`Gift' is wrapped up in drama, love

Review B-

March 09, 2007|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

The Ultimate Gift is an irresistible formula film, an inspirational tearjerker complete with a dying kid, a dysfunctional family, a reprobate made to see the error of his ways and the unwavering message that good is, as it should be, its own reward.

Based on the novel by Jim Stovall, the film opens with the off-screen death of oil magnate Red Stevens (James Garner). Family and friends gather for the funeral, and it quickly becomes apparent that whatever else Red did in life, he wasn't much of a success at the family thing. The Stevens brood can't get the old man in the ground fast enough.

The Ultimate Gift (20th Century Fox) Starring Drew Fuller, Ali Hillis, Abigail Breslin, James Garner. Directed by Michael O. Sajbel. Rated PG. Time 117 minutes.

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