Beverly Hills Christmas does not take place in Beverly Hills; instead, this cast of characters is mostly preoccupied with serving in a soup kitchen, even if it’s against some of their personal wishes, but everything shifts when Ravin (Ravin Spangler) the spoiled richest girl of all, has a drastic change of heart.
Though this film has many lighthearted moments, Ravin’s mother Angelina (Angelina Spangler) dies just before the holidays, and her daughter is angry and lashing out at everyone, so Angelina has been tasked by the angel Gabriel (Dean Cain) with helping Ravin to see the light and heal. Christian theology gets a bit off-kilter here when Angelina can’t get into heaven until she does this good deed — as a result, Angelina is in just about every scene, anonymously in the background like a ghost, whispering into people’s ears, and behaving much like a guardian angel.
Ravin’s trainer at the soup kitchen, Jerry (Brandon Tyler Russell), is the opposite of her, raised in foster care, poor, and ill with a seemingly incurable disease, but he also helps Ravin see what really matters most in life, as they serve others together. When Jerry falls dangerously ill, Angelina comes to the rescue in an unexpected way, and Ravin Spangler does an exceptional job by shedding believable tears, and praying to God in an authentic and simple manner. One of the most genuine and heartfelt performances comes from Mara Rydell, who plays the housemaid Lucille, as she tells Ravin the story of how Angelina took her in after she herself prayed to God. It is a memorable and touching moment in the film.
There is one short onscreen kiss, and a couple of secondary characters drink wine at a party, but the positive message of personal transformation by placing others before self is as heartwarming as they come.
The Dove Take
A charming holiday movie for all seasons, Beverly Hills Christmas proves that love and sacrifice restores faith and heals hearts.