This is not to be confused with the other Debbie Macomber “Mrs. Miracle” books, nor the DC comic book hero “Mister Miracle”, nor even the 80s soft rock band, “Mr. Mister.”, although I’m sure there are some parallels with that last one, as there almost always are when it comes to them. Technically though, it was another Debbie Macomber joint and was what you might call an extension of the Mrs. Miracle franchise. Maybe. Because other than the name, there aren’t a ton of similarities. No one even calls the titular Mr. Miracle, “Mr. Miracle” until the end of the film and it’s a dog who actually does it so it’s possible the translation wasn’t totally accurate. Plus in the Mrs. Miracle movies, the lady’s name is Emily Merkle so kids originally start saying it as “Miracle.” In this case, the guy’s name is Henry Mills, which I don’t think is close enough to “Miracle”, except maybe to a dog whose comprehension of the English language would likely be considered suspect at best.
Mr. Miracle is an angel, I will give him that (just like the band Mr. Mister – told you there would be parallels!!), and he is played by Rob Morrow but I won’t give him that one. Because I have no idea what the hell Rob Morrow is doing here. I am guessing that the description of the character is whimsical, eccentric, maybe delightfully childlike in his innocence. And that is how Mr. Morrow (even that sounds closer to “Mr. Miracle”) plays him but it comes at the expense of all good judgment. Henry Mills ends up seeming more creepy and weird than anything. Every move he makes, every affectation, even his haircut is rather off-putting. The performance borders on that of a developmentally-disabled person, maybe the haircut does too, and I don’t think this was the right direction to go in.
It also doesn’t totally make sense for the character. Like I said, Henry is an angel but we are introduced to two other angels who don’t act like that. Maybe they’ve been working on Earth longer, fine, but if that’s the case, sending someone like Henry down to help out humans is a little bit of a dicey proposition when he doesn’t understand things like humor, why his stomach would rumble, and that it sounds strange to say he taught Shakespeare how to play gin rummy or that he read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol when it came out. In fact, his mentor angel spends a lot more time helping him understand the world than he spends helping out the human he’s supposed to be there for. Plus they’re wildly inconsistent with the things he does and doesn’t understand. Broken Wings indeed.
So Henry is here to help somebody, a girl named Addie and I can’t figure out how old she is. I can tell you that someone important to her is dead (pre-dead) but I probably don’t need to tell you that because that is true in just about every one of these films. This time, it’s her Dad, who passed away hoping she would work for this medical clinic he started, I think, but she never did. She had a hard time living up to his expectations and took off to Montana for a while, coming up one credit short of graduating college. Now she’s back at what I believe is a community college but no matter what your views on the quality of an education one might receive at a community college are, you will be surprised by the curriculum here. The class she still needs to take is English Literature and Henry is able to procure a job as their professor somehow. Besides just teaching her how to read a book, one that has been deeply engrained into just about every level of our culture, and write a subsequent report on said book, his greater, angelic goal here is to help her figure out what to do with her life. And learn to fly again, learn to live so free.
Once more, I have to ask, why is it that angels tend to set their sights so low when it comes to helping us? Get a college student to figure out what she wants to do with her life? We don’t need an angel for that. We have guidance counselors. Or Time. What about literally saving peoples’ lives, especially since more of them die young in these movies than in World Wars I and II combined? Preventing terrible things from happening to innocent people, coming up with cures for bad diseases, brownies that truly are guilt-free, etc.? I know Addie could probably use some assistance dealing with the loss of her dad and maybe even a wavy-haired boyfriend for Christmas but still, this feels like a celestial non-emergency to me, yet they’ve got several angels on the case here. And blood that makes me whole. Sorry, I’ve still got Mr. Mister’s “Broken Wings” in my head and I guess that lyric does not exactly apply. I’m not really sure how it applies to the song either though, come to think.
Of course we know where the movie is headed from the get-go but I have to admit, I found a few things somewhat surprising about the resolution. Addie ends up finding a Christmas card from her deceased father, something he wrote to her when he knew he was going to die. He tells her he knows she thinks he’s never been proud of her but he is and blah blah blah but the weird part is that he also says something about how she needs to find someone to see all the good things in her so she can see them in herself. Kind of a bizarre message, right? Not that she needs to see the good within herself, but she needs someone else to see it first, then her? We also hear the dad’s voice in her head as she reads the card and he sounds about 20. Then when she does hook up with the wavy-haired guy at the end, they share their first kiss and it is seriously like two siblings giving each other a quick peck on the lips or something. Not that two siblings necessarily would do this, I’m just trying to characterize the significant lack of passion here. I don’t generally pay much attention to this smooching scenes but this one really stuck out. Like, that screen door factory in Delaware may have some competition for Least Romantic Thing Ever. Then we learn that in classic D-Mac (Debbie Macomber) style, there appear to be plans to extend the franchise even further, as we get a hint about who Henry’s next angel project may be. It’s some dude from the English Lit class who brings a dog with him to school because of anxiety issues. If I may pull from another vintage Mr. Mister. jam here- Kýrie, eléison – which means, “Lord, have mercy!”
The unfortunate thing is that I’m a big fan of Hon’ DMC (also Debbie Macomber) and thought I was a fan of Rob Morrow too, albeit a fairly casual one. He was good on Northern Exposure, wasn’t he? So who let him go all whack job in this movie? Maybe that’s how the character is described in the book, I don’t know, but it needed to be dialed way back. And I’m all for brand identity but this is a Halloween 3 level of connection to the other two Mrs. Miracle movies. And I’d really like to see Hallmark take this angel business to some higher ground. And for God’s sake, someone get me this Mr. Mister “Priceless Collection” below for Christmas. I’m not sure why the music would be any different than the non-priceless collections out there but it was easily the best picture I could find of that guy on the left.
So that just leaves the rating. I spent most of the movie with a similar expression to Mr. Mister Hair Guy there, which is to say kind of a annoyed and maybe betrayed. In his case, I am just guessing that he was angry that no one told him it was picture day and he didn’t appreciate leaning in like that to fit in the frame. Or he hates the guy sitting next to him because he vetoed yet another song written about his hair. For me though, it was just that two people I thought were my friends – Mac ‘N’ Cheese (still Debbie Macomber) and Rob Morrow – turned in such a dud effort. Two backstabbers and oh yeah, I just found out that Rob actually named his real-life daughter “Tu” as in Tu Morrow, so how about I just give them….