Picks and Pans Review: Christmas on Division Street
Last week Jessica Tandy starred in a Christmas-themed TV movie on NBC, The Story Lady. This week her husband, Hume Cronyn, gets his turn. In this saccharine story based on actual events, he plays a homeless Philadelphian who forges a friendship with a preppie suburban teen played by Fred (The Wonder Years) Savage.
This being TV, Cronyn is the most energetic, gregarious, well-educated—and, of course, well-scrubbed—homeless person you'll ever meet. A history of alcoholism is glossed over as if it were a 24-hour bug. Even though he lives in a cardboard box, he dresses considerably better than Columbo. Right up through the bathos-drenched ending, this movie encourages us to look at homelessness through a lulling, too-rosy lens.