TBT Review – Unlikely Angel (1996)

films, reviews, TBT

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I’ve been so confused by what day of the week we’re on recently. I’ve been a day ahead for ages now. It’s all because I got ahead with my posts and that really ruins my routine. I’d written both Monday and Wednesday’s posts on Sunday night. This meant, for some reason, that I was thought it was Tuesday on Monday. It’s okay though, I just need to get trough 2 more days and I’ve got a few days off. I’m going to do as little as possible. Probably reading, watching Christmas films, and eating. Speaking of Christmas films, I’m meant to be documenting my Christmas film advent calendar on my Instagram stories but I’m already behind. This is what happened last year so I eventually abandoned it. I’m determined to keep going this year. On Tuesday, I reviewed a film in which Dolly Parton played a Christmas Angel, so the only real companion for this TBT post was going to be this; a 1996 made-for-TV movie starring Dolly and Roddy McDowall.

Is Unlikely Angel meant to be a precursor to Christmas on the Square? Unlike in her latest Netflix film, this time Dolly Parton is an angel in training. Although, at the film’s start she is a country singer. I know what you’re thinking, what a massive stretch. But, hey, why not? This is Dolly Parton not Meryl Streep. Stick to what you know. Ruby Diamond is, in her own words, an absolute gem and a fairly successful singer. She isn’t exactly playing the glitzy venues that she dreams of but she’s enjoying herself. Her only real issue is her terrible taste in men. After catching her latest squeeze in a compromising position Ruby finally leaves with the hopes of finally making a name for herself. Unfortunately, she doesn’t make it too far.

After a car accident, Ruby awakens at the pearly gates face-to-face with St Peter. Although, she hasn’t lived a moral life, so there is a question of where she might end up. Peter believes there is still hope and sets her a mission back on Earth. She has to bring together a father and his two children before midnight on Christmas Eve. That gives her a week to pose as their new nanny and sort it all out. However, the three are still grieving from the loss of the children’s mother and her new boss is distracting himself with work. Then Ruby has to cope with teenage angst and a son who is finding it difficult to enjoy the things he used to enjoy. Will she be able to complete her mission and make it into heaven?

Okay, there’s no real surprise here. Of course she will. It’s a Christmas film after all. As a whole, this film is pretty bland and boring. Thankfully, Dolly Parton is such a lovable person that she almost makes up for it. There can be no denying that she is just playing Dolly Parton with a slightly different backstory but why would you want her to something else? Dolly does Dolly better than anything. This won’t be the kind of Christmas film that you return to time and time again but it’s nice enough for 2020. After the year we’ve had, something sweet and silly is just the tonic we all need. And something this familiar and predictable is perfect after all the bullshit this year as thrown at us.

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