Homeless For the Holidays
by Phil Boatwright

Matt Moore, Crystal Dweitt-Hinkle. Distributed by Bridgestone Multimedia Group. 105 min. Written, directed & produced by George A. Johnson.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Unemployed with no job on the horizon and unpaid bills stacking up—it is a difficult situation that is sadly all too familiar for millions of Americans today. It's also a circumstance that film writer, producer, and director George Johnson personally experienced with his young family. But with the heartache and worry of those stressful months came the making of a delightful, touching Christmas movie called Homeless for the Holidays (Breathe Motion Pictures, Bridgestone Multimedia Group, 2010).

Homeless for the Holidays is the story of a self-made executive, Jack Baker, who has been ambitious all his life. After years of working his way to the top, he suddenly loses his job and discovers that no one is hiring. Taking a position at a burger joint in order to make ends meet is extremely humiliating for him, but Jack swallows his pride and does so anyway. When he discovers that it's still not enough to cover their bills, Jack realizes that if something doesn't change soon, his family will lose everything this Christmas.

PREVIEW REVIEW: With the changing face of America's dream and the rising amount of home foreclosures, I'm sure the film's title is enough of a downer to get the average DVD watcher to pass. Add that to my view of the film's first hour of klutzy comedy and clumsy performances and you may be caused further apprehension. But I must admit, I got caught up in the film's third act.

Christian standup comedian Brad Stine has a small role in the film and he's neither funny nor believable as a caustic grocery store manager. I mention this because just this past week I saw Mr. Stine perform live and found him to be one of the funniest, most insightful humorists around. And the film's lead, Matt Moore, looking like a gentile version of Adam Sandler, has a couple of powerful scenes he handles with genuine sincerity. Thus, I have to come to the conclusion that the film's writer/director/producer George A. Johnson has been the culprit for the production's lack of theatrical sophistication. Along with sluggish tempo, the film's cornball villain, and the film's message, which is (like so many films about working fathers), dads should spend more time with the family than their jobs.

What worked for me is the incorporation of spiritual values, an element usually mishandled by born-again filmmakers. Here we see a child show compassion and sacrifice for a friend's family. This gift of love causes the lead to realize how much we can learn from children.

The DVD has several bonus features. Not rated, I found nothing objectionable. For more info on the film, go to: WWW.HOMELESSFORTHE HOLIDAYSMOVIE.COM