A Christmas Eve Angel
Eve (Kristin Davis) is a workaholic and despite the persistence of her brother to take time out this Christmas to spend some of it with her family, she won't as she doesn't really do Christmas. But out of the blue Eve finds herself confronted by Pearl (Shirley MacLaine) in the afterlife as she has died and is informed that she has been chosen as a Christmas angel, able to return to Earth for 7 days to help a troubled family. That family is Max (Eric McCormack) who is caring for his niece Lauren (Jaeda Lily Miller) since his sister and brother-in-law passed away but after Christmas could lose her to her paternal grandparents who live miles away in Florida. Trouble is that one of the rules of being an angel is no emotional involvement with the people you help, which Eve can't prevent herself from breaking after falling for Max.
Amongst the hundreds of Christmas movies I have watched and reviewed I know that I have come across another movie which is very similar to "A Heavenly Christmas" where we have someone sent down to Earth to help a troubled family and break one of the rules which is no emotional connection. I think that other movie involves either one of Santa's helpers or daughter but the whole thing is very similar and also very familiar as not only do we have Eve falling for Max but she starts to discover the Christmas spirit as she spends time with Mac and Lauren.
Of course what this means is one we get lots of cute Christmassy scenes as Eve discovers her love for Christmas and then we get the whole element of if Eve only has 7 days what is going to happen in the end. I won't tell you but I have watched plenty of made for TV movies to have thought of a trio of possibilities to deliver a happy ending before one ever comes. As such despite being a movie with plenty of warmth and a touching side running alongside some humour the familiarity of it all prevents it from really standing out from the crowd.
But having said that "A Heavenly Christmas" has something else which lifts it and that of course is the casting. There is simply some thing about the combination of Kristin Davis and Eric McCormack which works so well, they just look right together and so when you see them slow dancing to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" they make you fall in love with them as a couple. But on top of this you have Shirley MacLaine as Pearl, Eve's angel overseer, who has this knack of interfering in that comically disapproving way as Eve falls for Max.
What this all boils down to is that truth be told I wish "A Heavenly Christmas" could have been a bit more original as all the bits of it work, especially the casting. But the familiarity of the storyline sadly makes it one of those movies where you are guessing how it plays out rather than getting wrapped up in Eve and Max's relationship.