The Christmas Choir (2008) - The Hallmark Channel
Somewhat distraught Peter wanders the dingy streets of Montreal for a bit before stopping in at the local dive where he makes the acquaintance of Piano Playing Bob (Tyrone Benskin). These two gentlemen share a drink, bond over music as Peter was also a Piano Man in a previous life, and after a few stories of love and love lost, Bob invites Peter back to his home to meet his family.
Imagine Peter's surprise to learn that Bob's 'home' is a homeless shelter and his 'family' are homeless dudes. But eventually, with the help of Bob and the nun Agatha (Rhea Perlman) Peter takes to these people as they have given him purpose. He even suggests that they start a Men's choir to sing Christmas Carol's and maybe make a little money on the side in donations.
It's rough in the beginning, but soon they find their groove and all is good. Peter has even found a new lady love. Until, sadly, it's not good anymore. But through the power of music and holiday magic, second chance love and happy homeless dudes will prevail!
So as it turns out, 'The Christmas Choir' doesn't really belong on this list we're working through. Looking at the synopsis it does seem like every other Hallmark Christmas movie ever made... Workaholic learns what life is really about through some semi-magical event or person... But this one was different in many ways. For one, it's one of the rare ones we've seen that is Male-centered and that's kind of important because from what we've seen so far, if we remove the Christmas theme from these movies, most of the female centered ones we've up seen this point involve 'Finding a Man', 'Getting the Man Back' or 'Picking the Right Man'. But in this one, while Peter eventually found a new lady love, his main focus was saving his soul and rescuing his relationship with his estranged father, which was his new woman's main purpose in this film in helping make this happen. And I thought for sure the ex-fiancee would show back up, but nope, they left that bit of nonsense out too.
In addition the movie had a real gritty look to it, like a 70's Al Pacino movie as opposed to the sunny, brightly lit movies we have seen to this point. And to be honest, a movie about homeless dudes with drinking problems and other mental issues probably shouldn't be all that sunny anyway.
The movie did have it's problems, mainly the way they went about breaking Peter up with the choir, which we know had to happen, but it was kind of clunky and obtuse. If this movie was typical, his accounting firm would've been in on shutting down the shelter to make room for condo's, then the homeless dudes would've found out and the break-up would've happened that way, but this one seemed to go out of its way to avoid the prototypical.
With no cute kids, a dearth of wise old people, a gritty look and Christmas music coming via a men's choir who kind of can't sing... 'The Christmas Choir' could be the best movie we've seen on this journey to this point, but it's also not very vomit worthy.