8 December 2009 | MartianOctocretr5
Upbeat and sincere, but routine
Doris Roberts shows up to save the day when a widower whose rambunctious twins terrorize a parade of baby sitters. OK, we've seen a lot of this before. The bratty kids motif is a little old now, but other things going on in this Hallmark offering make for a pleasant diversion.
What Christmas movie would be complete without a romance? Erin Karpluk and James Van der Beek have some great chemistry, and each has a past hurt, setting up a mutual healing process that is the primary theme of the movie. Mrs. Merkle (Roberts), when she's not a super nanny, is a match maker, and it soon becomes obvious she has some miracle talents up her sleeve to help everybody out to a happy ending. Think a matronly version of Peter Falk's Angel Max character.
While the plot is familiar, the acting is impressive, given this was a made-for-TV movie. The cast make a fine ensemble; scenes such as the first accidental confrontation between the two estranged sisters is handled very well. Issues such as forgiveness and letting go of hurts are dealt with sincerely.
A feel-good story; entertaining enough for a stay-in evening.