|Index||7 reviews in total|
I really pity the unjustified Scrooge mentality of the 3 negative
reviews of 4 before mine. I'm sorry they fail to realize that what one
perceives as "plastic" in acting is often just as much a failure on the
part of the viewer even to be WILLING to connect with the actor, a
willingness I've had for some years with Eric Johnson/Jake & Jewel
Staite/Holly and now appreciate having with Doris Roberts/Mrs. Miracle.
I realize the suspension of disbelief can be overused and often is, but in my viewing there was little needed on my part. I thankfully already knew Jewel Straite from Stargate: Atlantis days but was happy to find the two new "jewels" of Jake & Mrs. Miracle, though not realizing that Jake's Eric Johnson was the same old lovably affable self in Flash Gordon of a few years ago. Why they pass up wonderful guys like him for leads or cancel the shows in which they ARE leads is a sad testimony especially to the bad nature of the media and to some extent the viewers. Long story short, don't listen to the Scrooges that panned this jewel; be like Scrooge himself became, joyful adherent to the joys of Christmas by joining Jake and Holly and fellows in this warm-hearted "Merry Christmas" celebration movie. Don't miss it!
Beautiful film very romantic and brings up feeling of a happy time. Perfect for watching at Christmas when we all need a little magic, real life is so miserable and dull its lovely to escape to a film when good things do actually happen. I loved the character of Mrs. Merkle she was the sort of nosy old dear that we all love and listen to, without realising that she is helping us. Very well acted and lovable role. The relationship between aunt and nephew was great so true to life, aunt trying to care and do all the "right" things with healthy food etc then realising that the child is grown up and needs a friend. This film has true Christmas and family values and bring hope some lovely messages at a special time of year, including the fact that service men often miss these special times with their children. Well done after seeing this had to see the original film, wish they were on DVD.
To my surprise, this turns out to be one of my favorites among the many "Made for Television" holiday movies. The cast is an ensemble that does this heart warming story justice. It has a number of inner stories that all seem to get tied together in the end. Obviously, the love interest, but also the father who has stopped celebrating, the child taken away from a father by the war, the up and coming designer trying to make a go of it, the son who is trying to show his worth, and a number of other little threads to get tied together. And, you cannot miss Lauren Holly as the fashion designer. She is hilarious. There is a little something for everyone. Just a simple Christmas story to sit back and make you appreciate the holidays and bring a smile or two. If you don't like this one, you should probably be celebrating a different holiday.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had just finished reading Debbie Macomber's book that this movie is
based on and when I saw that there was a movie for it I was beyond
thrilled. The movie appeared to hold a worthwhile cast and who doesn't
love Doris Roberts? However, after watching the film, which I can
honesty say was an effort in itself, I was unimaginably disappointed.
First off, they have completely re-arranged the story from what was in the book. Now, I understand that screenwriters have creative license when converting a book into a movie, but my God! The ONLY resemblance to the book is the characters names! In the book: Jake Finnley's argument with his father is because Jake ordered 500 Inteletron robots on a hunch they would fly off the shelves. His father JR is furious and worried the store would be losing money because in the current economy, no one can afford a 200.00 robot. The majority of the story centers around Gabe wanting this robot and his Aunt Holly trying to find a way to pay for it, while not intruding on a budding relationship with Jake.
In the Movie: Jake's father is upset because he DIDN'T order any Inteletrons as Jake is hoping that people will go back to old fashioned toys for the kids. Gabe is left to learn the true meaning of Christmas by having older toys like train sets and the like pushed at him.
I found that this single change drastically alters the entire story. Not only that, but I assumed with a cast like Doris Roberts and Loren Holly it would be a wonderful holiday film. Instead, the acting was hollow, Lauren looked plastic and talked like a wind up doll for the entire movie, and the match making was a farce. The only decent quality in the whole film was the kid, whom I suspected wrote the script because real adults do not talk like that! So, buy it if you like a formula story, pushy morality, bad/sad acting and scary botoxed babes, for anyone else stay away.
Frankly, I wanted desperately to like this movie because I like the premise of these types of "family miracle" movies. Classics like Mary Poppins, Nanny McPhee, the original Miracle on 34th Street charmingly offer faith, hope, and love via carefully crafted story lines and believable dialog, all the while asking the viewer to check "reality" at the door and make a magical journey with the characters. HOWEVER, with "Call Me Mrs. Miracle", Debbie Macomber's plot is just tediously predictable. Further, the screen writer's stilted dialog and the plastic acting courtesy of the director creates a cringe-worthy movie on every level. It's not even about suspending belief (as suggested by the one and only positive reviewer) ... it's about the quality of the story and it's presentation. There's just no miracle here.
This is a sweet story, but there was a theme throughout of returning to
a more slow-paced, old fashioned type of holiday. The movie suffers
from an seriously saccharine script that is so sugary sweet, it's
practically coma inducing. Even when I agreed with the sentiment being
stated, I had to roll my eyes at the dialog that was about as subtle as
a frying pan to the face.
I actually felt bad for Lauren Holly. Her character was such a ham-fisted caricature of a shallow self centered individual, she occasionally seemed on the verge of cringing while delivering her lines. I'm sure her character was intended to be so over the top as to be humorous, but instead it was just plain awful. I was embarrassed for her.
This movie is okay for what it is - a Hallmark Christmas movie. It's sweet, incredibly simplistic, rather vague on the conflict, and the resolutions are quick and easy. In fact, some of the resolutions are so quick, they're instantaneous. I wouldn't say it's a complete waste of time to watch, but it's such a shallow and frothy piece of fluff that your syrup tolerance level will need to be pretty high. There is so little substance, you will probably forget it thirty minutes after you've viewed it.
The usually delightful Doris Roberts, who managed to make the prequel
to this Hall Channel TV movie good, comes back for another turn as Mrs.
Miracle, who may or may not be a heavenly messenger sent to bring
holiday cheer to the occupants of this movie. Unfortunately, she seems
unable to do as much for any potential viewers. Lauren Holly, as a
fashion designer who seems totally out of touch with reality, attempts
a comedy turn, but director Michael Scott seems to be unaware of how to
modulate his actors' performances and she comes off as creepy and
obnoxious. Everyone seems to spend a lot of time chuckling
uncomfortably, except for Miss Holly.
The plot centers around ingénue Jewel Staite, who seems to trying to make something real out of her poorly written role, her nephew, who is in her charge in Brooklyn while his widowed father is serving in the Mideast, and and the rocky start of a romance that Mrs. Miracle fosters between her and Eric Johnson, the manager of a department store owned and operated by his father. These last two have issues -- Tom Butler as the father has some nice moments, but they are few and loused up by the fact that he must have a Change of Heart in time for a happy ending. Miss Staite and Mr. Johnson seem capable, but it's hard to tell.
Besides the by-the-numbers plotting, and the magic offered to us -- and isn't it heartwarming to know that people can't solve their problems without magic? -- we have the issue that the plot points are all talked over, never shown. Why bother to have a picture tube on your set at all if you're never going to show us plot points being resolved? Some of these Hallmark Christmas movies have been pretty good, but this one is bottom of the barrel. A pity for some pretty talented performers.
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