I don’t mean to brag but we are Hallmark movie aficionados in my house. I kid you not. We do not miss a single original movie or series that is aired, particularly the Christmas themed films. The production values have continually improved as well as the story lines and we appreciate the warmth, positive message and family oriented outlook of each film.
Imagine our surprise when we discovered a new holiday release on Lifetime Channel, yes Lifetime, which we all fell in love with and believe could give Hallmark stiff competition.
Heaven Sent follows Billy and Maire Taylor as they struggle through a divorce and decisions about their joint business during the Christmas season. Adding to the confusion is a young runaway girl who shows up in their house with her own secrets and challenges.
If the premise sounds a little too sad for a holiday movie, don’t be fooled. Although it deals with deeply emotional topics, it does so in an honest yet uplifting way. It is clear, that Billy and Maire still care a great deal for each other and yet there is something unresolved which has pushed them to the point of divorce. The addition of Taylor, who requests to call them Mom and Dad leads them into seeing each other through new eyes.
I cannot find a single fault with this film. It has depth and gravity and yet the humor kept if from feeling too heavy. The characters were flawed but also lovable and it was clear that although they might react poorly to each other, it came from a place of pain that most of us could relate to.
I am always hesitant to watch films where children play a major role, because many times they either come across too perfect or too bratty. The part of the little girl Taylor is crucial to the story and she is played just right by the cutest child actress. She is almost perfect, but there is a reason for that and she never overplays it to the point of implausibility. (On a side note, Maire and Taylor look like they could actually be mother and daughter. Their resemblance is uncanny.)
In many made for television films, the plot is predictable. I don’t mind a predictable story necessarily, but this one had a surprise at the end that I did not foresee and which left me moved to tears.
I loved this film so much and it will be going to the top of my favorite Christmas movies list. In fact, no sooner did we finish watching this than we decided we will be giving it another viewing very soon even though the DVR is full with other unwatched Christmas movies. I will also be checking Lifetime for other holiday offerings.
This movie is a great addition to the television holiday lineup. I urge you to give it a chance. I think you will fall in love too.