BRINGING BACK CHRISTMAS is a winsome family movie about a sassy angel named Cal, who helps Daniel, a man who has just lost his job. Daniel is also struggling to pay for his son’s surgery. Daniel feels hopeless. He begins to question God, asking questions like, “If God cares about me, he’d take me out of this mess,” and “Why is this happening?” Cal takes Daniel back in
time to witness the trials of Mary and Joseph before the very first Christmas. With help from three angel friends, she teaches Daniel lessons about perseverance, trusting God, hope, love, and justice.
BRINGING BACK CHRISTMAS is a heartwarming family movie, but the plot sometimes moves too slowly. Also, some of the acting is subpar, and the cinematography is sometimes second rate. However, Leigh Allyn Baker as the angel and Mark Christopher Lawrence as Daniel deliver excellent performances. Also, BRINGING BACK CHRISTMAS has a strong Christian worldview with pervasive biblical themes, which are, for the most part, presented in engaging ways. So, BRINGING BACK CHRISTMAS is a good family movie to enjoy during the Christmas season.
(CCC, BBB, V, M)
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian, biblical worldview teaches perseverance, trusting God, integrity, compassion, and justice and tells the story of the Birth of Jesus in a unique but biblical way
No obscenities or profanities, use of “weasel” and “psycho stalker,” plus one scene of Joseph stepping in animal feces
Light violence includes a woman grabbing and twisting a man’s thumb and man hits his head on the barn ceiling
No sex scenes or sexual immorality (a married couple kisses)
No alcohol use
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
Light miscellaneous immorality includes greed and poor role models.
BRINGING BACK CHRISTMAS stars Dean Cain, a boss named Frederick Wells, CEO of Skydale Enterprises, who cares more about profits than he does his employees. Daniel, a hard-working man with a wife and two children, one of whom needs surgery, is informed by Frederick right before Christmas that his whole department has closed, and he has lost his job. Thinking he was receiving a promotion, Daniel had promised his wife and children they could go on a trip to Hawaii to celebrate their son’s successful surgery. He tells his wife he’s been fired and feels hopeless and full of despair. He begins to question God and expresses his emotions to him, asking questions like, “If God cares about me, he’d take me out of this mess,” and crying out to God, asking, “Why is this happening?”
An angel named Cal (short for “caelestius,” the Latin word for Heavenly) reveals to Daniel she’s an angel sent by God to help him. Frightened, he runs away, until she proves she is an angel and introduces him to her friends: Gabriel the archangel, Sommy the angel of dream visitation and Benny the Herald. Once he believes her, she transports him to Jerusalem to witness Mary and Joseph’s relationship.
Cal shows Daniel Mary’s parents negotiating the terms of her dowery, Gabriel visiting Mary to give her the news she would carry the Christ child, then Joseph and Mary’s trek to Bethlehem to give birth to Jesus. During this adventure, Daniel learns important lessons about perseverance during trials, and how to trust God even when it seems all hope is lost.
Cal, played by Leigh Allyn Baker, and Daniel, played by Mark Christopher Lawrence, from the Disney Channel’s sitcom GOOD LUCK CHARLIE, strike a good chemistry between a man struggling to make sense of difficult circumstances and a humorous angel who, with God’s help, offers a solution. However, the actors who play Mary’s parents do their best to imitate modern Jewish accents but fall short. This slows down the plot in parts and feels more like “filler” than an integral part of the plot. Also, the script inserts modern phrases with Jewish traditions, which seems a bit odd. For example, Joseph, in keeping with tradition, builds Mary a house for his bride. However, he also informs her he wants one room to be a “man cave,” at which Mary laughs awkwardly.
BRINGING BACK CHRISTMAS has a strong Christian, biblical worldview that presents the Nativity Story of the birth of Jesus. As such, it stresses perseverance, trusting God, integrity, and justice. Despite some second-rate cinematography, the filmmakers do their best to give an accurate depiction of the Nativity Story and its biblical timeframe.
BRINGING BACK CHRISTMAS is very clean, with only one scene of brief violence (done in a comical way) and no foul language. There are, however, scenes where someone is called a “weasel,” another person is called a “psycho stalker,” and a “crazy lady,” and Joseph steps in animal feces.
So, BRINGING BACK CHRITSMAS is a good family movie to enjoy during the Christmas season. It provides a great opportunity for Christian families to read the Bible’s true account of the events and discuss what lessons they learned from the movie compared with the Bible.
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