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Home by Christmas has the feel of a real life story. Linda Hamilton
stars as a woman, Julie, who's husband leaves her for a younger woman.
Devastated, Julie ends up moving out of her house and into an apartment
in a rough neighborhood. This is only the beginning for her.
Hamilton is a jewel here--this is one of the best performances from her I have seen. Brenda Crichlow was incredible in the role of Julie's friend, Selma, and Rob Stewart also turned in a good performance. This is one of my favorite Christmas movies on the Lifetime channel. Home by Christmas is a tale of survival and hope in the face of terrible, terrible hardships.
Home by Christmas starts out fairly predictable and depressing, with Linda Hamilton's character being cheated on by her husband and then going through a series of (certainly plausible) extremely hard and devastating times. But, as the movie progresses, there is a lot of laughter, lessons and a really nice and touching story that makes this movie thoroughly enjoyable. You really want to cheer the title character on and see if she can pull herself out of the situations that have befallen her. She makes some wonderful friends and the cast is very enjoyable to watch, as are the majority of the scenes with their interaction. The title, 'Home By Christmas', alludes to the fact that the mom is, once again, trying to provide a stable environment for her daughter to live in by the time she comes home for C-mas from a trip.
Typical "Lifetime" movie; but ya know, a really feel good experience. Sweet performances, especially by Linda Hamilton as a down on her luck divorcée who becomes homeless, make the movie special. Sometimes on the brink of believability, these performances and the director's occasional fast pace put the plot beyond, towards a story that can easily be enjoyed. There are even moments when tears well into ones eyes without the realization that the heart begins to glow with the holiday spirit. Brenda Crichlow's overly optimistic performance is also surprisingly good. Beware that there are some even many predictable moments. However, they are handled so well by the seasoned Ms. Hamilton, Rob Stewart and the actor who plays Max (his father) that an audience can still receive a blip of unexpected plot. In one word this holiday season? Lovely.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie captured the spirit of Christmas so beautifully. It doesn't
matter if the plot has holes in it or not. This movie is all about the
power of love and perseverance and the fact that real bonding can only
take place when we expose our failures, fears, and weaknesses. It
brought tears to my eyes.
It was also good to see Linda Hamilton again. I have very fond memories of her from the Terminator movies. This was such a different role in a way even though she was playing a strong woman. Of course, this is a different kind of strength than we saw when she was Sarah Connor.
I hope to add this movie to my Christmas movie collection. This effort outdoes The Polar Express and is in the same league as It's A Wonderful Life. and the Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol.
Everybody, hurry up and vote!
I never pay too much attention to television films, especially when
they intend to show for a certain audience, such as the way Lifetime
Network targets their films for housewives and little girls. The
"however", however, comes with the star of "Home By Christmas", Linda
Hamilton. I could watch anything this elegant lady does, and thus so, I
took a chance on this film.
"Home By Christmas" is a quite depressing story of a woman, whom divorces her cheating husband, only to meet even more humiliation by loosing her home in the post-mordam madness, and living in her car. Despite this, she keeps her hopes up, and clings to every opportunity she can, in attempt to build a plan for getting her life back. Her desperation accelerates when her young daughter is returning home for X-Mas, and she needs a quick way to hide the disastrous situation that has befallen her. Not only that, but she has fallen in love, and cannot bring herself to admit her situation to the man she is interested in. Still, she manages to prevail in all her hope and glory, and just as the yuletide season is coming to it's heights.
The story of this is actually depressing, and very sad to think about, but there is humor therein. Linda Hamilton is serious about this role, but she plays it out very well. The hope and humorous ambitions of her character are well represented, and we find ourselves smiling throughout the film, despite the lousy conflicts our leading actress is faced with. The fact is, we are given hope with every scene, as the writing is pretty sharp (a rarity for television films). it's no wonder why Hamilton choose this role. There is something to learn from the film, about giving and receiving. It's quite touching, and in the end, we see the miraculous life lessons of what good comes from hope and faith, and the power of the yuletide season.
I managed to see this film at the fourth attempt after being constantly interrupted with family matters but I am glad I got to watch it. The story is not new but what is somewhat unusual is that the Linda Hamilton character chose not to take her husband to the cleaners after finding out that he cheated on her. What happened is that through a series of believable disasters she finds herself alone (her daughter goes to live with her father) and she loses her home. I agree with a previous commentator, I think this is one of Linda Hamilton's best performances and my only gripe about this film is that it does not appear to be on DVD as I desperately want to add it to my collection. This is a moving but easy watching film and well worth taking the time to watch if you come across it on your TV listings.
The comments above do a good job of explaining what this movie is
about, so I want to focus on another aspect of this film.
This movie is about the type of situation most are terrified of even thinking of --facing an economic landslide out of our usual socio-economic level and being completely alone. This is one of the loneliest of personal disasters since others from our old life don't want to talk to us since they are so terrified of this happening to them that they don't want anything to even remind them of it. Watching this is a chance for us to even imagine what it's actually like to live our worst nightmare and know that we would survive. I'm pleased the network aired this film since I think it is a very useful self-empowerment tool.
If you love Christmas movies like I do, this is one of the best. It's a feel good movie with an interesting story. Linda Hamilton plays Julie, whose husband leaves her for a younger woman. Over time she looses everything and is forced to live in her car. Her daughter goes overseas for extended schooling but makes the decision to come home for Christmas. Now Julie scrabbles to find a place for both of them to spend the Holidays together. Julie makes new friends and slowly gets back on her feet. Her friend Max is a great character and they hep each other out. Julie's new relationship with Selma, a woman who has been in the same homeless situation, proves to be her lifesaver. It's a riches-to-rags-to-riches story, one of my favorites concepts especially during the holidays.
If you start to watch this movie and think about axing it within the first 15 minutes (like I did)... please give this movie a chance to redeem itself. Trust me, it does. By the last quarter of the movie, I was loving it. The first third of the movie is almost unbearable, acting mostly but even script writing is almost absurd... but if you bear through it to get to the the second-act, you start to really relate to the heroine of the movie and feel her pain. Even what's happened to her up to that point seem almost believable, despite the first act. Even in desperate times during life, wonderful people seem to appear out of the woodwork, as in this movie and it really makes you believe in something wonderful, especially at Christmas time. I really ended up enjoying this movie, even though I almost gave-up on it early on. In the end I loved it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Middle-aged housewife Linda Hamilton (as Julie) is left by her husband
for a much younger blonde. A series of unfortunate events leads the
divorced and deserted Ms. Hamilton to become homeless. She meets
similarly down-on-her-luck, but still beautiful-looking Brenda M.
Crichlow (as Selma James) and they become friends. Living in her car
agrees with Hamilton as she begins to get her act together. She dates
exceptionally good-looking doctor Rob Stewart (as Michael Stern), after
becoming acquainted with his lovable father Campbell Lane (as Max). The
older man's characterization lifts this implausible TV Movie up a
notch. Hamilton, who looks better homeless than she does in the early
scenes, is unable to pull her part off; for one thing, she is made to
play a seemingly intelligent woman who handles circumstances like she
has no life experiences. Of course, there may be some divine
intervention at work like the Spirit of Christmas...
**** Home by Christmas (12/25/06) Gail Harvey ~ Linda Hamilton, Rob Stewart, Brenda M. Crichlow, Campbell Lane
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