Monday, December 22, 2008


My viewing pick for this year's Christmas TV-movie is the Hallmark Channel's The Christmas Choir. It claims to be based on a true story, but the cliches and coincidences run so thick, I imagine this is more fiction than fact. Jason Gedrick (pictured) is a workaholic accountant who, though not quite a Scrooge, has let his work life affect his personal life: his girlfriend has just broken up with him and his secretary is getting fed up with all the extra hours. One night, while nursing his broken heart at a downtown bar, he is befriended by a homeless guy (Tyrone Benskin); when the two head off to a nearby shelter together, they bond over their love of music. Gedrick, goaded by the earthy nun who runs the shelter (Rhea Perlman), finds a new meaning to his life: he organizes a "Christmas Choir" of homeless men to sing in the subways, so they can collect a little money to make their holidays a little better. Of course, all the predicted obstacles (uh-oh, no permit; uh-oh, what to do about that pesky alcoholic singer) and some more outrageous than predictable (would you believe a major fire at the shelter, right on Christmas Eve?) occur, but the performances make it work--I even got a little teary at one point. What I wasn't as crazy about was the "While You Were Sleeping" romance between Gedrick and subway token taker Marianne Farley. The handsome Gedrick is very good but Farley lacks any oomph. You're always in good hands with Perlman, a total pro. This is one I might consider watching again.

No comments: