Today’s Prayer Focus

The Christmas Shoes

Reviewed by: Christian St John

Moral Rating: Excellent!
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Family
Genre: Christmas Drama
Length: 1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release: 2002
USA Release: December 1, 2002
Copyright, CBS Copyright, CBS Copyright, CBS Copyright, CBS
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Copyright, CBS

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Featuring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams, Max Morrow, Maria del Mar, Hugh Thompson, Dorian Harewood, Shirley Douglas, Amber Marshall, Rhonda McLean, Jeremy Akerman, John Maclaren, Brian Heighton, Geoff Herod, Bill Carr, John Dunsworth, Brian Jamieson, Kathryn Maclellan, David Christoffel, Juanita Peters, Connie Stewart
Director Andy Wolk
Producer Beth Grossbard Productions, Craig Anderson Productions, Nova Scotia Film Industry Tax Credit, Craig Anderson, Beth Grossbard, Michael Mahoney
Distributor CBS

“Inspired by the #1 hit song and best-selling book”

This has to be one of the most emotionally charged movies in recent years. I consider myself a man’s man and very rarely show my feelings whilst watching films, but I shed more than a few tears whilst watching this endearing, thought-provoking movie based on the book of the same name. The book was in turn based on the song of the same name by Christian band Newsong.

The movie revolves around two families, the Laytons and Andrews. The Andrews are a loving family that makes every moment count, even though they would be considered typical, working class people. The Laytons, however, are a family who has everything, yet nothing—a failing marriage and a father who makes and breaks promises in the same day pretty much sums them up. The story revolves around these two families as their lives unintentionally interact with one another, but unlike most films of this genre the story moved along quickly and kept my attention throughout.

To say that this film is a tearjerker would be an understatement. The main story is about Maggie Andrews’ fight with a life-threatening heart condition and her son’s struggle to buy her a pair of beautiful red shoes as her last Christmas present. I won’t ruin the story by telling what happens, but be warned have plenty of handkerchiefs at the ready, because I have yet to meet anyone who hasn’t shed a tear or two watching this beautifully-crafted movie.

As for content… You will find no violence, little bad language, and no sex or nudity. This has to be one of the most family-friendly movies, I can think of. Little ones may get a little upset, but it may open a good opportunity for discussion about the film’s subject matter.

The acting throughout was above standard for a TV movie, and both Rob Lowe and Kimberley Williams shone. As for spiritual content… although there is not mention of God’s saving grace through his son Jesus, there are mentions of angels, Heaven, and God. The song that started the ball rolling is played during the film, and it was nice to see that they left in the line, “And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight.”

Overall, this is a film that I will be watching every Christmas alongside other Christmas classics and mark my words, that’s what this will become… a Christmas classic.

Violence: None | Profanity: Mild | Sex/Nudity: None

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Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—I love this movie so much I even watch it in the summer! It is so beautiful my favorite Christmas movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality: 4
Terry Lake, age 58 (USA)
Positive—“The Christmas Shoes”—come on lady—don’t be so dang serious. The message of the movie is excellent and very touching… Enjoy life, and you will feel less stress in your life. This is a great movie with a great message. I suggest that everyone watch the sequel, “The Christmas Blessing.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Joe, age 38 (USA)
…the word dammit [is said] two times…
Edward Richards
Neutral—This is a good film for Christians and non-Christians, especially showing what is truly important in life. Many fathers/husbands are striving to get ahead in life materially and this film shows that is not what ultimately counts. It is about family and holding onto time well spent, because not one of us knows when we will take our last breath.

The only disappointment I have is the fact there are the two swear words. That is not needed…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Tracie Jones, age 40 (USA)
Negative—The made-for-TV movie, “The Christmas Shoes” and the song that was created after an Internet urban legend does a major disservice to Christians everywhere. WHAT difference would it make to our Lord and Savior WHAT kind of shoes a dying woman is wearing??? Is it right for a little boy to leave his dying mother and then go to a store unsupervised to beg money to buy shoes? C’mon!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
Elizabeth, age 30