|Index||4 reviews in total|
This made for TV movie surprised me. I had very little expectations for it but ended up finding it to be a very light, yet entertaining plot mainly due to the cast. Trish (Nancy Travis) is a mom/school teacher, who has lost touch with her family mainly from taking her job too seriously. Meanwhile, Cindy (Jana Lee Hamblin) had a husband who was killed in Iraq leaving behind two sons for her to raise, one of which has to write a paper for the teacher (Travis) on an event that changed his life yet can not seem to do so due to spending too much time focusing on the basketball team. When Cindy goes to talk to Trish about the problem, the teacher ignores her plea telling her to be more of a mother to her son and not enable the situation. Through the work of a female angel watching over them all, this leads to Trish getting into a car wreck bumping her head which instantly puts her in Cindy's shoes as a mother to realize what an easy life Trish had compared to her. This is where the actress (Travis) switches roles and becomes Cindy with the angel telling her she has a lesson to learn "all through the blink of an eye". The movie offers some humorous situations of the somewhat above-middle-class school teacher switching to the life of a mother who works in a café as a waitress especially when she learns her "new" son is the boy she was actually failing as a school teacher. Some heartwarming scenes when she learns the real reason why he can't write his paper is due to the very last words the boy told his father before he left and was killed in Iraq being, "I hate you!" In the end after her lesson is learned, Cindy/Trish returns back to her body with the only time lost being "a blink of an eye". The plot is a different form of "It's a Wonderful Life" only not as strong with only a few light traces of Christmas lights mixed within the plot.
It was fun seeing so many bits of Portland in this movie. (Umpqua ice
cream is really good stuff; be sure to get some if you're ever in
Oregon!) I think all of it really was filmed there.
That won't matter to most of you. Was it any good?? I sure liked it. There were some clichés, but they were handled rather off-handedly, almost like the filmmakers were winking at the audience and saying OK, we all know we have to do this bit here to set up that other part later on, so let's just relax and not take it too seriously. That worked. The important parts of the movie were the inspections of how we treat one another, and why, and what we might be missing by not really listening to each other. The clichés were just there to hold those moments together in a storyline.
It's clearly a small-budget film, and the only name I knew was Nancy Travis, but the movie doesn't seem bothered by any of its potential hindrances, and none of them bothered me either. Intelligent, respectful writing, acting, directing, etc. can atone for a lot of shortcomings in the budget, special effects, casting, etc. departments, and that's what happened here.
Face your flaws, play to your strengths, and don't let your weaknesses steal your grace or your confidence. Along with the message of listening to others, those were the lessons of the movie's story, and they are lessons which the movie-makers exemplified in crafting this movie itself.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
my Chiquita and I chose a movie from a pile of DVD cases owned by her
roommate, and it was this piece of garbage. She fell asleep and i had
to fight this terrible movie all by myself. Im being too harsh, the
movie is not terrible. It tries to be good, but it fails.
My main concern with the movie is not the acting which i don't think is bad, some actors in this movie are better than others who are famous.i thought the main actress was pretty decent. What i didn't like at all was the plot.
The main character is this woman (there are like 20 characters in this) who teaches English is high school, she is not very good at listening to others or trying to understand them. There's also this guy who came back from Iraq and lost his girlfriend, He hates life and runs away from it from town to town. And finally this other woman, struggling mother of two boys, lost his husband in Iraq. And some more other characters, mainly the widow's son, One day the two main characters are visited in different ways by a supernatural woman. She tells the young veteran to fix a house and tells the woman to be prepared. The woman swaps lives with the widow (whos she had been insensitive to before) and now the two main characters have a specific mission: He has to forgive himself and help the struggling family, and she has to understand this family to learn her lesson. I said swap lives but we don't really see that, because the other woman never appears again in screen, her family acts like nothing is happening so we assume there is somebody living her previous life. The main character never tries to make contacts to the being that is living in her body! She just goes with it (she's supposedly fighting it at the beginning but she doesn't really do anything that matters) Lets skip to the predictable end. The family overcomes their problems and the guy forgives himself. They have the corniest scene with Christmas lights 6 months before Christmas so the dead father can see them from the sky. The teen boy finishes his paper about his dead father and he can rejoin the basketball team to win the match just at the last seconds. The struggling family loses the house but somebody pays anonymously for a new house just by their previous house. And the veteran guy joins the supernatural woman in a quest for saving souls.
Problem with the swap lives' thing. The teacher returns to her body after learning her lesson, one week later. She basically re lives the whole week in her body while the other woman re lives the same week in her original body as well. Somehow, the things reach the same conclusion, the family lives the same moments with the veteran and so on, wouldn't two different people make different choices?. Also if angels can appear in peoples lives giving them visions of the lives of others, why are they secret, they should go all out helping the world so no more wars could happen. The movie was like a longer touched by an angel episode, and that show was bad. Maybe I'm wrong and this movie is a parallel dimension/time travel masterpiece.
I thought it was bad. Its my fault, i should know better, every movie with basketball scenes cant be great.
Jake (Philip Winchester) has not been able to focus on a single job or
stay in one place ever since the death of his wife. But shortly before
Christmas, the brakes go out on this pickup and a mysterious woman
named Molly (Yara Martinez) shows up and knows exactly what is wrong
and even his what he needs to fix the truck. She disappears as suddenly
as she appeared, but she has given Jake an address and a job.
In Portland, Oregon, Trish is an English teacher whose husband is a cop. Their teenage daughter Dana is having trouble with calculus, but her mother has high expectations of her. Their younger son Toby is wearing a ratty jacket and carrying an old backpack, saying he gave his friend Mikey (Jackson Pace) his new jacket and backpack.
One of Trish's students is Mikey's brother Justin (Cameron Deane Stewart), who is good at math and a basketball player. But Justin is not doing well in Trish's class; the latest assignment is to write about a life-changing event. Justin lost his father in the Iraq war several years earlier, and while that is his topic, he is having great difficulty writing about it. Trish doesn't care if he's having trouble--either he finishes the paper or he's off the basketball team. And when Justin's mother Cindy (Jana Lee Hamblin) shows up late for a conference with Trish--well, that's just too bad. Never mind that Cindy is a waitress (at a restaurant Trish's husband likes) with a pile of bills marked "final notice". Justin has to work to help pay the bills, though somehow he finds time to skateboard with his friends (they're really good!).
Trish gets distracted and wrecks her car. When she wakes up in the hospital, everyone thinks she is Cindy. She is wearing Cindy's clothes but doesn't know a thing about Cindy's life. So she has to struggle to learn everything about Cindy, with the excuse being that she is recovering from her injuries. Furthermore, Trish learns a lot about herself from those who don't realize Cindy is actually Trish.
Trish is able to help her new family in ways Cindy couldn't, but she has difficulty on the job. That's okay, because something magical happens there.
Cindy's family has a new neighbor--Jake! And his presence ends up making a real difference in the family's life. Especially with the help of quirky Molly, who keeps appearing and disappearing without explanation.
Justin finds out what he needs to do, as he tutors Dana and spends time with Jake. This is not, however, "The Parent Trap"--no one explains where Trish is all this time, and she doesn't seem to be missing.
After some adversity and a few more miracles, an event in Trish's life repeats itself, and once she finally realizes what has happened, Trish can do some things differently this time.
It's a Christmas miracle, indeed.
Everyone involved gives a good performance. While the V-chip rating is G, there are some difficult moments. After all, we're dealing with people who lost someone in war, and more of life's real difficulties. This is acceptable for children because it could happen to them. But this is not some sugary-sweet version of what happens.
Since Nancy Travis is listed as both Trish and Cindy in the credits, I assume she played Cindy when Cindy was Trish. This makes sense if Travis is first in the credits. She did a wonderful job in both roles.
I haven't succeeded in finding who played Trish's husband but he was great when he had to show sympathy.
I will say many people will probably like Yara Martinez in her off-the-wall performance as Molly, which starts out normal but gets increasingly silly and uninhibited. Personally, I couldn't stand her.
There was music in this movie. But that was background music without lyrics, which was somewhat listenable. Then there was a lot of unpleasant noise that had words in it, which some people will misuse the word "music" to describe--especially early in the movie. I suppose this is necessary to get young people to watch.
It was a wonderful effort.
|Plot synopsis||Ratings||External reviews|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|