Veteran sports anchor, Bruce Dalton, lives life “for the win.” But, to his family, friends and those around him, that’s not always a positive thing. After getting into a brawl with a referee at his son’s basketball game, Dalton is sentenced to community service as a Salvation Army bell ringer during the Christmas season. Approaching even raising donations and filling food baskets as a game to be won, things quickly go south. Will Dalton learn that life isn’t a win or lose game, but a sport best played as a team? Dalton’s job and relationship with his family hang on that very question…
What a terrific family film for the holidays or any old time of the year! Bruce Boxleitner is terrific as Bruce Dalt, a sports reporter for Action 8 News who is competitive to the hilt. He and his family live in West Michigan and Bruce is having a difficult time relating to his family, particularly his son Jason. Jason invites the family to attend church with him on a Sunday and Bruce’s response is that he will go with him on Christmas Eve because Sunday is the big game day.
When Bruce disagrees with a referee at Jason’s basketball game, he winds up with a technical foul and when he bounces the ball down hard in anger it bounces up and hits the ref in the face and Bruce’s troubles get worse. Soon he finds himself doing community service for the Salvation Army, ringing a bell, which he tried to get out of. The movie contains humor such as when Bruce shows up with a ski mask on so no one will recognize him ringing the bell. The Salvation Army leader makes the point he might scare some shoppers off. Bruce even becomes competitive in ringing the bell but the Salvation Army leader, Melvin, a good hearted and patient man, helps show Bruce the spirit of Christmas which is giving. Bruce also learns something about his son that makes him very proud. Even though Bruce is demoted at his job, he soon lands an opportunity via the Salvation Army leader which puts him back on track to regain what he has lost.
This is a fantastic film and is intended for the entire family although the very young might have a difficult time staying with it. But this movie truly inspires and reveals the spirit of giving in a modern and clever way. Five Doves go to this wonderful family film and that’s our best rating.