Eric Lloyd and Patty Duke in A Christmas Memory (1997)

Christmas With Sook

After his parents split up, young Buddy (Eric Lloyd) is sent to live with relatives down South where his best friend is his elderly cousin Sook (Patty Duke). The two of them are inseparable and both love when Christmas comes around as together they make many Christmas cakes whilst also going on adventures from getting whisky to collecting a Christmas tree. But whilst Buddy and Sook love spending time together his other relatives, especially Jennie (Piper Laurie), believe that Buddy hanging around with the older Sook is not appropriate and believe he would be better off being sent to a school.

Do you know I have read several opinions from people who found this version of "A Christmas Memory" as a boring version of Truman Capote's story. Whilst I haven't read the Capote story on which this is based I have to agree it is a surprisingly boring movie which drifts along relying on the strength of the adventures of Buddy and Sook as well as their friendship. Maybe for those who have been charmed by the boyhood tale which Capote wrote about might find something special about it but for me it felt like a movie never heading anywhere other than back in time to a child's fond memories.

Now in fairness "A Christmas Memory" does go somewhere and the touching nature of the story comes in to its own later on in the movie but it feels a slog getting there. The one thing which keeps this made for TV movie watch able is the unaffected performance from Eric Lloyd and the tender performance of Patty Duke. There is a beautiful honesty to young Lloyd's performance and Patty Duke works around this in a gentle way, making Sook quirky but not over bearing in her quirks.

What this all boils down to is that truth be told "A Christmas Memory" didn't do a great deal for me and I found it all a little bit tedious. But it has a good look and good performances which leads me to understand why some might be more charmed by this movie than I was.

Tags: TV Christmas Movies, Christmas Movies