Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hallmark's "A Season for Miracles": it slights a big issue for predictable Chrstmas entertainment


On December 23, the Hallmark Channel aired one of its “Hall of Fame” films, “A Season for Miracles”, directed by Michael Pressman (from 1999). It’s hard to find on imdb; here’s the link.

Here’s another tale about somewhat involuntary blood loyalty and family responsibility. This time, a natural biological mother (Laura Dern) OD’s on drugs and doesn’t stay out of jail. So her sister Emilie Thompson (Carla Gugino) steps forward to take care of her two children (the sister’s niece and nephew, played by Mae Whitman and Evan Sabara). But the state of Rhode Island’s child services wants to put them in foster care because Emilie has no job or bank account.

Some more “serious” films on this issue (“Raising Helen” – albeit a comedy, and “Saving Sarah Cain”) delve into the effect on the new responsibility on the “involuntary” parent’s life (see Aug 24, 2007) as did the WB TV series “Summerland” (see TV blog March 31, 2006). But here, Emilie just takes the kids and wanders to this nice “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (is it Pennsylvania?) where she meets a nice policeman Nathan (David Conrad) and a guardian angel (Patty Duke), who can metamorphasize as in fairy tales. So pretty soon we have a predictable, lighthearted Christmas movie that trivializes a big social problem. One thing about Bethlehem: it misses all the East Coast Nor’easter blizzards, until the last scene.

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