“Home by Christmas”

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
October 26, 2010

Julia Bedford (Linda Hamilton) is not having a great year. When the homemaker divorces her cheating and vindictive husband–who hides his assets and makes sure that she gets almost none of “his” money–she finds herself in a hopeless situation.

The bleak and predictable premise is the basis of Home by Christmas.

But before thumbing your nose at the movie, consider that Hamilton gives a strong, touching performance that showcases the resiliency of a determined parent.

Like a good guilty pleasure, Home by Christmas tugs at the heartstrings and may even manage to make the viewer reach over for a tissue. But just when it’s getting too maudlin for its own good (Julia being forced to live in a car), the writers (and Hamilton) inject a bit of good-natured humor into the Lifetime film.

Also, there are life lessons to be learned, not only for Julia, but also for her previously pampered daughter, who is naive enough to believe that her dad’s money can buy her the happiness she thinks she and her mom have lost.

So it comes as no shock when the girl chooses Dad and the stepmom-to-be over her own mother.

Nor will the ending come as a surprise to anyone: the right person prevails, apologies are given and accepted, and there is to a certain extent the promise of a happily ever after for Julia. 

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