Grins Through Grief
Grins Jenkins (Scott Bakula) loves nothing more than playing the banjo with his friends and enjoying life to the full. But when his wife Sharon (Cynthia Nixon) becomes sick with Tuberculosis it hits him hard, especially as she goes off to live with other sufferers in a warmer country. Unable to live with out her Grins builds a glass room on to the house so that Sharon can return but when She dies Grins just can't cope and the fun loving man his children and his friends once knew disappears completely, becoming almost a recluse who doesn't believe anyone in the family should be happy. But as Christmas comes the children refuse to let the youngest have the special time of the year spoiled by their father's grieving.
I feel bad as having watched "Papa's Angels" I find myself less moved and less touched by this movie than I thought I was going to be especially having read some gushing reviews about this being a real Christmas tear jerker. Well let me just say straight way that whilst the story builds to Christmas the majority of the movie has nothing to do with it.
What you get in "Papa's Angels" is almost an hour of watching how much Sharon meant to Grins, how despite being laid back when it comes to life and always wanting to have fun he would do anything for her. And anything and everything he does when she goes to a home for the sick, moving heaven and earth to bring her home. But then what follows is Grins stuck grieving and wanting to wallow in his self pity and misery and wanting the children to be as miserable as he is. And that leads to conflict and... well I will let you find out for yourself as Grins children eventually stand up to him. The thing is that whilst there is drama with both joy and sorrow it just never truly drew me in to the tear jerker nature which others seem to have felt watching it.
But whilst I didn't get the hit of emotion which I was expecting from "Papa's Angels" I was still impressed with the acting especially that of Scott Bakula who gives up full on joy as well as full on sorrow in an attention grabbing way. Also attention grabbing is Kimberley Warnat who plays the eldest daughter who is also mute and she certainly convinces with her performance.
What this all boils down to is that "Papa's Angels" is a good movie, one with a touching storyline and good performances. But for me the movie didn't hit the emotional high notes which I expected despite having some beautifully tender moments.