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  • The reason this "Type A" male watched a movie on 'gasp' Lifetime was because of the two leads. I loved WKRP and it was nice to see Howard Hesseman again. I also love "Rescue Me" and wanted to see how Andrea Roth did in a very different role.

    The story itself was no classic, and you could see the ending coming a mile away, but the characters were all nice people and the movie zipped along at a pleasant clip. How nice to have a movie where there is no villains or terrible crisis. Howard Hesseman played his character like a lovable kook... picture Dr. Johnny Fever as a millionaire with no hangover. It was interesting to see Andrea Roth as a loving mother figure and not the oversexed shrew that she is on "Rescue Me" (She is very good in both roles). She handled the role of a struggling single mom dealing skeptically with sudden good fortune very well. Yannick Bisson played his role as the reporter just right. While hoping to make it to the "big time", he comes to realize that everything he needs is where he is at.

    The theme of forgiveness in the holiday season was nice but not too heavy handed. I liked the "34th Street" reference in the last shot (a miracle... get it!? :) ) I taped the movie so my wife and son can enjoy it. While I can't say that it's a Christmas movie that I will watch again and again I will say it was a nice way to spend a couple of hours.
  • statuskuo31 December 2011
    I'm a sucker for sentiment. And this is a throwback to those sensibilities that are devoid of today's cynicism. This is post-9/11 and astonish that they would even make this type of movie. For that...they deserve high praise for sure.

    Andrea Roth plays a single mother working as a limo driver who is struggling to make due with a young child after the father had run off with another woman. She keeps upbeat, despite the financial struggle she faces. Especially trying her hardest not to disappoint her son on Xmas. I buy it. The kid isn't one of those types who say "it's okay Mom, I know we have no money". NO. The child is honest. Painfully disappointed about the have-not. And to me, that is honest. That should ground you to the rest of the movie, since...it is about doing good deeds. Howard Hessmann is that guy. An eccentric gazillionaire that, with a snap of his fingers, could put you in the lap of luxury. But that isn't enough. He has secrets. And it includes Andrea's character. What could be a stupid syrupy tale, turns to some poignant moments of family interaction during the warmest of holidays. We're not suckers. We believe the people would react the way they do.

    What I notice a lot about Xmas movies is that they want it to be a classic. Totally. These sentiments should be year in and year out. But it works best, because it is Xmas. In "It's A Wonderful Life" you think George Bailey really lives happily ever after? Maybe. But he's still got an uphill battle in a dying town. For Andrea and her child, she is thrusted into a new world that she isn't accustomed to. Who cares? We know she's a good person...if only for a moment.
  • Andrea Roth was cute as the Ghost of Christmas Present in Chasing Christmas. She is just as cute here, but has a very different role. Seems she is trying to raise her young son and barely scraping by as her cheating husband ran off with his dental hygienist. Isn't that always the story? But, don't worry, as cute as Roth is, I am sure that Santa will send some cute young man to fill her stocking.

    The story here is about Howard Hesseman. I remembered him from Police Academy 2, but where I really remember him is "WKRP in Cincinnati." It's been a long time, Howard. He plays a crazy old gazillionaire that is giving away all his money. Hundred dollar bills to everyone, sometimes a handful; of them. Spreading that Christmas cheer around. But he has a secret or two, and one of them involves Roth.

    It is a sweet and tender story about family and giving and what is really important in life.

    Check it out.
  • behappysmile30 January 2018
    This was a film that I discovered by accident. I caught the first hour and fell asleep. Then I forgot the name of it. Then a friend of mine told me the name of the film. I had to order it from Amazon so I could watch it. I was glad I bought it. This is a wonderful film.

    A Single Mother (Who isn't looking for love but not ruling it out) ends up driving a "Crazy Old Man" around town on Christmas Eve Day. Much to her dismay because she feels she is neglecting her child.

    In the course of the day she finds out that "Life is Great" "Happiness and the Truth are not always hand and hand" and a few more things! Most of all she learns that "Forgiveness is the key to life"

    This film is a Christmas Treasure. Look For It.
  • It seems that Christmas films are on every Cable Channel from November -December. Many film titles "Sound alike". Many films share the same type of story lines. I think I have seen 3 Rip-Off version of "Groundhog Day" last year alone. Also I notice is many "Class Reunion" films take place around the Holidays. (Who would really plan a class reunion at Christmas time?) I have seen many version of "A Christmas Carol" and Frankly the best version of that story was the 1938 MGM VERSION.

    Today film studios no longer make films about real people. It seems that only films they make are about "Vampires" "Hobbits" "Wizards" "Superheroes" or "Tarzan".

    Well anyway my review: On Christmas Eve, A struggling single parent Shannon McManus (Andrea Roth) is stuck driving around a wealthy and eccentric millionaire client (Howard Hesseman) who is giving away large sums of money. Why? Who is he? One hungry reporter sets out to find who is this "Secret Santa"?

    I need to add that this film has very plausible dialog. The story is a little far-fetched but it is really well done. By only complaint is the ending felt a little flat. Had this been a theatrical film that ending would most likely re-worked! Howard Hessman carries the film and Andrea Roth more than holds her own.

    The film is family safe and the story is about family and the hard choices we have to make throughout life. Kids might get bored but if you find this film popping up on TV watch it! If you love Christmas Time you will love this film!
  • mborys22 November 2018
    I'm not one for Christmas movies but I was pleasantly surprised at this one. An original and great story and the crew was amazing, plus it's great to see Howard Hesseman. The ending was a nice touch .This is now one of my 5 favorite Christmas movies
  • I actually agree with everything Beltar said. He didn't mention that Andrea Roth is a real pleasure to look at, but she certainly is.

    Good story line - a girl loses her parents and husband and is left driving a limo trying to get by raising her young son. An interesting but strange rich man hires her limo on Christmas eve and has her drive him to various ice rinks where he gives out $100 bills to the people there. The news media catches on and starts following him. Some interesting twists follow, but the movie is somewhat predictable.

    Great cast, well done. It's on Lifetime again this year. Definitely worth watching. I'd watch it again too!
  • It came on lifetime last night. I liked the line of the story, My father mentioned it was like a mix of all the good Christ mas movie that come on every year, Christmas carol, Miracle on 34th street, etc.

    I was surprised, it wasn't like a normal Lifetime Movie, It was Good! No beating women no one got killed. The only thing i could see was that the main character Shannon McManus-Johnson was a single mother who lost her parents and take care of the child the best way she could she had some issues but who wouldn't in her situation.

    Some things i noticed, Aurthur Finnegan, Freds lawyer Said that he's boyfriend was a puppeteer on Sesame Street and did the Butt part of Mr. Snuffleupagus. I'm a puppeteer and love the Muppet's, i not of the gay persuasion but thought that was cool. Also they missed the Little old lady who took care of Trevor in the cast list, i seen her once before in a older Muppet short "hey Cinderella". I wanted to see if thats who i thought it was.

    all in all Great TV movie
  • What an enjoyable film. A young limo driver on Christmas Eve has to drive around an crazy man but things on the surface or not as they seem.

    This story is very clever and you as a viewer are not board. Its a story that is slightly original but 100% enjoyable.

    This is one of those films that make you want to call your family..
  • This isn't drastically different from the multitudes of other Christmas TV movies out there, but this one is just a little different and special somewhere to me. It's grown on me a lot over the years and I've strangely found myself watching it every year, it gives me the kind of wholesome old-fashioned warm genuine Christmas vibes that aren't really something I get very often from movies like this anymore. When I was a little boy, I used to think that Christmas was so super-magical, all of the festive atmosphere and little precious ceremonies all made me feel so happy and it was like proof that the world could be a bright happy place, when I'd feel sad as a kid I could just talk about Christmas to cheer myself up! Anywho this film isn't what I'd call overly sappy and to me it doesn't have the kind of overly-dramatic dialogue that gives TV films a bad name. And while it's nothing amazing, it really worked for me and I loved it, I thought it was genuinely heartwarming. I liked the woman and her kid and the way it established how they were going to have to make do with a really poor Christmas because they didn't have much, it made me care about them as characters. Howard Hesseman was brilliant and a real hoot as the eccentric rich old man with the answer to their prayers as he hires her as a chauffeur to drive him around New York on Christmas Eve while causing a media sensation with the random drive by acts of wild generosity by throwing wads of money to all around him for no other reason than sheer manic kindness and to spread the joy! All of the scenes where he does that really tickled me and made me smile because if there was ever one thing to really get any crowd ground going anywhere, ever, it would be free money! He is for all intents and purposes this movie's Santa Claus and while he does have an ulterior motive in helping her it's nothing too heavy.. The story does get a bit hectic at the end and I don't care for the pointless romance subplot that's thrown in, but overall it's all harmless sweet fun that projects a good image and theme of Christmas joy and family togetherness, and it has an endearing tone that I can only describe as cosy, it's a very nice uplifting picture to lighten the mood around the icy year's end. Thanks everyone, happy holidays to you X
  • draxan_phlipp29 November 2005
    I'm a sucker for a good Christmas movie; I really wish I'd seen one last night.

    Even the prospect of an attractive female lead didn't save this movie from becoming increasingly annoying as it progressed. Howard Hessman's character was at first lovably eccentric, but then excessively weird. The token cute little moppet (the son) wasn't so cute. There was little to no chemistry between the two leads - instead of romance, I felt more like they were about to establish a limited liability partnership for tax shelter purposes (after all, she's studying for the CPA exam!). And, the heart-tugging revelations at the end just didn't tug my heart.

    Move along, people. There's nothing to see here.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is definitely worth watching, once anyways. Andrea Roth has a great presence and really makes it worthwhile. Howard Hesseman is great and lively as one reviewer described as a kind "kook". Remembered Yannick Bisson from Sue Thomas FBI (His mannerisms so remind me of James Elliot from JAG). Absolutely love the boys part- he plays a disappointed kid.

    Hesseman is actually Roth's biological father and she doesn't know it. He hires her as a chauffeur and distributes 100 dollar bills throughout New York City. This is kind of strange, but Hesseman is so good at it. Yannick is a reporter and gets involved in broadcasting the events.

    Not sure if the chauffeur thing really worked (the silly uniform anyways). The writers/directors could have done a much better job of revealing the relationship between Roth and Hesseman in a more effective way. It was just kind of thrown out there.
  • The storyline holds potential for making a touching Christmas movie. But the lead, Shannon, is such an angry and rude person that her personality becomes annoying. I couldn't generate much empathy for her and it lessened the impact of the film. A positive ending doesn't salvage an otherwise negative movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    We thought it was a quick way to pass the time. Howard was fun at first but then got old. The little boy, bad actor, what a whiny little thing. How was the mom struggling? Her apt. sure looked nice to me. Not sure what the point of the attorney was. No chemistry between the lead and the TV guy. Why have the nasty little elf? lol OK, I hope my next holiday movie is better than this one. This movie just didn't mesh.I think I'd rather watch Christmas Vacation for the 1000th time. I'll have to go check out some of the Hallmark movies that are coming out. I should have gotten a clue when they were looking for a Christmas tree in the beginning of the movie, the boy wasn't happy with the one she got, he kept repeating over and over and over "HOW COME?" At that point, I'd have taken him to the car and gone home.
  • wes-connors11 December 2013
    Albeit late for the holiday, attractive blonde single mom Andrea Roth (as Shannon McManus-Johnson) buys a tree to decorate with young son Jason Spevack (as Trevor). The little tyke is miffed when his mom's boss from the "Dasher Limousine Service" calls with a job for Ms. Roth. On Christmas Eve, she must drive eccentric older Howard Hesseman (as Fred Nickells) around town. A man of means, Mr. Hesseman hands out hundred dollar bills to various people. He knows how to say "Merry Christmas" in 24 different languages. Hesseman spends over $500 on a hot dog. Eventually, he reveals a startling secret. Handsome television reporter Yannick Bisson (as Peter Archer) covers the story. He wears sharp eye make-up - and he's single. Caught up in the spirit of the season, there could be a big family in here somewhere. All this proves a TV Movie can be cute, predictable and annoying while celebrating personal wealth.

    **** Crazy for Christmas (12/7/05) Eleanor Lindo ~ Andrea Roth, Howard Hesseman, Yannick Bisson, Jason Spevack