Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

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Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas airs tonight (12/8) @ 7:00 PM (ET) on UP.

Synopsis (from the UP website): Jaded rock star Dax (Drew Lachey) is found by New York paparazzi passed out in his car with a frozen holiday turkey in the passenger seat.  In order to repair his tarnished image, Dax publicly agrees to grant a fan’s “Dear Santa” Christmas wish.  To his dismay, his manager Jason (Matt Ward) drops Dax off in Cedar Grove, a Midwest small town, where he’s committed to spend a week and perform in a local holiday Christmas concert. 

At first, Dax is horrified to be stuck in the Reverend Harding (Peter Lacroix) family’s home with strict rules and a curfew.  In spite of himself, he soon becomes charmed by the Reverend’s wife Lynne (Ellie Harvie), teenage son Tim (Evan Bird), and very surprised contest winner and daughter Kelly (MacKenzie Porter), a sassy, unemployed book jacket writer. 

Between the family’s backyard collection of llamas, quirky Christmas traditions and their overall kindness, Dax starts to appreciate what the Hardings have as a family – love, caring and an uplifting holiday spirit.  Olivia Cheng also stars.  The movie features a musical duet by Lachey and Porter, entitled “You.”  Directed by Kristoffer Tabori (UP’s The Carpenter’s Miracle, “Judging Amy”).  Script by Neil and Tippi Dobrovsky (Goodnight for Justice, Operation Cupcake).

Review: Up gets just ever so slightly edgier with this smart-with-heart yuletide romantic comedy about how love transforms a world-weary, seen-his-best-days rock star of the one-named variety (in this that name is “Dax”) likeably portrayed by season-two Dancing with the Stars champ Drew Lachey. Up-and-coming Canadian actress MacKenzie Porter plays Kelly Harding, the 26-year-old unemployed book jacket scribe forced by circumstance to return home to live under the roof of her minister dad (Peter Lacroix). As a teenager Kelly had a crush on Dax and his picture still hangs on the wall of her old bedroom. When her mischievous younger brother Tim (Evan Bird) enters Kelly’s name in a Dear Santa contest that comically results in forcing a reluctant Dax to spend a week under the Harding family roof.

Needless to say the lifestyles of Dax and Reverend Harding aren’t exactly in sync and Kelly too finds herself disillusioned by her former heartthrob. But, you know, how these things go. Will Dax find himself moved by the essential love and faith of the Harding clan? Will he and Kelly fall in love? Chances are you may guess the answers to those questions — but, as always in these movies, the fun is getting there. And that’s the key. Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas is good warmhearted fun for a cold pre-Christmas night. Recommended.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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