This sequel to THE CHRISTMAS BOX complicates the first made-for-TV-film's streamlined uplift by adding too much back story. As Richard Evans (Richard Thomas) prepares for his daughter's nuptials, he finds himself reminiscing about his family's benefactress, the late Mrs. Mary Parkin. After Mary bequeathed the Evans family her home, Richard discovered a stash of love letters from Mary's husband in the attic. Through them, he's pieced together the story of Mr. and Mrs. Parkin’s whirlwind courtship and married life. Absorbed in his WWII military contracts, David Parkin (Kevin Kilner) hires efficient, unmarried Mary Chandler (Naomi Watts) as his secretary, and is immediately smitten. David proposes marriage, and is undaunted when Mary reveals that she's carrying the child of a deceased war herol. For five years, Mary's child, Andrea (Mercedes Villamil), brings joy to the Parkin household. Then David chooses to take the blame for a crime committed by his friend, watch repairman Lawrence (James Earl Jones), and the family's tranquility is shattered. Though Lawrence could reasonably claim self-defense, he's an Afro-American accused of shooting a white man. Already distraught over David's act of self-sacrifice, she faces a graver crisis when Andrea contracts meningitis. The power of prayer sees Mary through her tribulations, but the loss of her child alters the dynamics of Mary's relationship with David. A workaholic once more, David sells off his beloved watch collection and keeps only the antique timepiece he gave Mary as a wedding gift. Years later, the Evans family moved into the Parkins' home as care-givers and Mary advised Richard not to place career above relationships. Now, on his daughter's wedding day, Richard gives her the timepiece that Mary had cherished as a keepsake of happier times. He also passes on Mary's wisdom about successful marriages. Fans of THE CHRISTMAS BOX (1995) will probably want to catch this prequel because it fills in blanks of Mary Parkin's life, and though screenwriter Richard Fielder's adaptation of Richard Evans' book is cumbersome, charismatic acting keeps it from sinking into an icky-sticky pool of saccharine nostalgia.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1996
- Rating: NR
- Review: This sequel to THE CHRISTMAS BOX complicates the first made-for-TV-film's streamlined uplift by adding too much back story. As Richard Evans (Richard Thomas) prepares for his daughter's nuptials, he finds himself reminiscing about his family's benefactress… (more)