Doris Roberts does Christmas Poppins
If it wasn't for the fact that it stars Doris Roberts "Mrs. Miracle" is the sort of movie I would have probably skipped as it sounded like a run of the mill, Hallmark Christmas movie. And to be honest "Mrs. Miracle" is very obvious, sweet, romantic and pretty much anything else you would associate a Hallmark Christmas movie being but it is also entertaining. With a touch of "Mary Poppins" about it and a tale of two people whose previous bad experiences leaving them hurt and struggling to romanticaly move on it oozes sweetness and charm. And whilst I may have watched "Mrs. Miracle" purely because of Doris Roberts I ended just as impressed by James Van Der Beek and Erin Karpluk who make for a pleasant on screen couple.
Seth Webster (James Van Der Beek - Taken in Broad Daylight) is struggling as whilst he adores his twin 6 year old boys their mischief making means that none of the housekeepers have lasted. That is until Mrs. Merkle (Doris Roberts - Aliens in the Attic) appears out of nowhere and not only manages to get to grips with the boys but the entire Webster home earning her the nickname of Mrs. Miracle. But it is not just the children she helps out as she starts playing matchmaker setting up the single Seth with Reba (Erin Karpluk - Trial by Fire), an attractive owner of a travel agents. But with past relationships causing each of them issues it seems that Mrs. Miracle will need to give them both a bit of a helping hand.
Now it has to be said that "Mrs. Miracle" isn't the most original of movies and almost straight away shows that it is influenced by "Mary Poppins" as Mrs. Merkle basically appears as if by magic to save the day for Seth who is unable to keep a housekeeper thanks to his mischief making twins. And so we have Mrs. Merkle who becomes to be known as Mrs. Miracle managing to tame the young boys and making family life so much smoother with her special almost magical touch. But on top of helping Seth with his boys she also ends up playing matchmaker as she magically sets him up with Reba who he just happens to keep on bumping into. Whilst it is obviously influenced by "Mary Poppins" it's actually nice that the magical side of things is played down and we have Mrs. Miracle being more of a very smart grandmother style character.
On top of this you then have the very unoriginal side of things as we have both Seth and Reba having issues which stop them from moving on. With Seth you have the pain of being a widow, unable to talk about his departed wife whilst Reba is bitter at her sister who ruined her life for her. And so in a not so unexpected way these two end up together and end up helping each other deal with their issues, causing a rocky romance with Mrs. Miracle magically smoothing things out. The whole thing is seriously familiar and whilst the element of the match making Mrs. Miracle makes it fun it doesn't take a genius to spot where it's all going to go within the first 10 minutes of the movie starting.
But whilst it is all so obvious in what is going to happen and where it has been influenced it works and "Mrs. Miracle" oozes Christmas charm. There is a genuine air of magic about it and an equal air of romance which makes you warm to what is happening despite it being inevitable. Even when it borders on being a little cheesy, and there are some cheesy scenes and corny dialogue, it still manages to deliver the warmth and Christmas spirit.
A huge reason why it delivers that charm is actually down to James Van Der Beek and Erin Karpluk as Seth and Reba. You end up believing that there is something going on between them, a loving look from Reba which just sparkles makes you believe that they are not only falling for each other but are also perfect together. They may have been one of the reasons why I wouldn't have watched "Mrs. Miracle" but James Van Der Beek and Erin Karpluk end up being a big reason as to why it works. And the other reason is Doris Roberts who is just wonderful as super housekeeper and match maker Mrs. Merkle, playing the character more as a wise old grandmother than someone who is magical and creates a character which you just love.
What this all boils down to is that "Mrs. Miracle" is a surprisingly good Christmas movie and one which feels more than just a TV movie. It is all very obvious but it is also very charming and enjoyable, oozing Christmas warmth and romance which draws you into this fun tale. Other than some corny dialogue and a couple of cheesy scenes there is little wrong with "Mrs. Miracle" and is a perfect family friendly romantic movie for the Christmas season.