Friday, December 21, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Movies - Day 9

"On the 9th day of Christmas, my TV gave to me...a real tearjerker."
My mother forced me, not by gunpoint but by guilt and manipulation ('cause that's what the holidays are all about), to watch Liftetime's The Christmas Hope.  Hope is the third in a series of overly-sentimental tearjerkers based on novels written by one Donna Van Liere.  It's my impression that she sees Nicholas Sparks's movies as happy-go-lucky fare.  With Sparks you usually get one dying character.  With Van Liere's, it seems as though you get three or four. 

The series started with The Christmas Shoes, starring Rob Lowe.  The second, The Christmas Blessing starred Neil Patrick Harris.  The series ended with The Christmas Hope starring Madeline Stowe, pre-Revenge.  My mother informed me that it took her three hankies to get through Hope.  I love me a good tearjerker and even though I could predict the tears, I still succumbed. 

The story is this: well...let's see...there's a little girl whose mother gets hit by a car and dies just days before Christmas.  There's a sick baby who was abandoned by her meth-head mother and never gets adopted by the end of the movie.  There's a grieving couple on the edge of divorce following the loss of their son, also death by car accident, two years earlier.  There's a doctor and his wife who are expecting a baby but they're happy because their heartbreak happened the movie previous.  Um, there's an angry kid who hates when people see potential in him.  Um, I'm sure someone had a bad hangnail or a flat tire too.  But guess what?!?! Yup, you guessed it.  It all works out in the end (except for the poor, sick, abandoned baby).  I mean, the dead mother doesn't come back to life or anything but the little girl gets a new family.  The couple is able to fix their marriage and love a kid.  The angry kid gets a free trip to California where more people can see his potential.  And I'm guessing the hangnail went away too.

Maybe I'm being mean.  This one was good.  I hadn't seen the prequels but I knew enough about how they linked to appreciate it.  Stowe was great but she always is.  The little girl could have been obnoxious but wasn't too bad.  The writing, though predictable, was fine.  So overall it was worth a watch.

So if you want a real all three.  They will tear your heart out and sing some Christmas carols while stomping on it.  You'll love it.

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