Although The Heart of Christmas doesn’t have the best acting, you’re going to need Kleenex for this one … perhaps even a full box. It’s based on the true story of Dax Locke, a little boy who was diagnosed with AML M7 leukemia, which is usually common in elderly men. His parents take him to St. Jude’s to possibly find a cure, but when it becomes apparent that the chemotherapy is not working for him, and that he may not live until Christmas, his parents and neighborhood decide to throw Christmas early, and they decorate their houses with Christmas trees and lights.
Based on a true story of hope and compassion, THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS will touch your heart and bring home the spirit of the holidays. Austin and Julie Locke are devastated when they learn that their young son, Dax, has been diagnosed with cancer. But with courage, determination and faith, they decide to give Dax a one last Christmas, even if it has to be in October. When the community sees the holiday decorations and learns the heartbreaking truth, what happens next is a miraculous outpouring of caring and support. Starring Candace Cameron Bure (Make It or Break It), Jeanne Neilson (Faith Like Potatoes), George Newbern (Father of the Bride), Erin Bethea (Fireproof) and Matthew West (Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter), THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS is the greatest gift of all.
The movie opens with Megan (Candace Cameron Bure, aka D.J. from Full House) and her healthy family. Megan is a workaholic and her husband has been putting in long hours both at work and at school too. She has two children, a daughter and a son, yet she rarely has time to go to any of their sports games or even realize that Halloween is fast approaching. When she takes her son trick-or-treating in a different neighborhood, they see people putting up Christmas lights; curious, she asks why they are putting them up so early, and is given a business card, on which is the blog URL that Dax’s mom has been keeping. After reading the blog, Megan realizes that she has been taking her family for granted, and she starts to try to become more involved with their lives.
The story was told by jumping back and forth between Megan reading the blog and Julie (Dax’s mom, played by Jeanne Neilson) writing it. We see the treatments that Dax is undergoing at St. Jude’s, and how desperately his parents want him to be cured. Dax and his parents make friends with other parents and children at the hospital, too, and most of them have leukemia as well. Julie and her husband Austin (Eric Jay Beck) are determined to make the most of the time they have left with Dax, and to make him as comfortable as possible during that time.
To be honest, the story itself in this movie was compelling but the acting was not great. It’s also produced by a company that has many Christian themes woven throughout its movies, but aside from a few “let us pray” moments, the Christian themes in the film were underlying rather than brought up over and over again. However, in The Heart of Christmas it’s the story itself (even with the so-so acting) that will make you cry, and the fact that it’s based on a real story only makes it that much more heartbreaking.
The Heart of Christmas is currently available on DVD, and is unrated.
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
I have a copy of this film on DVD to give away. The contest will end next Saturday, November 10th, at 11:59pm EST.
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