A Christmas Eve Angel
Eve (Kristin Davis - Deck the Halls) is a workaholic who has no time for Christmas even though her brother wants her to take some time off to celebrate Christmas with his family. But after taking a tumble Eve finds herself confronted by Pearl (Shirley MacLaine - Closing the Ring), an angel, who tells her that the bang to her head killed her but that she has been selected to be a Christmas angel who needs to return to Earth for 7 days to help a troubled family. That family is Max's (Eric McCormack - Borrowed Hearts) who has looked after his niece, Lauren (Jaeda Lily Miller - Christmas In Evergreen), since his sister and brother-in-law passed away but after Christmas could lose her to her paternal grandparents who live miles away in Florida. Trouble is that one of the rules of being an angel is you can't become emotionally involved with the people you help, which Eve can't prevent herself from doing after falling for Max.
Amongst the hundreds of Christmas movies I have watched and reviewed I know that I have come across other movies which are very similar to "A Heavenly Christmas" with a story featuring someone, usually an angel, sent down to Earth to help a troubled family and break one of the rules which is no emotional connection. What this means is firstly we get lots of cute Christmassy scenes as Eve discovers her love for Christmas and secondly we get Eve only having 7 days to help Max. I won't tell you what happens but I thought of a trio of ways to deliver a happy ending before one ever comes. As such despite being a movie with plenty of warmth and a touching side running alongside some humour the familiarity of "A Heavenly Christmas" prevents it from really standing out from the crowd.
But having said that "A Heavenly Christmas" has something else which lifts it and that of course is the casting. There is simply some thing about the combination of Kristin Davis and Eric McCormack which works so well, they just look right together and so when you see them slow dancing to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" they make you fall in love with them as a couple. But on top of this you have Shirley MacLaine as Pearl, Eve's angel overseer, who has this knack of interfering in that comically disapproving way as Eve falls for Max.
What this all boils down to is that truth be told I wish "A Heavenly Christmas" could have been a bit more original as almost all the parts of it work, especially the casting. But the familiarity of the storyline sadly makes it one of those movies where you are guessing how it will come up with a happy ending rather than getting wrapped up in Eve and Max's relationship.