Lucas Thomas's grandmother Caroline returns every Valentine's Day to the station where, at their then first wedding anniversary, she waved off to the pacific war theatre in 1944 naval pilot...
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Lucas Thomas's grandmother Caroline returns every Valentine's Day to the station where, at their then first wedding anniversary, she waved off to the pacific war theatre in 1944 naval pilot Neil, officially still missing in action. Lucas, a former baseball star and reputable physiotherapist about to publish, tells the story to a station manager, who assigns the item to Susan Allison. She gets involved and befriends Caroline, but resists her crush on Lucas on account of an already soulless engagement with international reporter Andrew Hawthorne. Caroline's mild cardiac crisis seems to ruin everything.Written by
On Valentine's Day 2010, Caroline Thomas visits Union Station for the 65th time, hoping her husband Neil will return. The friendly conductor says she's been on time every year for the 25 years he has worked there.
Susan is a reporter for the TV news magazine "American Diary", and she is tired of stories that she does not consider meaningful. Still, she gets sent to do an interview with Caroline, which she considers more of the same. She's about to find out this is the best story she has ever done, and one of her show's best stories as well.
Andrew, whose job involves lots of travel, proposes to Susan in front of their friends, but Susan rejects him because the proposal was not romantic enough--and not done in private. Andrew goes off on his latest trip.
Susan and her crew meet Caroline, who is reluctant to do an interview at first. Caroline is persuaded when Susan claims to know her grandson Lucas, a physical therapist who she met once. Lucas helps talk his grandmother into doing the interview, and it becomes clear that Lucas may be a better match for Susan than Andrew.
Through flashbacks narrated by Caroline, we learn that Caroline and Neil met but did not have a relationship at first, but then they became reacquainted after Neil became a Navy pilot in World War II. At the time, Neil was not part of the fighting, and he and Caroline married and moved into a rundown house which they fixed up (and they must have done a good job because Caroline still lives there). Then, after Caroline was already pregnant, Neil decided he had to join the war. In one of the first flashbacks we see Neil getting on the train and Caroline handing him a handmade heart--a very emotional scene. One wonders if this couple will ever be able to separate.
During the war, Caroline receives numerous letters from Neil, but she occasionally sees the Western Union man delivering bad news to her neighbors. And then one day it's her turn.
But missing does not mean dead. Susan and Caroline become good friends, and Susan has become quite fond of Lucas as he has helped her with back problems. And she really wants to find the conclusion to the story. There are clues as to what may have happened to Neil to keep him from coming back.
Meanwhile, though Susan and Andrew are not getting along, Andrew has connections in the Phillipines, where Neil was last seen. The investigation uncovers a wonderful story, which is well-done, though I shouldn't give away too many details.
The final scenes prove a worthy tribute to our men (and women) in uniform, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Betty White gives the best performance of all, and I expect to hear about her when Emmy nominations are announced. Although she is best known for comedy, she delivers a full range of emotion, sometimes demonstrating her comic abilities but also achieving fine results with drama. Yes, there is heartbreak, but it's not all bad.
Jennifer Love Hewitt does a good job here, though I have to say her scenes with Andrew seemed more like a Canadian Lifetime TV-movie than a Hallmark Hall of Fame. She and Sean Faris have much more appeal, and even give us some laughs in a movie that really needs them.
Billy Magnussen and Meghann Fahy both do a good job as the leading cast members from World War II. They too have a couple of scenes with some laughs, but they mostly deliver real drama.
I really liked the World War II music in the flashbacks. Mostly, though, these scenes had the pleasant orchestra music that seems almost boring by comparison to the high-energy jazz from wartime.
It was a perfect story for Valentine's Day, even if it aired two weeks early.
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