4 December 2006 | caa821
Thoroughly pleasant new Christmas film
This brand new Christmas movie (Lifetime - made in Canada - where most new Lifetime flicks seem to originate) is an excellent one. It has the ethereal aspects many such pictures have, reminiscent of "Ghost," sans a murderer. It's not a spoiler to indicate Jaime Newman's character (Susan) and her son (Burkely Duffield as Jonathan) lose husband/father early-on in an auto accident. He remains pleasantly "around" in somewhat the same vane as Patrick Swayze in "Ghost," although more positively so, and thankfully bereft of Swayze's wooden, often annoyingly-lethargic demeanor.
There is a villain of sorts, but not with any real menace, with whom Susan becomes involved. Her son is drawn to his school's hockey coach and counselor, played by Michael Shanks (as Kevin).
The story has its plot lines, of course, but its crux is the three leads "finding" one another, in a fulfilling way for all, but without shedding the memories of the losses they've incurred.
All of these actors/characters are thoroughly engaging, and Ms. Newman, whom I had never seen, is both beautiful and likable. The film's supporting cast is also well-presented.
The youngsters in films can often be annoying with a capital "A." It is always great to find ones who are the opposite (such as Michael Douglas' daughter in "The American President," or Tom Hanks' son in "Sleepless in Seattle"). Young Duffield is every bit as pleasant, believable and most of all, likable.
This is one of the positive type of holiday films which should become one to be seen in many seasons to come.