'Norman Rockwell Presents Christmas Tail'
(Kyle Cassie, Antonio Cupo, Beamer Wigley, et al / DVD / NR / 2015 / Cinedigm Entertainment)
Overview: For Christmas, single parent Jack gives his daughter a Labrador retriever named Bear. But when the canine runs away, he's brought to the pound and adopted by single mom Maggie. When the families realize they've fallen in love with the same dog, will "joint custody" lead to broken hearts - or a romance between Jack and Maggie?
DVD Verdict: Hmmmm, well, I think you can guess what kind of a movie I had in mind that this would be - and, thankfully, of course, I was well wide of the mark! 'Christmas Tail' is actually a loving story about two single parents who fall in love while splitting custody over a puppy that both had wanted to give to their children for Christmas!
'Norman Rockwell Presents Christmas Tail' may well paint within the lines of all sappy Christmas "tales" at this time of year, sure, but it also manages to be a great Lifetime-esque TV movie-of-the-week adventure, for sure.
Director Elias Underhill has again brought us a well sequenced movie that allows both principals - Kyle Cassie and Antonio Cupo - to hone their acting skills in and around the other chief character of the movie; without overwhelming either the dog or the narrative that is trying to be brought forth.
Ergo, 'Christmas Tail' is funny, romantic, cliched, but at the final third, comes together like a finally tuned jigsaw puzzle - one that's been sitting on your dining room table for a year or so now; and gives you that central warm glow in your belly once done. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus of an actual Norman Rockwell print inside!