I Don’t Believe…
..I had never even heard of this wonderful Christmas movie of over 20 years ago. It was heads and tails above the current crop: Well written, acted, and produced. Ally Walker is great as the sour neurotic heroine who is so toxic that her brother tells her that he does not want her to be around his children. At her lowest point, thrown out of her family and about to lose her career because of her unpopularity, pessimism, and lack of contribution, her inner child comes to rescue her from herself. Literally. Hayden Panettiere gives a bravura performance as her 9 year-old self. She bullies and advises, encourages, and befriends our Scroogey woman until, at last, her life is turned around and she breaks free from the influence of her former marriage to a controlling critical jerk, that largely caused our heroine’s descent into misery.
The romance was wonderful. As his editor, Susan falls for a first time author who is nice, smart, and quirky. Just the kind of man that she would have chewed up and spit out if he hadn’t been a true talent and brilliant writer. She needs him to save her career. Perfectly played by Tom Amandes, he brings a real Gary Cooper in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town feel to the part.
There were a few little things I wish had been better. The ending felt rushed. Young Susie just disappeared without comment when she had finally accomplished her mission. I would have loved a farewell scene. Also, I wish there had been more of a reunion scene with her brother and his family. That said, I loved the “15 months later” epilogue. I just did not want it to end, I guess. If you like what I like, seek this movie out this Christmas season. It’s free on IMDb TV if you have Prime.
November 8, 2020