A sentimental holiday tale that bears its uplifting message about faith and family proudly. It's the Christmas season, but Rev. Henry Biggs (Courtney B. Vance) and his wife Julia (Whitney Houston) are in an Old Testament frame of mind -- it's trials of Job time. Their marriage is in a rut, the congregation is dwindling, their small son Jeremiah (Justin Pierre Edmund) is miserable because his best friend is being placed in foster care, a rapacious developer (Gregory Hines) wants to level the church and build a tennis court, Henry's having a crisis of faith and Julia's mother (Jenifer Lewis) is poking her nose in everybody's business. Enter the angel Dudley (Denzel Washington), who dazzles everyone with his brilliant smile and eventually gets around to helping put things right, though not before indulging in a little chaste flirtation with Julia. This remake of 1947's THE BISHOP'S WIFE dares to be decent -- even sappy -- and if it's no instant holiday classic, it's a pleasant diversion served up with the best of intentions. Houston sings, Washington charms and the smart-mouthed Lewis -- once one of Bette Midler's Harlettes -- keeps the confection from becoming too sweet to bear.