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Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Christmas Wish (1998)

After his grandfather's death, a rising young executive (Neil Patrick Harris) comes down from New York to temporarily manage his grandfather's real estate business. His grandmother (Debbie Reynolds) asks him to locate a mystery woman that her husband wrote about in his journals, fearing that she might have been his mistress. Trying to track down the mystery woman leads him on a path of discovery ... of his grandfather, of himself ... and forgiveness. Every year around this time, there seems to be a surfeit of Christmas TV movies, usually from Hallmark or Lifetime. Most of them are unbearably treacly but if THE CHRISTMAS WISH doesn't quite escape the sentimentality inherent in these annual holiday offerings, it's still a cut above the usual stuff. It's characters are nicely drawn and the performances by Harris, Reynolds and a young Naomi Watts as a single mother are solid and the Christmas spirit isn't exploited to the point of nausea. Directed by Ian Barry. With Alexandra Wilson, Ian Meltzer and Beverly Archer.

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