In this 1996 TV movie, Dolly plays selfish country music singer Ruby Diamond, who meets an untimely demise, but cannot enter heaven until she performs a good deed back on earth and that deed is to get a workaholic widower and his children back together again for Christmas.
Masquerading as an out-of-sorts governess, Ruby slowly but surely starts to knit father/widower Ben together with his rebellious yet conflicted daughter Sarah and lonely son Matthew. But when Christmas Eve rolls around and Matthew runs away from home, St. Peter arrives to remind Ruby of the deal's terms, to which she replies, "I don't care; I'm fixing this family whether I get into Heaven or not." Upon the successful completion of her mission, St. Peter urges her to leave, despite her protests. But he reminds her that they will no longer remember her, so she reluctantly accepts. As she is awarded her wings, we see the family celebrating their first Christmas together in years.
Its no classic by any means, but as a nice entertaining family movie it fits the bill perfectly. There are also three songs that feature in the movie, What’cha Tryin’ Do, Unlikely Angel and Hallelujah, but unfortunately none of them have ever been officially released.
Soundtrack (sung by Dolly, unless indicated)
1. What'cha Tryin' to Do to Me?
2. Jingle Bells - Eli Marienthal
3. Unlikely Angel
Dolly Parton Ruby Diamond Roddy McDowall Saint Peter Brian Kerwin Ben Bartilson Allison Mack Sarah Bartilson Eli Marienthal Matthew Bartilson
Director: Michael Switzer Running Time: 95 mins Release Date: 17th December 1996