Wishes and Prayers at Christmas
Olivia (Izabela Vidovic) and her best friend Lucas (Tyler Humphrey) have to write about their biggest, most surprising wish as part of a school project. For Olivia she would love for her single mum Melinda (Teri Polo - The Christmas Heart) to meet someone and get married. When the kids in Olivia's class learn about a superstition of throwing stones at the dilapidated house next to where Olivia lives whilst making their wishes they all do especially when some of the wishes start to come true. What Olivia doesn't realise is the old house is owned by the grumpy Dr. Nathan Davis (Kevin Sorbo - The Santa Suit) who rents it out to Elsie (Della Reese - Dear Secret Santa), a former singer who is now a recluse. As Olivia befriends Elsie she learns that you need to trust God especially when her mum and Dr. Davis become friendly especially as Olivia likes the new substitute teacher Mr. Brennan (Rob Boltin) a lot more.
For the most that synopsis sounds much like any other made for TV Christmas movie, daughter wishes her single mum could find a new man but the one she finds is not the one she would like to become her father. And there are some typical scenes with Olivia trying to put her mum off of going out with Dr. Davis especially after she meets Mr. Brennan. But there is also a further side to "Christmas Angel" which is the friendship which forms between Olivia and Elsie and there is also a familiar side to this as Elsie is smart and wise but caring, giving young Olivia the benefit of her wisdom, time and understanding. And of course this gives the movie a whole lot of charm and tenderness as do so many of these movies when you have an older character.
But of course "Christmas Angel" features something else, in fact a few things else but what I am on about is the God side as Elsie tries to show Olivia that some things only God can do no matter how much you feel like you want things to happen. And whilst "Christmas Angel" does have a religious side it isn't preachy but instead has a more of a wholesome nature as through Olivia's friendship with Elsie she learns how to be smart but also thoughtful when it comes to others.
Now usually when it comes to Christmas movies there is usually a stand out performance, one actor who delivers and carries the movie but in this case they all play their parts well. Teri Polo and Kevin Sorbo bring plenty of warmth and charm to their roles, typically appealing, but they also bring just enough emotional depth when it comes to their baggage. And of course there is Della Reese who fills her role with beauty, wisdom and generosity making Elsie the sort of grandmother you would love every child to know. But there is also Izabela Vidovic who makes Olivia cheeky but also kind and she lights up the screen with her smile.
What this all boils down to is that "Christmas Angel" is a touching charmer of a Christmas movie with a real soulful side which will keep you entertained but also leave you moved. Yes there is a religious side to it but this isn't heavy on the religion and is more a case of being simply touching.