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Featured DVD Review: Christmas Miracle

October 20th, 2012

Christmas Miracle - Buy from Amazon

Thomas Kinkade was one of the most prolific artists of all time and over the past few years, many of his paintings have been turned into movies. Christmas Miracle is one such movie. Sometimes translating a short story into a movie is difficult, because there's not enough plot and characters in the original source material to fill out a feature-length film. Turning a painting into a movie seems even harder. Does it work?

The Movie

At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to a number of characters: a priest who has lost his faith, a mother and her autistic son, her estranged husband, a man who just lost his wife, a married couple fighting while on the way to her parents, newly weds, and a delivery truck driver. It's Christmas eve and the weather is terrible, but many of them are on the road. One by one, they get stranded on the road thanks to a fallen tree. Fortunately no one was injured in the crash (although the wife who was arguing with her husband twists her ankle while trying to get out of the car). Unfortunately, they are miles away from town, too far to walk. There is an old church nearby, so they head there for the night to find warmth.

Once there, we discover all of them are having difficulties with their personal lives, some more obvious than others. Both married couples are fighting. The older married couple are fighting because they are going broke after some bad investments, but neither side has told the other they know. The younger couple are fighting just three days after they got married, because she thinks he doesn't take her seriously. The father of the autistic child realizes he shouldn't have concentrated so much on work, but when his wife shows up (she went to look for him and crashed her SUV) they start talking it through. The widower is trying to come to terms with the death of his wife. All of this happens while the ex-priest tries to help the people get through their problems. It's a lot of talking without much else happening, until...

I think I'm legally obligated to describe this film as "heartwarming". Christmas Miracle is a film that is aggressively family friendly in some ways. There are three marriages that are in various states of trouble and there's barely a raised word. Being family friendly isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean when there is drama or tension, it's not quite as effective. You know when the lady has a diabetic reaction she will be fine or that when Matthew wanders into the forest that he will be found okay. Fortunately, the movie does have characters that are more well developed than a lot of similar films, while the acting is fine. Since much of the film is dialogue driven, this is an important asset. Bad acting or poorly written characters would have been fatal. Overall it feels like a TV movie and it is never great, but it is decent throughout.

The Extras

There is a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes, and art work by Thomas Kinkade.

The Verdict

Christmas Miracle is fine. It never rises above its genre, but it is never truly bad either. The DVD has better extras than a lot of similar relases and for people who look for the Dove Family Approved label, it is worth checking out.

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