Buddy becomes a Phenomenon
Buddy Hoyt (Eddie Cibrian) maybe struggling to grow plants in his garden but the rest of his life isn't bad, he's just got engaged to Alice (Lisa Sheridan) and is hopeful he will get a promotion to supervisor where he works. But that all changes when he has a fall from a roof and nearly dies only to recover to find he has gained the gift of healing hands. Whilst Buddy wants to use his healing powers for good it soon makes him a curiosity as people want him to heal them whilst others call him a freak and the press are just as interested in proving him a fraud. And to add to his problems every time he heals it zaps him off his strength making him weaker and weaker.
To be honest it feels like those who wrote "Working Miracles", also known as "Healing Hands", came up with a much shorter story and had to find someway to fill it out to make it a more reasonable length. And that means it takes an age to get to the main story of Buddy gaining his healing hands serving up more back story than is needed. We discover that Buddy is an all round nice guy, an unassuming janitor, a handyman who has just got engaged to Alice and lives with his adopted parents who he calls Uncle Norman and Aunt Beth. It seems to float along and other than the fall from a roof which leads to Buddy nearly dying and then gaining miracle abilities we learn that Uncle Norman has cancer.
Having delivered all this ambling back story "Working Miracles" does pick up and whilst the religious element as the family wait around in the hospital to see if Buddy makes it is as subtle as a brick the drama in the hospital is quite good. And then we get Buddy discovering his healing powers which come to the public knowledge after he saves a girl who is knocked down by a car. In a way it is all very reminiscent of John Travolta's "Phenomenon" because you have the divide with some people thinking Buddy is a freak whilst others hassling him for his help. And of course it all becomes too much for Buddy's nearest and dearest as there is not a moment of peace and quiet whilst every gift of healing leaves him more fragile.
All of this leads to a mix of incidents and twists as things come to a head and Buddy's life as well as others are in risk and decisions have to be made, whilst secrets are revealed. But it feels all very wrong, very manufactured and more interested in creating some form of drama which has little to do with the religious side which had been so obvious during the first half. It makes "Working Miracles" a bit confusing, an idea which lost focus when expanded to be made into a movie.
Despite this its heart is in the right place, there is a nice message in "Working Miracles" about people needing to ask for help and whilst a mixed bag does have some nice scenes. And it also has some nice performances especially from Eddie Cibrian as Buddy Hoyt and Lisa Sheridan as Alice as they have some sweet chemistry going on, maybe a bit too sickly sweet with some terrible cliche dialogue but still pleasant. But then sadly there are some not so nice performances such as Patrick Duffy being seriously wooden as Uncle Norman and Robert Curtis Brown being annoyingly pious as the Reverend Collins. Like the movie the acting is just as curious and to be honest suffers from dialogue which often borders on the cheesy and cliche.
What this all boils down to is that "Working Miracles" is a curiosity because it goes from a movie with a religious message to a manufactured drama about how a man with healing hands is treated and how it affects him. It doesn't quite work and whilst it has moments of natural drama seems to try too hard to make them greater with some unbelievable twists.