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Holiday Heart

4.8 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle) directs an all-star cast featuring Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible: 2), Mykelti Williamson (Three Kings) and Alfre Woodard ("Miss Ever's Boys") in a Golden GlobeÂ(r)-nominated* performance. Based on the wildly successful stageplay by writer Cheryl L. West, Holiday Heart is a "poignant" (The Hollywood Reporter), heartfelt drama about how love can overcome addiction and prejudice. Choirmaster by day and female impersonator by night, creatively talented Holiday (Rhames) is a lonely man living with a broken heart until he befriends a bright young girl and her drug-addicted mother (Woodard). Helping them offthe street and into an empty apartment across from his, Holiday quickly forms a special bond with them. But when the mom hooks up with a dangerous drug-dealing boyfriend (Williamson), their worlds are again turned upside-down, forcing Holiday to confront his own prejudices if it means saving the two people he so desperately loves. *2001: Actress in a Leading Role - Mini-Series or Television Movie

Amazon.com

In a break from his usual he-man roles, Ving Rhames takes on the persona of "Holiday Heart," a church choir-directing female impersonator who is openly gay, religious, and alone. His loneliness ebbs when he rescues Wanda (Alfre Woodard) and her daughter from her drug-abusing boyfriend. He invites the pair to live free of charge in the duplex across the hall from his own and they form a family of sorts. But Wanda hooks up with a well-heeled drug dealer (Mykelti Williamson) and soon falls back into drug addiction, leaving Holiday to give up his own dreams and take care of the girl. Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle) directed this R-rated cable movie that earned Woodard a Golden Globe nomination for her stark performance as a woman whose intelligence and love for her daughter are no match for the demons of her addiction. Screenwriter Cheryl L. West, who adapted her stage play, gets credit for combining the sentiment of a family story with the harshness of street life. The film's noble desire not to pretty things up does make for some tough scenes and a less-than-happy ending--thus the restricted rating. But the film has its fun moments, too, many of them thanks to Holiday's mincing fellow impersonator Jambalaya Blue, played with relish by Jonathan Wallace. --Kimberly Heinrichs

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ving Rhames, Alfre Woodard, Jesika Reynolds, Mykelti Williamson, Johnathan Wesley Wallace
  • Directors: Robert Townsend
  • Writers: Cheryl L. West
  • Producers: Brad Epstein, Cheryl L. West, Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, Steven Felder
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2001
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005ALM8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,970 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Holiday Heart" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Hart on December 21, 2004
Format: DVD
The made-for-TV film "Holiday Heart", directed by Robert Townsend in 2000 and written by Cheryl L. West, is a deeply moving and engaging story involving an unusual set of characters. The main character, Holiday Heart (Ving Rhames, who is better known for his role of Luther Stickell in the 1996 "Mission Impossible" & the 2000 "Mission: Impossible II", as well as Marsellus Wallace in the 1994 "Pulp Fiction"), is an openly gay, professional female impersonator who is also deeply religious and directs a church choir. On a Halloween night while driving himself and his friend Jambalaya Blue (Johnathan Wesley Wallace) to a drag performance, his car breaks down. While trying to call for assistance, a girl about 12 years old pleads for his help. Following the girl, Niki (Jesika Reynolds), into a dilapidated apartment building, Holiday rescues her mother Wanda (Alfre Woodard, who played Lily Sloane in the 1996 "Star Trek VIII: First Contact") from her abusive boyfriend, L.T. (Ron Selmour). Taking them back to his apartment building (which he manages), Holiday becomes Niki's de facto father and good friend to Wanda. Wanting to give Niki a more stable home environment, Wanda marries the drug selling Silas (Mykelti Williamson, who played Bubba in the 1994 "Forrest Gump" and Don King in the 2001 "Ali"), who forbids Holiday from having any more contact with Niki. However, Wanda's unfortunate drug addictions drives Silas away, leaving Holiday to once again take care of Wanda and Niki; but Wanda's subsequent disappearance creates an interesting relationship between Holiday and Silas.Read more ›
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Lately I have been buying as many of the quality gay themed DVD's and VHS movies AMAZON.COM has and folks they have many many many. I have had a chance to look at most of the Gay themed DVD's I brought so far. I have loved many if not most of them for they all moved me in special ways. I am happy I brought all the Gay themed DVD's I have from AMAZON.com and would do so again in a heartbeat.

That said nothing I have seen holds a candle to the story, the acting, the realness of the characters, the locations, the passion, the glory the joy the sadness the pain the plot twists everything about this Movie was so real to me. I watched so much of this movie through a veil of my own tears. I cried with pain one minute only to cry with joy the next and I am not a man easily given to crying but this movie touched me in places few things I have ever experienced do. I can count on one hand the films that have been the blessing in my life seeing this movie has been and have 2 fingers left over.

This DVD starts real showing a slice of inner city life staying true and real to its meassage throuhout. During the drama nothing gets watered down or sugar coated. The movie while not vulgar or base is adult subject matter that always treats its audience as INTELLIGENT adults. Holiday Heart is sensitive to its subject matter and you grow to love all the people even when they are not the best people in the world. You feel the struggles each of the characters are dealing with and you feel their pain and hurt and laugh right alone with them. You invest so much of yourself in these characters that after viewing this Holiday Heart you are in some ways spent emotionally because you feel as if you have lived this movie not just sat through it.
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When I got this movie I had just lost my best friend. I was in a deep funk, watching this movie gave me the good cleansing cry that I needed to move on. Ving as Holiday Heart is so moving. Very few men can play a drag queen and make it realistic. Ving pulls it off with style and grace and total believeability. Not since Rupaul has a drag queen had so much class and style. Alfre Woodard as the drug addicted mother was a moving performance that she should get an Academy Award for. I thought the daughter was a bit obvious though. Her acting was not the best. But she's new and hopefully as time goes on she'll improve. Buy this movie you will not be disappointed.
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This movie was just marvelous. It takes a very talented actor to pull off drag and Ving Rhames did it wonderfully. Overall, the entire cast was wonderful. Hats off to the always delightful Alfre Woodard. This movie certainly gets 5 stars from me!
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I caught this movie this morning on Logo and was blown away by it. Alfre Woodard, who is one of my favorite actresses, is amazing as the crack addicted mother. Her scene when she's watching her daughter read her prize winning poem is heartbreaking. Ving Rhames in a silver lame dress performing I Love the Night Life is a hoot. He does a lovely job as the openly gay Holiday who's a drag queen who can be just as tough as he needs to be when it's called for. His performane is terrific. All in all, this is a film that will make you laugh, cry and everything in between. Robett Townsend's direction is excellant.
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