||Alright, so I found the movie a little
slower this time around. Still, it was well-acted and very reasonably
characters were quite believable, which is very important. Dudley the
angel really steals the show at the beginning, and the interplay between
him and Reverend Henry Biggs is really funny. Biggs thinks this is a
nut-case, with his rules and claims that he works for the Big Guy
himself! Later, Biggs is happy to have Dudley deal with his family,
since he doesn't have time for them any more.
It's no wonder that Dudley finds
himself attracted to Julia, the Reverend's wife. He also gets along
splendidly with their son, Jeremiah. No kidding, though, since Jeremiah
was so very cute!
Even though he neglects his family to
do his work, his heart is obviously not into that part of his life,
either. He barely puts up a fight when one of his charges, the son of
his secretary, is arrested for a crime he didn't commit. He thinks there
is nothing he can do when his son's best friend in the whole world is
sent to a foster home so far away. His church is in danger of being
demolished because of a real-estate businessman who owns the mortgage.
Biggs feels like he can't do anything right. At the same time, he has
loads of other work to do, from visiting parishioners in the hospital to
delivering baskets of toys. Family life only makes it worse, with Julia
nagging him (for good reason) and Jeremiah begging for attention.
Dudley is not very good at doing what
he was sent to Earth to do, though. He doesn't get through to Biggs
until the man notices that his wife is spending a lot of time with this
stranger. Only then, days into their relationship, does he decide to face his
problems at home. The old saying goes that when you solve the problems
at home, the other problems start fixing themselves. In this case, Biggs
works the other way around, but in doing that, getting the boy out of
jail, refusing to accept the demolition of the church, and so on, he
becomes a hero to his family, which helps to fix it.
The music was great, and definitely in
a holiday theme. I just love watching and listening to gospel choirs,
because they are so energetic!
However, there were some really slow
moments, especially near the beginning of the film. The ending didn't
really seem to fix the problem, and we are led to believe that it fixed
itself once Dudley removed himself from the picture. It's unfortunate
that they don't have any memory of him, because they could look back on
that Christmas as a redevelopment of their relationship, but I suppose
everyone who was visited by an angel would blabber about it, and their
work would be so much more difficult then!
So maybe this movie isn't for renting
every year (as I have already ignored my advice from below), but every so often,
maybe it would be good as a refresher.