Friday, December 20, 2013

TV Movie Review: Angel in the Family (2004)

When widowed father (Ronny Cox) collapses, his daughter Sarah (Tracey Needham) calls her estranged sister. Beth (Natasha Gregson Wagner), feeling like she is jeopardizing her job, begrudgingly leaves her husband and a major account behind to be with her father in Los Angeles.

Their father convinces them that they need to return home to Trinity for Christmas. The house has been closed up since the death of Buddy's wife. When a frustrated Sarah cries out to her mother, the miracle of Christmas returns Lorraine (Meredith Baxter) to her family to help heal the wounds that have torn them apart.

Hallmark Channel has been running this 2004 movie as part of its Countdown to Christmas lineup. It features a fractured family that soon realizes their late wife/mother is what held them together. Sarah feels like the unappreciated older daughter who has been left behind to care for her widowed father; while Beth, the one who got everything--including all the love and attention, is pursuing a great career and is happily married. What Sarah doesn't know is how fragile Beth's marriage is. Their father, Buddy, has struggled to let go of his late wife, and is unable to move on.

This is a touching, heartwarming seasonal story. There are a few subplots that branch off of the main story, giving Angel in the Family a great deal of depth. This is an emotional story; one that will require a tissue or two. It will also force you to suspend a bit of common sense. It's touching to see how Lorraine comes back to help her family and the magical things that she can do, but other things she can't do make no sense: she can cause a tree with no lights strung on it to light up, can make the beds and cook hot chocolate without being seen, but she can't find an old phonograph so she and Buddy can dance together to music. I have to admit, I didn't care for Beth at first, but she grew on me as the movie progressed. I feel the best part of this movie is that everyone is able to step back and reflect on how their actions contributed to the distance between them--even Lorraine. If you like movies about second chances, this would be a good choice.

Angel in the Family is available on DVD and Blu-ray. It will also air again on the Hallmark Channel on Monday, December 23rd at 6 a.m. EST.

Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
Language: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: December 5, 2006
Run Time: 88 minutes
ASIN: B000ION27G

I watched this movie on Hallmark Channel. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.



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