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Returning home from college one Christmas, young artist Thomas Kinkade (Jared Padalecki) is dismayed to learn that attempts to promote local tourism have failed and his mother (Marcia Gay Harden) is dangerously close to losing the family cottage to foreclosure. Inspired by his mentor, Glen (Peter O’Toole), a famous artist who lives next door, Thom accepts a job painting a mural of his small, idyllic hometown. With Glen’s help, Thom not only discovers his calling as the Painter of Light™ but also helps the town rediscover the true spirit of Christmas in this nostalgic, humorous and heartwarming true story destined to become a holiday classic.
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Top customer reviews
The thing people complained about was really what I like about it. Christmas movies especially, family friendly Christmas movies tend to get caught up the theology. The individual lives of the characters are treated as insignificant when compared to the over arching theme of either remember Christ, or giving out of love. This movie does neither. It makes it much more real to me.
The reality that bad things happen even during the holiday season resonates deeply with me. Despite loving your neighbors they can be very flawed people. Petty, inappropriate, grieving, hopeful, loving, prideful. All spectrum of emotions and personalities that are typically found in small towns regardless of the time of year. Just because everyone is flawed doesn't make them less lovable. The bittersweet ending of the movie really sealed this as probably my favorite "Christmas" movie ever.
Near the end there is a scene where Tom is crying. It's heartbreaking, I didn't realize I was crying also until my vision blurred.
I will admit that the original draw to this movie was Jared Padalecki. I had pretty much decided I wasn't going to watch it though because I am not a fan of Christmas movies. Earlier today (yesterday now) I was talking with one of my coworkers who spent her entire weekend snowed in watching Christmas movies. I mentioned considering watching this and her eyes lit up the way that people do when they really like something but don't want to seem weird for liking it. I decided it would be worth a shot and if I didn't like it I could just turn it off.
I never even considered the possibility.
If you want conservative christian, non drinking, non smoking, angels and all light and love, well you don't want reality because reality is much more then that. This is closer to reality since the movie is based off someone's actual life and not conceptualized Christmas propaganda. If on the other hand you are looking for a Christmas movie that really captures the beauty of small town life both the good and the painful and happens to be set during a Christmas celebration this is the perfect choice.