The Christmas Blessing
by Phil Boatwright

Neil Patrick Harris, Rob Lowe, Rebecca Gayheart, Angus T. Jones. GT Media. Directed by Karen Arthus.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A sequel to the 2002 CBS TV movie The Christmas Shoes, The Christmas Blessing, also a highly rated TV movie from 2005, tells the story of a man’s struggle with his own life choices. Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Doogie Howser, M.D., Clara’s Heart) is a young doctor who loses his patient on the operating table and begins to rethink his career. He moves back to his small hometown and in with his father as he tries to decide what to do with his life. There he meets a woman, whom he quickly falls in love with, and a young boy in need of a friend. He finds himself questioning God, fate and the fragility of life after he discovers that both these people are also searching for a Christmas miracle.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Giving it a warm, Hallmark Hall of Fame feel, GT Media (responsible for distributing many inspirational DVDs, including The Omega Code, Megiddo, Benji and the All About series), releases this CBS TV-made movie in time for the Yuletide season. Replete with themes concerning the loss of loved ones and looking out for others when you’re hurting, it tells its story well, engaging viewers with fine performances and a savvy mixture of gentleness and sincerity, which helps make it enjoyable for the entire family. Though not designed to preach the gospel, it does show reverence for God as scenes play out in a church. And in a way, it celebrates Christ’s loving nature, as several characters begin to place others before themselves. It becomes obvious that something spiritual is happening to these people.

Certainly not in the class of Christmas classics such as It’s A Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street, but nonetheless, highly enjoyable. I will be adding The Christmas Blessing to my Christmas film library.

Due out October 16, 2007. Not rated (there are several minor expletives, but no harsh language; men are seen drinking in a bar; two people have life-threatening ailments; the eventual death of a child may be disturbing to very little ones, but this death leads to an inspirational message that should be a positive for all other members of the family).

DVD suggested retail price: $14.98

Available at most mass retailers including Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Best Buy, Transworld, BJ’s, B&N and Borders.