×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

A Holiday Romance

What's this? A pic about an inspiring high school music teacher who faces funding cuts? Didn't Meryl Streep do the same song and dance in "The Music of the Heart?" Well, yes, but the Eye web thinks country songstress Naomi Judd, mother of Wynona and Ashley, can add a new wrinkle to this hackneyed premise.

With:
Lily Waite - Naomi Judd Jake Peterson - Andy Griffith Cal Peterson - Gerald McRaney Fern - Alison Pill Anne Hutchinson - Taborah Johnson Bea Buskins - Jackie Richardson With: Brian Heighton, Jack Duffy, Sumela Kay, Adam Dolson, Nathan Carter.

What’s this? A pic about an inspiring high school music teacher who faces funding cuts? Didn’t Meryl Streep do the same song and dance in “The Music of the Heart?” Well, yes, but the Eye web thinks country songstress Naomi Judd, mother of Wynona and Ashley, can add a new wrinkle to this hackneyed premise.

Set against the holiday season, this very conventional tale follows high school superintendent Cal Peterson, portrayed by the always efficient Gerald McRaney, who returns to his small Kentucky hometown to cut its high school music program, just in time for Christmas. Cal’s alienated adopted niece, Fern (Alison Pil), is also along for the ride, and wouldn’t you know it, the young girl has a secret passion for music, and when she sings, angels weep uncontrollably in heaven.

Anyone who has ever seen an episode of “Touched by an Angel” can tell you that by the end of this story, Cal is going to find himself transformed by the love of music teacher Lily. Fern will learn to belt out tunes like LeAnn Rimes in front of an emotional auditorium. Even Cal’s stoic war veteran dad — a nice turn by Andy Griffith — will be reunited with his Army buddies and decide to propose to his longtime girlfriend.

In real life, there would be no last-minute miracle attempts to save the music program, and the bitter teacher would probably hold an eternal grudge against the creepy bureaucrat who canned her.

Nevertheless, it’s good to see Mama Judd, who has an appealing screen presence, back in excellent shape after her much-publicized medical battle. It’s a shame that the filmmakers didn’t take better advantage of her singing talents. Music lovers are, however, treated to a rousing finale, featuring Judd and newcomer Pil, that goes down as smoothly as eggnog.

Screening tape’s tech credits were a bit shaky, but surprisingly, Toronto looks like the perfect stand-in for Bethlehem, Ky.

A Holiday Romance

CBS; Wed. Dec. 8, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Toronto by Jaffe/Braunstein Prods. Executive producers, Michael Jaffe, Howard Braunstein and Darrah Cloud; director, Bobby Roth; writer, Darrah Cloud.

Crew: Camera, Eric Van Haren Noman; production designer, Dan Yarhi; editor, Armen Minasian; music, Christopher Franke; casting, Shana Landsburg, Ross Clydesdale; costumes, Lynda Kemp. Running time: 2 HOURS.

Cast: Lily Waite - Naomi Judd Jake Peterson - Andy Griffith Cal Peterson - Gerald McRaney Fern - Alison Pill Anne Hutchinson - Taborah Johnson Bea Buskins - Jackie Richardson With: Brian Heighton, Jack Duffy, Sumela Kay, Adam Dolson, Nathan Carter.

More TV

  • CEO of RTL Television, Anke Schaferkordt,

    Longtime RTL Exec Anke Schäferkordt Steps Down

    What’s this? A pic about an inspiring high school music teacher who faces funding cuts? Didn’t Meryl Streep do the same song and dance in “The Music of the Heart?” Well, yes, but the Eye web thinks country songstress Naomi Judd, mother of Wynona and Ashley, can add a new wrinkle to this hackneyed premise. […]

  • Sony Poaches Sky Exec Holly Comiskey

    Sony Poaches Sky Exec Holly Comiskey to Be Country Manager for U.K., Ireland

    What’s this? A pic about an inspiring high school music teacher who faces funding cuts? Didn’t Meryl Streep do the same song and dance in “The Music of the Heart?” Well, yes, but the Eye web thinks country songstress Naomi Judd, mother of Wynona and Ashley, can add a new wrinkle to this hackneyed premise. […]

  • Netflix Takes a Trip to ‘Murder

    Netflix Takes a Trip to 'Murder Mountain' in True Crime Series From Lightbox

    What’s this? A pic about an inspiring high school music teacher who faces funding cuts? Didn’t Meryl Streep do the same song and dance in “The Music of the Heart?” Well, yes, but the Eye web thinks country songstress Naomi Judd, mother of Wynona and Ashley, can add a new wrinkle to this hackneyed premise. […]

  • Fox Networks Group Latin America

    Fox Networks Group Latin America Inks Music Biopic Pact With Underground

    What’s this? A pic about an inspiring high school music teacher who faces funding cuts? Didn’t Meryl Streep do the same song and dance in “The Music of the Heart?” Well, yes, but the Eye web thinks country songstress Naomi Judd, mother of Wynona and Ashley, can add a new wrinkle to this hackneyed premise. […]

  • Barclays Doubles Fund for Streaming Content

    Barclays Doubles Fund for Streaming Content to $256 Million

    What’s this? A pic about an inspiring high school music teacher who faces funding cuts? Didn’t Meryl Streep do the same song and dance in “The Music of the Heart?” Well, yes, but the Eye web thinks country songstress Naomi Judd, mother of Wynona and Ashley, can add a new wrinkle to this hackneyed premise. […]

  • future man hulu josh hutcherson

    TV Roundup: 'Future Man' Season 2 Teaser Drops (Watch)

    What’s this? A pic about an inspiring high school music teacher who faces funding cuts? Didn’t Meryl Streep do the same song and dance in “The Music of the Heart?” Well, yes, but the Eye web thinks country songstress Naomi Judd, mother of Wynona and Ashley, can add a new wrinkle to this hackneyed premise. […]

  • megyn Kelly Today

    Megyn Kelly, NBC News Near $30 Million Contract Settlement

    What’s this? A pic about an inspiring high school music teacher who faces funding cuts? Didn’t Meryl Streep do the same song and dance in “The Music of the Heart?” Well, yes, but the Eye web thinks country songstress Naomi Judd, mother of Wynona and Ashley, can add a new wrinkle to this hackneyed premise. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content