When Angels Sing
Starring Harry Connick Jr., Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury, Fionnula Flanagan, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson
If you enjoy the type of films that director Tim McCanlies likes to make then When Angels Sing should appeal in that same predictable, feel good way. With Texas based actors and singers all in Austin for this holiday film, When Angels Sing seems to understand the lack of family films in the mainstream. Christmas has never been so cheesy or predictable as we see here. We just saw this same story with Tim Allen in Christmas with the Cranks or with Tim Allen in The Santa Claus. There are hundreds of reincarnations of the “scrooge” story, and this just happens to be the latest, plain as paper version.
Blaming himself for events that happened in his childhood, Michael Walker (Connick Jr) isn’t a fan of Christmas and refuses to put up lights or even allow his wife (Britton) and son (Canterbury) to spend it with his family. While searching for a new house, Michael is stunned by a reindeer that causes him to mangle his bike. While walking back home he notices a for sale sign on a beautiful home with an old man (Nelson) sitting on the porch. The man offers him an incredible deal with one condition: to keep the house in the neighborhood fashion, which includes embracing the holiday he fears so much.
Christmas has never been so cheesy or predictable as we see here.
When Angels Sing is a Christmas Fantasy where not only magical things happen but characters don’t function like normal people. These poorly written characters sound, act, and feel like they are acting in a church play that is supposed to be good just because of the effort. The least annoying character in the film is Nelson’s Nick, who is all too expectedly in the most convenient places. Connick Jr. has never been praised for being a great actor and there is no effort on his part here to make his character identifiable or even functionally believably in the choices and behaviors he has towards his family regarding Christmas.
Another negative for me was the complete focus on Christmas lights that are supposed to work as a symbol, but with films like this symbols become so literal that the writer bashed us over the head with the idea of one man resisting Christmas so much. We see character after character bringing Michael lights and decorations, so much so that we assume the ending of the film is that he finally gives in under some tragic circumstance. In the end I am not even sure what the film’s message is. Make sure you put up Christmas lights.
Plain with no seasoning.