A first-rate cast comes together for this collection of intertwining tales of lonely New Yorkers reaching out to each other on Christmas Eve.
Susan Sarandon plays Rose, a widowed editor who spends way too much time at the hospital bed of her Alzheimers-stricken mother. Robin Williams is the mysterious fellow who later prevents her from possibly jumping in the East River. Meanwhile Nina (Penelope Cruz) gets tired of the violently jealous outbreaks of her cop boyfriend, Mike (Paul Walker), and breaks their engagement. An obsessive old waiter (Alan Arkin) is convinced Mike is the reincarnation of his dead wife, while in another story a troubled young man (Marcus Thomas) attempts to smash up his hand so he can attend an emergency room Christmas party.
Needless to say, these tales intersect movingly and the miracle of Christmas provides major healing to each character involved.
Sarandon is a stand-out among the many fine performances here, Cruz is beautiful as always, but the real jaw-dropping surprise is Paul Walker.
Famous as the dopey "white guy" in those FAST AND THE FURIOUS films, Walker reveals great depths of tortured feeling as the cop struggling to save his future family.
Actor Chazz Palminteri (A BRONX TALE) directed this, his first feature film. Though set in New York, it was filmed in Montreal, so no, it's not a Christmas miracle that the city looks so nice and clean. Alan Menken (Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID) provides the score.