Picks and Pans Review: Samantha: An American Girl Holiday

UPDATED 11/29/2004 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/29/2004 at 01:00 AM EST

The WB (Tues., Nov. 23, 8 p.m. ET)


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This 100-percent-whole-some TV movie is only slightly more lifelike than the item that inspired it: a popular doll from the American Girls Collection.

The title character (AnnaSophia Robb) is a 9-year-old orphan being raised by her wealthy grandmother (an underemployed Mia Farrow) in 1904. Defying class distinctions, Samantha befriends little Nellie (Kelsey Lewis), who works as a servant next door along with her father and two sisters. After the poor kids' dad dies, Samantha takes steps to free them from a Dickensian orphanage.

Robb is believable once in a while, but most of the performances are from the "let's pretend" school of costume drama.

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