The Heart of Christmas (2011) (TV)
Reviewed on 2012 November 30
I was channel-surfing last night, tired after decorating the house and trimming our tree, and came across this. This is the true story of a little boy who was stricken with cancer. As one who survived something nasty of her own when she was twenty (though a splinter compared to what this family went through), I felt like I owed it to the little fighter to try to watch. I still kept my remote in my hand to jump, since I was expecting a ham-fisted and saccharine movie, since so many TV movies are infected with those things.
Wrong. A third of the way into the story I set the remote down to reach to reach for the Kleenex®.
Megan (Candace Cameron Bure), an over-worked businesswoman and mom, is so wrapped up in making her business succeed that she misses out on several family events. She is a good person who just wants a nice financial cushion to sends her kids to college, but she’s still so tightly wrapped that it’s a juggling act to even find time to take her children trick-or-treating. As she wrangles a little time into her schedule to take her kids on the candy trot, she comes across a house decorated for Christmas. As she asks about this, a neighbor hands her a card, telling her it has the URL of a blog that will “change her life”.
This is an understatement. Megan logs onto (or into) the story of Dax Locke (Chris and Nick Shone), a little towhead diagnosed with a horrible form of leukemia and spending what should be lots of Fisher-Price® time at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His parents Julie and Austin (Jeanne Neilson and Eric Beck) try everything for their son, and the hospital team couldn’t be kinder or more empathetic to the family. I don’t care how wonderful a hospital may be, it is still a hospital, and when it becomes painfully evident that the treatments aren’t working, they take Dax home to give him a final, amazing Christmas.
Since religion is such a personal matter I should point out that it was aired on a religious channel, with religious undertones throughout, mostly conveyed with offers to pray for the family or bowed heads. I believe, so that was fine with me. I think even if you do not, you can appreciate the message about making the most of life as it happens. The acting was very good, making me feel like I was sitting in the Locke family living room and hearing their story with a mug of coffee in my hand instead of watching a TV movie.
Three chocolate morsels. I don’t remember the last time something made me cry like this. I’m literally tearing up now writing this review.