This Hallmark holiday sampler comes embroidered with seasonal sentimentality, wrapped in the American flag and TV-movie platitudes. When U.S. soldier John Boyajian (Aaron Ashmore) died during the First Gulf War, his parents, George (William Devane) and Carol (Meredith Baxter), could barely handle their grief. Carol can't bear to celebrate Christmas, even though their daughter, Jean (Reagan Pasternak), would love to share some holiday cheer with her parents. And this year she could really use some emotional uplift, because she's facing a biopsy and probable lumpectomy. Suddenly, unexplained blessings befall the Boyajians: A warning voice shoos away the punks who threaten George at the town square, and he later escapes serious injury in a car crash. George gives a lift to a hitchhiking soldier, Matthew (Dean McDermott), and when he learns that the young man has lost touch with his family, George invites him to spend Christmas Eve with them. Far from being a burden, Matthew comforts the family and convinces Jean and Carol that he met John during his tour of duty. Although George wonders how Matthew could possibly know so many details about John's interests, he can't argue with the positive effect Matthew is having on the Boyajian household. Carol abandons her anti-holiday stance and agrees to celebrate the holiday with all the trimmings. More importantly, Matthew lays his healing hands on Jean and somehow cures her cancer. In his heart, George suspects that Matthew is really an incarnation of his lost son. Part home-front soap opera and part terminal illness weepie, Christopher Leitch's Christmas fantasy does a serviceable job of addressing the aftermath of a wartime loss but indulges in melodramatic overkill.
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- Released: 2002
- Rating: NR
- Review: This Hallmark holiday sampler comes embroidered with seasonal sentimentality, wrapped in the American flag and TV-movie platitudes. When U.S. soldier John Boyajian (Aaron Ashmore) died during the First Gulf War, his parents, George (William Devane) and Car… (more)