, one of my biggest mistakes.
Well, now you have
a chance to correct it.
I'm all for second chances.
This appears
to be quite a fortuitous trip.
Did you know Tom and Eleanor
used to know each other?
Well, it was a long time ago.
-We worked together.
Yeah, war correspondents.
What a coincidence. Yeah.
I forgot you did all that.
You're too modest, Tom.
You did win a Manchester Award
for journalism.
They don't give those away
to anybody. Actually, he won two.
I never knew that.
Yeah. You must miss it.
Ah, sometimes, but now
I get to investigate the pros
and cons of memory-foam pillows.
Well, it was so nice
of you to come out here and join Tom.
Well, I had a question to ask him
that just couldn't wait.
-Oh. What's that?
-To marry me.
So... are, uh...
congratulations in order?
Uh... No, we haven't, um, really...
He's still mustering up the courage
to say yes.
Well, I'm sure
he'll make the right decision.
So, um, what's this script about?
And, more importantly,
is there a part in it for me?
I'm leaning toward
a Christmas love story,
but I'm not sure Eleanor's
on the same page.
I'm happy to audition on the train.
We're all stuck here together, right?
It's a Wonderful Life,
one of my favorites.
They're showing
It's a Wonderful Life.
-Come with us.
-Oh, uh, no, thanks.
That one makes me cry. It's good
to cry every once in a while.
You two go.
I'm going to write.
Oh, we don't want
to get in the way of inspiration.
I'm going to turn in.
Good night.
-It's early.
-It feels late.
Listen, I know how awful this seems..
you know what, tomorrow's Christmas Eve
and we have a wedding, someone
else's wedding, so... Let's just go
and perform our duties
and then say goodbye for good.
-So you're finally reading that book?
-Uh-huh. Yeah.
I figured it was about time
for me to turn a page or two.
Maybe you should do the same.
Thanks for the advice.
I'm only saying that you and Eleanor
obviously belong together.
Don't let something from the past
keep you apart.
Thanks, John.
Thank you so much
for working on Christmas Eve.
I'll be sure to use you
on all my train station weddings.
You're watching the sky a lot.
Can't see much
through those storm clouds.
Normally, Pike's Peak
is visible about now.
Yeah, I noticed the extra diesel.
Just a precaution.
Help us make it over the pass.
Excuse me.
Thank you for the ornament.
It was just what my tree needed,
and don't bother asking
how I knew who it was from.
-No, I know better than that.
I assume you saw the photo of my son?
Oh, I didn't mean to snoop.
Oh, well, of course you did.
You're looking for a story, right?
Well... He looks a lot like you.
Well, he's... He's all grown up.
And he lives in California.
-Oh, is that right?
So you'll be spending
the holidays with him?
Well, we haven't really
talked in a few years.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Well, it's just... How it is.
Not having a family myself,
I may not be the best to give advice,
but I will say this..
Don't let too much time pass
between you and the people
who are important to you.
-All right?
-Perhaps you're right.
-Perhaps you should tell her that.
-I tried.
Well, try harder.
-Beautiful, isn't it?
-Sure is.
-Can I borrow your scarf?
-Oh, sure.
-You cold?
-No, it's not that.
-Did something happen in Israel?
You boarded a train.
You had everything, and you ran away.
Did I say too much?
I didn't have everything.
That's funny, because I did.
I thought so.
Do you realize
that while we were together,
you were kidnapped once,
imprisoned twice, and almost killed?
You kept taking crazy risks
for the next story and the next story,
and when you left out the door,
I didn't know
if you were going to make it back.
-I didn't care about reporting anymore.
-I cared about you.
I just wanted to go home.
I wanted...
I wanted a white picket fence
and a husband who comes home
at the end of the day,
only you never asked.
You gave me just a few minutes
to make a decision.
I had been telling you for years.
You just didn't want to hear it.
It took me months to work up
the nerve to ask you to leave with me.
I got my answer.
Welcome, everyone, on this
wonderful Christmas Eve day.
I'm working without a script here,
but sometimes that's the best.
We don't always know
where life will take us,
especially when love's involved.
What I see before me are two people
who, despite the turns and twists on
the track, are meant to be together.
That's what true love is,
finding a way to be together,
no matter what,
and what better time than Christmas
to give someone your heart?
do you take Julie for your wife?
I do.
-I do!
There you go.
I now pronounce you
husband and wife.
You may kiss the bride now.
Go get
the ol' chimney sweeper
Make sure the chimney
is clear
Time to get hummin'
Santa is coming
I love
this time of the year
I'll set the tree
by the mantel
You wrap the presents
my dear
Let's make the dishes
everyone wishes
I love
this time of the year
The snowflakes...
-So I guess it's just you and me.
-Would you care to dance?
-With who?
Just don't step on my feet.
All right.
I can't wait
to join in the carols
Raise up
a couple good cheers
I wouldn't miss this
fabulous Christmas
I love
this time of the year...
-You've got some moves.
-Mm, I can sing, too.
-But can you cook?
-You'll find out.
Sounds like they're
on their first date.
I don't think
that's any of your business.
Okay, here we go.
One, two, three!
Oh, sorry.
-This was probably meant for you.
-No, no. You caught it.
Aren't you going to ask me to dance?
Maybe we could just talk.
Do you think Max
would throw our wedding?
Although I refuse
to get married on a train.
A destination wedding could be
nice, though. Maybe an island?
Though if I get a part
in this movie,
then I'll be on location,
and that might be a train,
so we'll just keep the options open.
Okay, uh, Lelia.. Am I rambling?
I'm just so excited.
The thought of never having to be
Cuppy the Beaver again...
Do you need more room,
to get down on one knee?
Or both knees
and beg your forgiveness.
-You don't want to marry me, Lelia.
-What are you talking about?
Well, I'm not the guy for you.
I think you already know that.
We both know what love looks like,
and it's not us.
So, what have we been doing
all this time, then?
I'm really sorry. And I'm sorry
I ever got on this train.
Looks like you have two women
who aren't talking to you now.
One more and you're in my league.
This is not the story
I wanted to write.
Sometimes, those are the ones
that end the best.
-Higgins, what's going on?
-I'm not sure.
We're not scheduled to stop
anywhere around here.
going to be just fine, folks.
-Oh, I'd say.
-Can we go through it?
-It's too risky.
We don't know what's on the other
side. So, what happens now?
-Can we back up?
-No, we can't do that either.
There was a report of a slide a
couple miles back, and the rail line
has been shut down.
I've been trying to reach the
dispatcher, but there's no service.
Radios and cell phones won't work.
I've got nothing.
Yeah. Me neither.
-What does this mean?
-It means... We're trapped.
The important thing
is to remain calm.
In the meantime,
we'll divide everyone
between this car and the dining car
to conserve energy.
That way, we're all together,
so bring your coats,
sweaters, and blankets.
-Our phones don't work.
-That's just the storm, baby.
How will anyone know we're here?
Okay, we're going to make this
an adventure, all right?
Let's go build a fort.
I've seen that look
on your face before.
The electricity comes from
the generators in the diesel engines,
so when we run out of fuel,
we'll lose all power.
It means no heat.
How long do you think we have?
I can't say, but it couldn't be too
many hours before they find us here.
Might be a bit longer than that.
-What do you mean?
-There's no cell service out here.
The mountains block the signal.
Engineer hasn't been able
to let control know we're stuck,
let alone where we are.
Anyway, I'd better
go help the passengers.
-Well, we've been through worse.
-We have.
Go get
the ol' chimney sweeper
Make sure the chimney
is clear
Time to get hummin'
Santa is coming
I love
this time of the year...
-We found some more. Ooh, excellent.
This is going to be
the strongest pillow fort
ever built on a train.
Thanks, Mr. Kelly!
We're still going
to have Christmas Eve, aren't we?
Of course we are.
The best Christmas ever.
You're really good with kids.
Did you have your own?
No, no, no.
My wife was a teacher.
I learned a few things.
Oh. Well, she taught you well.
You know,
you're always looking for a story.
How about that one?
"Mr. Kelly finds his Christmas spirit".
Well, you know, the thing is,
I spent so much time
chasing stories all over the place,
that I barely have one of my own.
I don't believe that.
I live with a houseplant that
spends more time with my neighbors
than with me.
I have friends all over the world...
Never see 'em.
Most of the time,
I'm completely alone.
Maybe you just got off-track.
Trainspeak, yeah.
-I broke it off with Lelia.
-In case you were wondering.
-I wasn't.
She certainly seems like
she's handling it all right.
Yeah, she does.
In fact, that's the happiest
I think I've ever seen her.
Yeah, she's all right.
She's not you.
What are they doing
with those presents?
Well, they brought 'em
for their friends and family.
Now that's us.
-This was Ruth's.
-That's beautiful.
She always knew
the right thing to do.
And I think I know exactly
what she would do right now.
Excuse me... Everyone.
I'm sure that none of us expected
to spend Christmas Eve like this,
but is it a bad thing
for us, strangers
until a few days ago,
to spend this time together?
Is it a bad thing
to spend Christmas Eve
sharing stories
and giving away presents
bought for our own families
to other people?
Now, if your marriage
can survive a start like this,
it will surely survive anything.
I think
maybe all of us are together
for a reason.
My wife used to say,
"Hope begins
when you stand in the dark,
looking out at the light."
Christmas is a time for miracles,
and I believe
that one is happening right now.
Hear, hear!
Merry Christmas.
Ho, ho, ho!
Oh, merry Christmas!
Ho, ho!
Who's been naughty,
and who's been nice?
I've been nice!
I've been nice!
Oh, ho, ho, yes!
Yes, please.
I suppose I always knew
your heart was somewhere else.
Now I know where.
I'm sorry, Lelia.
Don't be.
Max just offered me a role in his
next movie, and I'm going to take it.
Even if it shoots on a train?
Deck the halls
with boughs of holly
'Tis the season
to be jolly
Don we now
our gay apparel
Troll the ancient
yuletide carol
The temperature's dropped
another 10 degrees.
We can't just sit here
until spring thaw.
Railways have their schedules.
They'll have figured
we're missing by now.
They've probably already
got a search team underway.
In this storm?
There's a lot of track
between here and L.A.
Wait. Higgins?
-What is it?
-No, that wouldn't work.
Right now I'll take the craziest
idea you've got.
Look, I know
where there are a few ranches
salted through the mountains
out this way.
Most of them have got electric and
their own phone lines. That's good.
We can let the dispatcher know
exactly where we are.
Yeah, but the chances of finding one
of them on foot, in this weather,
is close to impossible.
-It's not impossible on skis.
I've got skis, boots, goggles.
It's rough terrain out there.
I can handle it.
I just need you to point me
in the right direction.
Higgins said I'd find you here.
What are you doing?
Well, you're not going to get very
far out there on downhill skis,
but with these...
Eleanor... I'm going with you.
No, you're not.
You'd be smarter teaming up with me
than trying to go it alone.
That's nothing new.
One more assignment?
One more.
Don't do this.
I don't want to lose you, Eleanor.
You're my family. I'll bet you say
that to all your writers.
No, I don't.
Don't worry. I'll keep her safe, Max.
Any last-minute predictions?
I thought you weren't a believer.
Right now I believe in anything.
I see an amazing rescue.
Works for me.
Be careful!
Come back safe. Both of you.
Whoa. You all right?
Yeah. Never better.
Who would have thought we'd find
each other after all this time
and wind up in a snowstorm
on a mountaintop?
Yeah, well, if it was easy,
anyone could do it.
I missed this.
Yeah, you and me...
Taking on the world.
Let's go.
Wait up.
'Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the cars,
not a creature was stirring,
on Earth or on Mars.
The river was filled with logs and...
Oh, now, where did this come from?
Not from my sleigh.
You've got a secret admirer here.
Ooh. Mm!
Hey, my sunglasses.
Oh. What is this stuff?
Oh, boy. I think these are the things
that were reported missing.
I guess whoever took them
was touched by the Christmas spirit.
I think we all were.
Mm. Excuse me.
I think these...
Belong to you?
Our rings.
Thank you!
It's a sign.
It is a sign.
Are we even going
in the right direction?
I don't know, Eleanor.
Still no signal.
What happened to "Ellie"?
What did happen to her?
I guess she lost her way
for a little while.
Well, maybe we both did.
I want you to know, I had those rings
in my pocket the day you left me.
I wanted to ask you a million times,
but it just...
Just kept getting away from me.
The truth is, I was scared,
and I thought if we settled down,
we'd lose everything that was magic.
Now, after all these years,
it's my biggest regret
that I didn't go after you.
You were the love of my life.
You still are.
I guess I never stopped
loving you either.
I really tried.
-Did you hear that?
Yeah! Yeah!
They should have been back by now.
I never should have let her go.
What are you doing out here?
We're hoping for a Christmas miracle.
You've got to see this!
An amazing rescue...
I was right!
Sam. Hey.
Hey, where'd the engine go?
I thought the thief
returned everything. Oh.
Almost everything, I guess.
Kenny, what's your best
Christmas drink?
For you folks, the Mistletoe Fizz..
drink one
and you'll kiss the one you love.
Drinks for the house on me.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Merry Christmas.
Hey, wait.
You're in the Film Actor's Union?
I thought you said you worked
for your father's firm. Uh, I do.
Uh, this is kind of embarrassing.
I did a commercial once.
-Oh, really? For what?
Pudding? Ha!
Must have missed that one.
I've worked for my dad long enough.
I guess I have some dreams.
Hey, don't we all?
'Tis the season.
Tell them, Higgins.
Well, the railway brass
kind of hired me back.
That's great!
Oh, I wouldn't make too much
into it.
It's probably too much egg nog
at the office party. Aw.
Now, don't you downplay yourself. They
hired you back because you're a hero.
Oh, no.
I have to live up to that now?
Oh, Higgins!
Are you the thief?
Train marshal.
That I didn't see coming.
Well, I wouldn't be
very good at my job if you did.
I found that train
in John Kelly's compartment.
John Randolph Kelly, to be precise.
I ran his prints.
He does have a record.
It's an old one.
-Petty theft, 40 years ago.
-40 years?
That's a lifetime.
Turns out, he met his wife
and he gave up his criminal life.
He got a job, he got married,
and, by all accounts,
led an exemplary life
for the next four decades...
Until now.
She died. He felt lost.
I don't know, maybe the holidays
are affecting me,
but I don't know what to do.
It's probably not my call, but what
if this is all a cry for help?
What if that connection
with other people
is what he's always been
looking for?
And besides, is it really a crime
if he gave everything back?
I got a second chance on this train.
Maybe he deserves one, too.
Fade in.
Train station.
The camera follows a woman.
Hesitant, she boards the train,
not yet knowing
this trip would take her
through the rugged terrain
of her own heart...
You don't take the Christmas train
to get somewhere fast.
You take it for the journey...
And what a journey it is,
because with every stop it makes,
a little bit of America
gets on and says "hello",
and sometimes even
"Merry Christmas".
People don't rush, because
that's not what trains are for.
They're not just about
the destination.
They're about thejoy
of taking the trip.
I'm not saying that riding
a train will change your life...
But it certainly changed mine.
Listen, I, uh...
I just wanted to tell you how much
I appreciate what you've done.
Oh, I didn't do anything.
Oh, you did, you and everyone on this
train, and I just want you to know
that this journey has...
It's changed my life.
When I lost Ruth,
I thought that I had no purpose
left in the world,
but I found it here again,
on the Christmas train,
and now I want to share
what she taught me with others.
He's going to Chicago,
to work with the Boys' Youth Club.
-I think I can contribute something.
-Oh, I know you can.
Thank you, John.
Good luck.
I won't forget you, Agnes.
Well, you bet you won't.
What are you doing here?
Well, I heard on the news
that the train got stranded.
I was worried you were on it.
Oh, so you came all the way
just to see me? Of course, Mom.
It's Christmas.
Yes. Yes, it is.
Now, Mom, look,
I know we haven't spent that much
time together in a while, but...
It's okay. That's okay.
I know. I know you're so busy.
No Mom, it's not okay and I'm sorry.
I missed you a lot.
You know I missed you, too,
but I.. I totally understand.
Mom, stop, okay.
No more excuses.
From now on, I want us to be
more like a family again.
I.. I'd love that.
Okay. Good. Then let's get going.
Where are we going?
Oh, I made Christmas dinner
at my place. Wow.
And there's someone I'd like you
to meet. I would love that.
Max? You ready?
What is that?
Max wrote a script?
"Misty: something happened in Israel.
You had everything, but you ran away."
"Julie: his parents
"think I'm not good enough for him
because I grew up
in small-town Kentucky"?
"Lelia: I can see
this is a lot to throw at you.
"take your time and think about it.
We have two days to L.A., right?"
So this entire trip
was a Max Powers production?
I thought this was going to be
a love story on a train,
but now I'm thinking murder.
Was everyone on that train
part of your cast?
-You give me too much credit.
-Uh, not... Not all of them.
-You orchestrated this whole thing?
The rest was the magic
of the Christmas train.
I just put a few pieces together...
I knew you had your one big love.
I did some digging,
and when I found out
that Tom was going to be on the train,
I thought, what better setting?
A captive audience.
And then I brought
Steve and Julie in
to remind you two of what
you once had.
Well, the two of you
made a very convincing couple.
To be honest, after the first five
minutes, we weren't really acting.
Thanks for introducing us, Max.
And then I wanted a character
like Misty because I thought
she might restore your belief
in fate.
So you don't actually know
what my lucky day is?
I would say that that's today.
I'd agree.
And I brought Lelia on board
to force you to make a decision
you've been putting off too long.
He's right, you know.
You two are so good together,
and I'm not acting.
-Thank you.
-Oh, do me a favor?
Write me a really good part
in the movie, okay?
Make me a villain.
They're always the most fun to play.
Max, why would you do all of this?
You know me. I could never resist
a good love story.
Mine was Patti, and Tom is yours,
and there's no one
I would want to find love
more than you, Eleanor.
You're not too mad at me, are you?
How could I be? You're not going
to ask me if I'm angry?
Well, by that dumb grin
on your face,
I think it'd be safe to say
that you've never been happier.
Thanks, Max.
Thanks for everything.
Oh, I almost forgot...
I guess they did bring us
good luck after all.
Not just for you.
Won't be needing these any longer.
I've been searching for something
for a long time...
And it's you, Ellie.
I love you.
I'll do anything I can
to make you happy,
whether we're in a foxhole
or a snowstorm
or a little house
with a white picket fence.
Will you take me with my faults,
weaknesses, and utter stupidity?
-Will you marry me?
I predict these two are going
to make it.
I think there's a chance.
Why don't I take you two for dinner
to celebrate?
I have my regular table
at Musso & Frank.
Uh, you know what, Max, I think
we're going to take a rain check.
We've got a lot of catching up to do.
Thank you so much for everything.
Thanks, Max. There's something
about a train, right?
There's something about a train.
What are you doing New Year's Eve?
Coming up to the top of the hour,
looks as though the weatherman
was right,
it really is snowing out there,
It seems like Los Angeles has been
touched by the magic of Christmas.
And so...
It started to snow
He decided to go
And there went
another yuletide