“A Christmas Detour” Recap & Review

I absolutely love Hallmark movies. Everything I say is out of this undying, appreciative, in awe type of love. Yes, I make fun of them, but my husband and I make fun of each other all of the time, and we are annoyingly in love.

Meet Paige (Candace Cameron Bure)! You won’t have to guess what she’s doing, because she will tell you all about it! She’s about to board a plane to meet her fiancé’s family for the first time! Paige

  • is a bridal magazine writer
  • requires an aisle seat on an airplane

She struts through LAX with a giant engagement ring and an even giant-er (??) vision board. Yep, she has a vision board as a carry-on.

did you know that i’m engaged

Meet Paige’s Vision Board (Craft Supplies Bought at Michael’s). It has

  • jewel stickers
  • lacey lace
  • an actor’s headshot of her fiancé, Jack.

It deserves its own love interest–it is just that important. It represents Paige’s entire future, and ain’t about to get checked! She insists that it must go with her on the plane. I am surprised, however, that Paige didn’t purchase a whole seat for it.

This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Meet Dylan (Paul Greene). He’s talking to a bartender. Is he also a bartender? Is he the boss bartender? Heck if I know! What I do know is that he

  • hasn’t been home in 4 years
  • needs to forgive and forget
  • has got to catch his plane!

What are your secrets Dylan????? What are you hiding from us????? What needs to be forgotten and forgiven?

i don’t even know what i do

After witnessing Paige act entitled about carry-ons and needing an aisle seat before boarding the plane, Dylan quickly wishes to Santa that

  1. Santa can read his mind
  2. He doesn’t have to sit next to her.

Spoiler alert: Santa can’t read minds.

Paige makes Dylan and another passenger move over so she can claim the aisle seat. Poor Dylan. This flight from LAX to La Guardia just got a whole lot longer.

Meet Jack (Marcus Rosner). He’s

  • a rich guy
  • just a rich guy
  • talking on his cell phone.

That probably didn’t need bullet points.

my mom is decorating a tree with two men dressed in jumpsuits and santa hats should i be worried

Also, Jack’s mom is played by Barbara Niven! She’s uptight, even decorates her hired help, and has terrible taste in Christmas trees.

Like…it’s inverted. It’s a white tree with green decorations. That just




What could ever possess a person to make that choice?

Also important to note: Jack’s parents live in an artist rendering of a snow covered mansion.

Is anything in this picture real.

I know you have already met a lot of people (and a vision board), but–

Meet Maxine (Sarah Strange) and Frank (David Lewis). They are married. They hate each other?

I mean…from how they speak to each other in heavy sighs and glares…they must hate each other right?

But, all I can gather right now is that they are

  • married
  • traveling for Christmas
  • a welcome addition to this movie because they are hilarious.
*can u feel the luv 2night?*

Paige and Dylan bicker.

They bicker about her magazine article.

They bicker about soulmates (Dylan ain’t believing in that kinda nonsense).

They bicker about bickering.

Finally, Paige has had enough of the bickering, so she puts on a sleep eye mask and dreams of more things to put on her vision board.

*dreaming of adding an even larger headshot of Jack to the vision board*

Uh oh, there must be an orange sign in the air because we’ve hit the detour promised in the title of the movie!!!!!!!!

The plane must make an emergency landing in Buffalo, NY instead of La Guardia. The weather is just too Christmassy to be safe for travel!

The mayor from Chesapeake Shores pops up on the airline televisions to announce there is a massive snowstorm. Christmas is 2 days away, but all flights are cancelled or delayed.

Dylan’s face is slapped silly with a giant grin because this might keep him from having to go home for Christmas. He rubs it in everyone’s faces while singing Jingle Bells, because OF COURSE Paul Greene can sing too.

Paige gets a room in the airport hotel, but to her dismay it is an adjoining room to a person who listens to their television too loudly.

She knocks on the door, and reveals a very wet and very robe-wearing Dylan.

(But, why is his face soaking wet? Did he just eat jalapeños? Is he really nervous? Does he just lay underwater for bits at a time? Does he not know how to dry off his face?)

i was seeing how long i could hold my breath under water

Soooooooooo, everyone must wait for the storm to blow over.

Paige and Maxine and Frank decide to wait in the airport, while Dylan leans back, props up his feet to let out a relaxed sigh and take a swig of a cosmo.

A special report declares that all airports are opening on Christmas Eve–

Except for Buffalo, lol.

At the airport, an airport worker announces in a British accent (??????) that sry all flights are cancelled merry christmas also no trains are running now goodbye hope your holiday is the happiest!

No one takes the news well.

Paige is freaking out because she only has 6 months to plan her wedding and these three days were the only time she’d get to meet Jack’s parents and plan. She calls her fiancé to update him with her travel woes. Paige suggests that if she can’t make it over Christmas she can just meet his parents at the wedding.


Jack is like my mom is “old fashioned” and needs to meet you first–which I don’t understand how that is old fashioned but perhaps I am too. Jack’s mom suggests they wait to get married for a year and a half, and Paige is horrified.

Listen, sister. FDR’s mother made Eleanor and Franklin hide their cousinly engagement for a year in case he would change his mind (I think she hoped he would). Maybe it’s a rich people thing. Maybe it’s an overbearing mother thing. What there is no maybe about is that you should watch Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. It’s on Netflix! You learn that Teddy Roosevelt used to wrestle people for fun. Eleanor is just cool as heck! Edward Herrmann voices FDR! What else do I need to say to convince you! Just do it!

Because Paige will have to postpone her wedding if she doesn’t make it there by tomorrow, she is crying at a bus stop in a very heavy snowstorm with Maxine and Frank. Luckily, Dylan pulls up in a car, and tells them he’s driving all 4 of them. My only question: Is there a seat available for her vision board?

lacey chabert would’ve been here by now

Paige tells Jack that she found a ride but conveniently leaves out that there is a handsome single man in her roadtrippin’ group. Maxine walks in on Paige wagging her finger at herself in a bathroom mirror for lying to him. Maxine takes a good long look in the mirror herself and utters me and frank………………

While the women are in the bathroom questioning their life choices, Dylan snoops through Paige’s bag to find a checklist of 75 traits that the perfect man should have. He should possess

  • a toothbrush
  • the ability to wear matching socks
  • a good sense of humor.

They figure out that this isn’t for one of Paige’s future articles, but is about her fiancé. I bet you can guess which one is unchecked.

#35 is no snooping, oh no

The four keep roadtrippin’ through the blizzard, playing games and making fun of Paige’s fiancé. When asked if Jack ever makes her laugh, she thinks for a long time and reveals that one time he got a napkin stuck to his shoe hehehehahahahlolololha!

They all tell her that is super lame and that a guy who has that haircut could never be funny.

Something else that isn’t funny is that they get into a wreck?!?!

They all just noticed Jack in the backseat.

They find themselves shipwrecked in a very Christmassy town, but the only thing injured is the SUV.

Paige and Dylan

  • walk around town
  • eat chestnuts
  • talk about Dylan’s love tragedy.

Paige finally gets an answer to why Dylan doesn’t want to go home for Christmas.

*drumroll please*

His fiancée left him for his brother. They are also about to get married.

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeesh!!!!!!!!!!! That is a VERY GOOD reason.

They also find themselves under mistletoe. However, they do not kiss even though Maxine and Frank try to peer pressure them into it. Paige is engaged people!!!! Are they both so miserable that this is their only entertainment??????? If my husband was accidentally standing under the mistletoe with some other woman, I wouldn’t be like honey you’ve got to kiss her, you know the rules of christmas!

cheating on your fiancé is what christmas is all about

While eating supper, Dylan bites into a loaf of very stale bread and Paige thinks it’s so hilarious that she snorts.

Okay okay okay okay okay okay okay. This wasn’t a planned funny thing. He accidentally took a bite of bread that is hard as a rock. It’s the equivalent of a guy accidentally having a napkin on his shoe. Why is this acceptably funny and the other one not ughkdjflkdjfojrhgkpswjenfwqenf;jkqwe?!

BUT other than that, it is such a good scene. Maxine and Frank reminisce about their first Christmas together. Paige and Dylan talk about their favorite Christmas memories. Everyone is emotional. Everyone dances. It’s so sweet and my heart feels full even though Paige is engaged, and about to kiss another man………….so I’m confused and should I be so swept up in this?????????

Paige also gets confused and rushes off of the dance floor.

i love a man who almost breaks his tooth on a loaf of bread

After dinner, Frank and Maxine go shopping for stocking stuffers, and Paige and Dylan stand inappropriately close in the snow. Paige shares how conflicted she is. On one hand, she is seconds away from making out with Dylan, but on the other hand Jack is her soulmate. They find themselves under the mistletoe, and decide they just can’t break that Christmas tradition again!

They kiss!? A group of carolers interrupt them during their kiss, but not before it!!!!!!!!?! Paige once again rushes off, and Dylan is like it was just a little kiss this doesn’t have to be awkward! people with fiancés kiss other people all the time because of mistletoe which is the true meaning of christmas!!!!!!!!!

Frank interrupts their conversation, and accidentally reveals that he and Dylan read her list of 75 traits the perfect man should have.

Paige is ticked and twirls up a blizzard of her own, leaving Dylan standing alone in the aftermath.

christmas joy? i have none of it.

Back at the hotel, Maxine finds Frank asleep in her bed. Apparently, she was supposed to share a room with Paige and the boys were supposed to room together. Dylan’s room is locked and Paige is nowhere to be found so the married couple is forced to share a bed.


Maxine asks Frank when they stopped giving each other a goodnight kiss, and sadly, he cannot remember. And they still didn’t kiss each other goodnight!!!!!!!!!?!

😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

When everyone wakes up they find that Paige has left. Oh no!


Paige hitched a ride with the innkeeper’s father, and talks his ear off about how it was just a kiss! A silly old kiss! That didn’t mean anything!!!!

Meanwhile, Dylan takes Maxine and Frank to their destination, in the magically fixed SUV. Maxine reveals that she caught Paige beating herself up about not mentioning to her fiancé that a super single super hottie was also along for the detour. Does Dylan have a chance??

Finally making it to Jack’s family’s mansion, Paige finds out that he and his family are a bucket of turds. Just hella rude people.

Examples of turd rudeness

  • Jack said he always checks the weather before traveling, and makes Paige feel like the snowstorm is her fault.
  • His parents act like she is disgusting and can’t believe she is hugging them.
  • They say she needs to freshen up so they can meet properly. Newsflash! Paige looks great, ya dweebs!
oh no now i smell poor

Dylan drops off Maxine and Frank. Before getting out of the SUV, Maxine gives Dylan a wink wink and a hint about where Paige will be wink wink

Wink wink

ALSO, Maxine and Frank make up and wheeeeeee my heart is soaring!

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Well, let’s bullet point a bit, because I haven’t used enough of them.

  • Jack’s parents keep being the worst
  • Paige realizes Jack might also be the worst
  • Dylan makes up with his brother and ex-fiancée
  • Dylan sees that Paige left her vision board in his trunk!
well jack has never almost broken his tooth on a stale loaf of bread………

Out at a fancy schmancy restaurant, Jack’s mother drinks fancy schmancy drinks and glares at everyone (it’s amazing). Paige accidentally mentions Dylan but covers up by saying he was old and had a horrible toupee.

Guess who walks in the restaurant not looking old and without a horrible toupee! Dylan! With an updated version of Paige’s vision board in tow. The update? A picture of Dylan and Paige ❤

Paige and Jack break up! Paige and Dylan kiss! And she’s single so I don’t feel bad about rooting for them! She spends Christmas with Dylan! They’re happy! The End!

I rate A Christmas Detour Screenshots of the Final Kisses in Hallmark Movies which is a 4.75/5 on my scale of Things to Put on a Vision Board!!!!

The Scale

  1. Printout of the poop emoji
  2. A dead, rotting catfish
  3. A pair of glasses because vision
  4. Synopses of Hallmark movies
  5. Screenshots of the weddings in Hallmark movie sequels

I’m ashamed to say it, but I had only ever seen bits and pieces of A Christmas Detour. I was obviously missing out, because it is a must-see.

First off, Marcus Rosner’s headshot on the vision board creepily placed throughout the movie is hilarious. He’s always looking over somebody’s shoulder and it’s so great. It made me laugh multiple times.

Secondly, what a cast! There are 8,000 great Hallmark movie actors in this one, and I didn’t feel like any of the talent was wasted. Thumbs up!

I loved Maxine and Frank. In Hallmark movies we rarely get to see married couples work through problems, or couples who aren’t PERFECTLY HAPPY AND PERFECT, and I found their relationship refreshing. And sad. And hilarious.

A Christmas Detour was well paced, and I never found myself bored. Even though I knew we’d get a Happily Ever After, I was still bummed when I had to pause it 15 minutes before the end because I wanted to see how we’d get to it!

Also: Barbara Niven was wonderful. As an early Christmas gift, here are pictures of her character dramatically drinking champagne.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought of A Christmas Detour!

8 thoughts on ““A Christmas Detour” Recap & Review

  1. DoraTvPartyPlanner October 2, 2018 — 12:44 am

    What an amazing recap! And to address one point…his face was wet so we would know he had just gotten out of the shower and our little minds would get all busy. Apparently someone’s got so busy that they manifested their wish into reality which is why he was shown almost shirtless on Anything for Love only a couple months later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! And *almost* shirtless?! Who does Hallmark think they are? Lifetime?! 😉


  2. I absolutely LOVE this movie! Definitely one of my favorites. I love everybody in it-CCB is always the best & I think Paul Greene always hates Christmas. May have to watch now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. Can’t believe that I hadn’t seen the whole thing before! Glad we agreed on one 😉


  3. I saw this last night, had never seen it before at all. I enjoyed it quote a lot, and much of it was because of Frank and Maxine. They were funny, and I think their routine was to joke about the distance between them, but when Frank made the first move at the end, it was really very touching.

    My wife loves the Hallmark movies, and I enjoy many of them too. This was one I liked a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To my family’s great chagrin, this year marked my conversion to a full-blown Hallmark Christmas movie junkie. I had been making fun of our daughters for watching these things, and now I’m hooked and have become the one being made fun of. My wife just rolls her eyes at me and seems to be questioning her life choices. I got interested enough to start googling for more info about them and stumbled across your site. These reviews are SO FUNNY! If you don’t do this professionally, you should. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that caption about just noticing Jack in the backseat! It would not have been pretty. And the “now I smell poor” one was just as good. Keep up the good work – you have a fan out here in Oregon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! This comment made my day 🙂


  5. Would love to see Frank and Maxine movie. These actors have a terrific chemistry. Maybe Frank and Max is wild adventures where they get lost on a vacation or maybe Frank and Maxine decide to move east. Actually anything with these two actors together would be great

    Liked by 1 person

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