Friday, December 14, 2012

TV Movie Review: Fallen Angel (2003)

Another tear-jerker from the Hallmark Hall of Fame collection, Fallen Angel is a superb seasonal movie.

A tense relationship with his father forced Terry McQuinn (Gary Sinise) to leave Maine and never look back. Now a successful L.A. attorney, he returns after the death of his father to settle the estate. Terry has no plans to stay in Rosepoint, but when he learns that Katherine Wentworth (Joely Richardson), who he met when he was only a boy, wants Serenity Cottage opened for Christmas, he decides to help get it ready for her.

As Terry's past and present collide, he is drawn to Katherine and her young daughter, and his once fulfilling life in L.A. doesn't seem so satisfying any more.

Oh, my goodness, what a great movie this is. Sinise is a fabulous actor who can play rough and bitter guys like Lieutenant Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, a hero fighting evil in The Stand, and a romantic lead in this touching 2003 movie that will make you laugh and cry.

Sinise and Richardson had such chemistry in this movie. And because the character of Terry has memories of their first meeting that Katherine doesn't have--for reasons I can't reveal or it will ruin the movie for you--the viewer watches Terry's struggle unfold. Should he help her reconnect with the past? Should he let the memories stay hidden?

This movie started with backstory. We first meet Terry McQuinn at the age of nine. His mother is deceased and he lives with his detached father in Rosepoint. His father is the caretaker for the cottages inhabited by wealthy residents who visit Maine, so he's working a lot of the time. After a tragedy that takes place around Christmas that year, his father never allows Terry to join him at work again, and the chasm between them widens.

We then see Terry again at 18, graduating from high school. It's at this point he decides to leave Rosepoint and his father behind. So, the first half hour of the movie pretty much sets the stage for the rest of it. I felt the short scene between Terry and his dad at age 18 could have been left out, but perhaps the viewer needed to see that tension explode and push Terry to the edge so that his return to Maine was more meaningful.

Despite the title, there are no angels in this movie. It's a term used by one of the characters to describe the homeless people who lean across car hoods to get warmth from recently shut off engines. That's another tidbit I can't explain, but I thought it should be clear there are no heavenly spirits involved in this one.

Hopefully you can catch this movie on Hallmark Channel next week. It's supposed to air at 2 AM Eastern on Monday the 17th and 6 PM Eastern on Thursday the 27th.

Release Date: 23 November 2003 (USA)
Runtime: 120 minutes

I recorded this movie on my DVR off the Hallmark Channel. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

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