Angel in the Family
Meredith Baxter, Ronny Cox, Tracey Needham, Tess Harper
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 2006
88 minutes

Angel in the Family is obviously going to be a feel-good Christmas movie DVD. Just the title, the blurb on the cover, “A miracle mends a family torn apart”, and the picture tells you that. For those who like a warm hearted movie the question is does it manage to be interesting and keep you watching. The answer for Angel in the Family is yes, especially because it is not as predictable as you may think.

The Bishop clan is coming apart at the seams. Sarah’s relationship with her trucker husband I going down the tubes and her relationship with her sister Beth (Nathasha Gregson Wagner) is rather tense, especially because she keeps reminding Beth how much more she does. Their father is ill and believes his wife’s spirit is still with him. Since the movie starts in California, the family goes back to its hometown of Trinity (no religious connotation here of course) to spend Christmas in the family home. Will the sisters mend their differences and will the father find peace on his last Christmas? Well, duh! It’s a Christmas movie DVD.

Some willing suspension of disbelief is necessary to enjoy Angel in the Family. The sisters too readily (a second or two) agree to spend Christmas in Trinity even though they are both busy women and Beth is a big wheel at an advertising firm. You also have to buy the idea the father can communicate with his dead wife and fun, magical things -though sometimes they border on creepy– happen from time to time and that Sarah’s wish her mother was there can come true. Fortunately, this is an easy leap.

In addition to a lot of feel good moments this Christmas movie DVD also has a few comic moments here and there. For example, one of the things the mother returns for is to return a library book and give her real meatloaf recipe to a neighbor. Though the emotional pendulum sure swings easily and quickly from drama to mushy, something the music sure points out, you are still willing to go along with it. This is in part because Sarah (Tracy Needham) has as a hard time buying the whole thing as a cynical viewer might.

Angel in the Family is a fun little Christmas DVD movie you can simply sit back and enjoy.


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