A Hobo's Christmas (1987)
A Chance of Christmas
More often than not when I watch a Christmas movie I can usually work out where things are going within the first 15 minutes or so, it's not a special gift as so many Christmas movies are that obvious. But as I sat down to watch "A Hobo's Christmas" I was flummoxed as I couldn't be sure where this was heading, oh I could guess some things as we have an estranged father and son bonding set up combined with a romantic subplot surrounding a widow but I couldn't see exactly what the ending was going to be. I suppose it was that sense of curiosity which kept me watching as otherwise "A Hobo's Christmas" is a pleasant, warm Christmas movie which is just okay.
It's been 25 years since Chance (Barnard Hughes - The Lost Boys) walked out on his family and became a hobo but this Christmas he has rolled into Salt Lake City for a reason, he wants to make amends with his son Charlie (Gerald McRaney - The A-Team) and meet his grand children. Charlie is less than welcoming when he discovers his father is in town but after encouragement from girlfriend Laurie (Wendy Crewson - The Santa Clause 3) allows him to move in for a day which turns into a few days as the children warm to him and don't want him to go. But Charlie and his father have a lot of issues to work through not just with his father as his relationship with Laurie has also stalled because of his feelings for his late wife.
So as you can see "A Hobo's Christmas" features some typical sorts of storylines from an elderly man estranged from his son to his widowed son's relationship with his girlfriend. It plays out in a less than surprising manner as the father and son bond as Charlie tries to understand why his father abandoned him 25 years earlier whilst all the time Chance bonds with his grand children. Plus of course thanks to some old wounds being healed between father and son prompts Charlie to take stock of his relationship with Laurie and what has been holding him back. All of which is very normal and expected but you think there must be some thing more than that.
As such "A Hobo's Christmas" is a pleasant enough Christmas movie; it has a very good heart and is easy to watch. But it is a movie which after such a charming and pleasant build up with a nice mix of emotion, bonding and comedy it sadly leaves you wanting something a bit more. It is a shame as it is full of nice performances be it Barnard Hughes and Gerald McRaney as the estranged father and son or the comedy of William Hickey as Chance's friend Cincinnati Harold.
What this all boils down to is that "A Hobo's Christmas" is a pleasant enough Christmas movie with a really good heart but it leaves you wanting something more rather than the meandering drama that it is.
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