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The Christmas Wife (1988)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  12 December 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 146 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 1 critic

A widower not wanting to face his first Christmas alone responds to an ad for "social introductions".



(short story), (teleplay)
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Complete credited cast:
John Tanner
Social Arranger
Jim Tanner (as Jim Eckhouse)
Patricia Hamilton ...
Deborah Grover ...
David Gardner ...
Tom Harvey ...
Christopher Andrade ...
Steven Andrade ...
Bill Lynn ...
Helen Frost ...
Woman in Restaurant


A widower not wanting to face his first Christmas alone responds to an ad for "social introductions".

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Release Date:

12 December 1988 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Widower seeks friendship over the holidays
13 December 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I just watched this movie recently for the first time, although it is over 20 years old, and found it to be generally well-acted and entertaining but had some obvious flaws. First of all, the main actors, Jason Robards and Julie Harris, were outstanding in the roles of two people meeting for the first time for a weekend of friendship and company. Robards as the male lead who arranged the weekend liaison through a dating service seemed very comfortable as the ageing architect with family and friends but longing for that special someone. Julie Harris was the woman he was matched with and she was also convincing as the shy but quite compatible weekend companion. The two together find great pleasure in the beautiful setting by the lake, their Christmas dinner, and their play time. There is no particular need for love-making; that's not part of the plan, as sketched out by Robards, which is a huge relief to his companion who prefers a totally platonic holiday. The two seem so well matched and yet there is a gulf between them. The ending will not be to everyone's liking but then life can't always pan out as we would wish.

I found the film-making paid little attention to detail as the Christmas setting was more like Thanksgiving than Christmas. Even in the United States people know that fall colour is over by December 25. It was also obvious to anyone familiar with Toronto that the movie was filmed there and not in the eastern United States, as the film would imply. These incongruities detract from the movie's appeal. Nevertheless, it is worth watching for the interaction between the two main actors.

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