Hallmark’s “Christmas Sail” Was a Lovely Story That Could Have Only Been Better Without Katee Sackhoff

When Liz returns home to take care of her estranged father she is determined to give her daughter a perfect Christmas and reconnects with her best friend.
 
Starring:  Katee Sackhoff, Patrick Sabongui, and Terry O’Quinn
 

 

Hallmark's "Christmas Sail"
Image:  Crown Media

A Different Type Of Story & Cast

We fans have patiently watched scores of Hallmark Christmas movies with identical plots.  The only thing that ever changes is the actors assuming the roles.  Hallmark movies spun from a novel offer us a break from the usual tropes, but Christmas Sail is not based on a book–it is written by Robin Gadsby, Katee Sackhoff’s husband.  I guess if he wanted their marriage to survive, his wife had to be cast as as the lead.  

Unfortunately, Sackhoff, of Battlestar Galactica fame, is not the best choice.  All Hallmark leading ladies smile throughout seventy-five percent of every movie, and that’s fine–unless you have a villainous Joker smile like Sackhoff.  With a smile so wide it stretches from ear-to-ear while flashing viewers way too much gumline, Sackhoff’s face looks painted on or frozen throughout most of the movie. Like the Joker, she couldn’t stop smiling, even when the scene did not require it.  Step aside Harley Quinn and Punchline, and give Sackhoff a shot as the Joker’s next henchwoman.  
 
Katee Sackhoff in "Christmas Sail"
Image:  Crown Media
 
Hallmark must have a new hire in the wardrobe department who is unaware dressing stars with necklines that allow boobs to spill out aren’t “Rated-Hallmark.”
 
Patrick Sabongui also has a different look for a Hallmark leading man.  Sabongui grew up in a tri-lingual home speaking French, English, and Arabic.  Since he is a “devoted advocate for diversity and equality in the arts and media,” it’s no surprise Hallmark would nab him for a movie, even though he’s more of a cuddly teddy bear than a handsome hunk.  At least he didn’t smile oddly throughout the whole movie and distract from the story.

Terry O’Quinn plays the grieving, Scrooge-like widower, and he does a fine job of it, all while channeling his best Sean Connery.
 

 

Terry O'Quinn
Image:  Crown Media
 

Is anyone surprised that Dennis’s house is at risk for foreclosure?  We learn he is a geography teacher, and his wife had been a teacher as well, yet on two teachers’ salaries, they are living in a $650,000 home and own a boat?  Not exactly a believable detail.

Parade of Lights

The boat parade is a unique twist.  Despite the bad shape of the family boat, Liz, Luke, and Hannah manage to deck it out for the holidays, and thanks to Luke’s ingenious idea of projecting family photos onto the sail, hearts melt and they win the $25,000 cash prize.  Dennis gets to keep the family home.  
 

 

Christmas Sail
Image:  Crown Media
 
Fans rave about Christmas Sail because it does deviate a little from the normal formula.  It’s just too bad a different actress wasn’t selected to play Liz.
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