Picks and Pans Review: A Season for Miracles
The metaphor might be more apt at Easter time, but I have to fault this Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas offering for gilding the lily. The heartwarming though improbable drama concerns a well-meaning woman (Chicago Hope's Carla Gugino) who runs off with the two children of her drug-addicted sister (Laura Dern) after a social worker (Kathy Baker) threatens to place the kids in foster care. Chance brings the fugitives to the friendly little town of Bethlehem, where Gugino is mistaken for the long-lost owner of a lovely old home. It's just too tempting for Gugino to go with the flow, particularly since she's falling for a handsome local cop (David Conrad). The film has an appealing hero and a positive holiday theme of hope and forgiveness; it doesn't need Patty Duke as a mystery character who materializes in various guises to give the characters what must be described as a heavenly nudge.
Bottom Line: Tries too hard for a miracle