MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, a beautifully crafted and well-acted remake of the 1947 classic, relates the arrival of a department store Santa who believes he is the genuine article and who turns a child's perspective from skepticism and fatalism toward hope and imagination. The film stresses the importance of family and that intangibles like love, hope and trust are more important than money. The only flaw in this warm-hearted movie is the tendentious courtroom argument about Santa Claus which examines reality versus fantasy and harmless game playing versus harmful deception.
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, a John Hughes re-make of the 1947 Christmas classic, relates the arrival of one Kriss Kringle, a department store Santa who believes that he is the genuine article and who subsequently turns a child’s perspective from skepticism and fatalism toward hope and imagination. The story begins as Dorie Walker supervises the annual Thanksgiving Day parade for Cole’s Department Store. When the parade’s Santa shows up drunk, Dorie hires Kriss Kringle for the job and thereby causes her six-year-old daughter, Susan, to struggle with the fact that Dorie taught her that there is no Santa Claus. While believing that Kriss is a nice old man that her mother has hired to play a role, Susan also secretly yearns for her dream of a real home with a dad and baby brother. Dorie, Susan and Kris are befriended by attorney and neighbor Bryan Bedford, who, like Kriss, believes that dreams can come true if you have faith in love.
This well-crafted and well-acted movie stresses the importance of family and makes the case that love, hope and trust are more important than money. In fact, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET is fun family viewing if parents explain to their children that Santa is a myth, even though the film suggests that he is in some way real. Of course, the Good News is that Jesus Christ is real and the reason for this wonderful season.
(B, NA, L, V, S, N, A, AB) Biblical values triumph in this movie about faith in love and the possibility of the supernatural; 3 mild obscenities; Kriss Kringle punches a drunken Santa in effort to "defend his honor"; false accusation of Kriss Kringle being perverted; partially exposed posterior of drunken Santa; bar scene with several drunken Santas; and, relationship drawn between having faith in Santa & having faith in God.