“Operation Christmas Drop” is one of the first Christmas movies to be released on Netflix this season. This charming movie checks all the boxes of a classic romantic comedy, but it also has a heartwarming story centered around community outreach and real world problems. Like any rom com, it is idealistic, yet it still brings up some interesting points on politics and struggling communities in the background of the plot. “Operation Christmas Drop” is a fun, family friendly movie.

“Operation Christmas Drop” Trailer Courtesy of Netflix

Traditional Christmas movies usually have a winter wonderland scenery with lots of snow and cold weather, but “Operation Christmas Drop” is set on a tropical island instead. This twist sets up an interesting, different feel for the movie. While holiday romantic comedies are in no short supply, this one did a good job separating itself from the others. It has many of the same elements as a basic romantic comedy, but it does not feel like you have seen the movie 100 times before. 

The main character, Erica, a Congressional aide desperately working towards a promotion, is sent to Guam to investigate a United States Air Force base that has been delivering supplies to a struggling island. Erica’s boss instructs her to find a reason to shut the base down, but Andrew, the captain sent to show her around the base, has other plans. The movie details the struggle for Erica to put aside her work life and focus on what truly matters to her. Along the way, she discovers herself and finds love. The movie is truly a feel-good story, and though the ending is predictable, the movie itself is still entertaining and full of surprises. 

The acting was great throughout the movie. Kat Graham (Erica) did an excellent job portraying the dramatic character shift from a workaholic to a kindhearted, carefree woman. Alexander Ludwig (Andrew) also played his role wonderfully. He was the perfect person to play the charming, likeable romantic interest. 

Perhaps the best part of the movie is its origins. “Operation Christmas Drop” is actually based on a true story. The real Operation Christmas Drop is the United States Department of Defense’s longest running humanitarian mission to air drop supplies to people in need. American, Japanese and Australian soldiers all combine their efforts to help tens of thousands of islanders. One of the major volunteers, Brother Bruce Best, even makes a cameo in the movie. “Operation Christmas Drop’s” origins are truly the most heartwarming part of the movie. 

The only fault of the movie is a poorly animated gecko that lives in Erica’s room. It is supposed to be a good luck charm on the island, but Erica does not buy into the idea at first. The gecko does not look real at all, and it is not particularly important to the story; its reasons for being included remains a mystery. Even though it is so poorly animated, it is still adorable. While it is a little surprising, it does not take away from the overall plot or charm of the movie. 

The movie really has it all when it comes to stereotypical happiness: a love story, Christmas, smiling children and a perfect ending. The only thing missing is a puppy, and the animated gecko does a good job replacing everyone’s favorite furry friend. The plot, acting and origin story all come together to create the perfect recipe for a feel-good movie to watch anytime, and even the poorly animated gecko cannot take away from that.

"Operation Christmas Drop" Review
  • Plot
  • Acting
  • Origin Story


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