The Christmas Shoes

The Christmas Shoes bounces between two families—the Layton household, where father Robert (Rob Lowe, The West Wing is so consumed with his work that he misses his daughter’s recital; and the Andrews home, where mother Maggie (Kimberly Williams, According to Jim) has been diagnosed with a fatal heart ailment. Desperate to make his mother’s last moments happy, Maggie’s son Nathan struggles to buy a pair of red dancing shoes that seem like a pair Maggie remembers from her childhood. Naturally, the lives of these families become intertwined, particularly when Robert’s wife takes over Maggie’s choral program—which topples the already troubled balance between Kate and Robert. Perhaps because Rob Lowe is usually stereotyped as glib and insincere, The Christmas Shoes feels surprisingly heartfelt. The earnestness of The Christmas Shoes surprises because the story originated in the famously sappy country song of the same name, and movies based on songs rarely feel anything but plastic and contrived. There are certainly moments when The Christmas Shoes lays on the sentiment woefully thick, but you’d have to be an ogre not to be touched when Maggie and her husband have one last dance. Also featuring Dorian Harewood (Roots: The Next Generations)

Run Time: 100

Rating: Not Rated

Year: 2002