Angel in the House

Rating:

A.K.A. Foster

Main Cast: Toni Collette, Ioan Gruffudd

Director: Jonathan Newman

Do you ever finish a movie and wonder what the hell you were thinking when you brought it into your house?  It happens to me more often than I’d like to admit, but Angel in the House was a particularly unwelcome visitor, one I was glad to pack up and send back where it came from as soon as possible.

I know how Angel in the House ended up in my house – it stars Toni Collette, who I really like.  But I really need to be more discerning, and more careful about reading plot summaries.  The movie stars Collette as Zooey, a young woman who is unable, with her husband Alec (Ioan Gruffudd), to conceive a child.  There is no medical reason for their infertility, yet they continue to fail.  They decide to look into fostering a child, both as a way to parent and as a way to help them both get over some unnamed trauma in their past that may be the psychological block that is keeping them from having a biological child.

After they visit what amounts to an orphanage, a young man arrives on their doorstep, saying he’s been sent by the home.  Eli (Maurice Cole) has some documentation and the home is in chaos when Zooey and Alec try to check on the validity of a child simply showing up at their home after one visit.  They end up keeping Alec with them.  He’s very precocious, seems to know exactly the right things (very adult things) to do and say to help Alec with his failing business and Zooey with her trauma.  He’s just too good to be true.

Enter a cryptic homeless man in the park who provides yet more subtle “counseling” to the struggling couple and you have sap running out the sides of the TV and all over your white living room carpet.

Angel in the House sucks.  It’s trite, diminishes the trauma suffered by the couple, inserts “angels” where none are necessary, makes the adults seem like clueless children and says nothing at all about the power of healing.  It’s just manipulative, predictable pabulum spoon-fed the audience by an initially cute kid who becomes grating and obnoxious after about 20 minutes.

Both Collette and Gruffudd are wasted.  Each has the occasional funny or touching moment, but each is ruined by some crap spewed by the pint sized guru of family harmony.  The message is both uneven and heavy handed.  Are they trying to say everyone needs an angel sometimes?  That angels come in all forms?  That an angel will solve your problems?  Whatever it is, it’s heavy on the angel crap and light on anything even remotely resembling honest emotion.  Also, it isn’t funny.  At all.

Overall, Angel in the House is a disaster.  Trite, sappy, heavy handed and stupid.  Don’t waste your time. One star out of five, and it only gets one because I feel sorry for Collette and Gruffudd.

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Comments

  • Brian

    September 21, 2019 at 9:08 pm
    Reply

    Sorry Sue, but you’re wrong on this one. This is a sweet, funny, poignant movie that hits on all cylinders. Let your heart soften a bit.

    • Sue Millinocket
      to Brian

      October 15, 2019 at 6:17 pm
      Reply

      Different opinion, sure. Wrong? Nope.

  • Don Andersen

    January 1, 2018 at 9:08 pm
    Reply

    I would deliciously look forward to watching EVERY movie this woman pans as awful. This was one of the best movies I have ever watched. Reminded me of "Angel Unaware" by Dale Evans. A real tear jerker, […] Read MoreI would deliciously look forward to watching EVERY movie this woman pans as awful. This was one of the best movies I have ever watched. Reminded me of "Angel Unaware" by Dale Evans. A real tear jerker, at least for me. A superb performance by Maurice Cole~! Read Less

  • Mark Bateman

    September 10, 2017 at 11:23 pm
    Reply

    Wow. Sue is perhaps the coldest movie reviewer I've read. The idea that she called be movie sappy and stupid makes me believe she's been hurt pretty badly and perhaps should watch the movie again to help her. I'm completely […] Read MoreWow. Sue is perhaps the coldest movie reviewer I've read. The idea that she called be movie sappy and stupid makes me believe she's been hurt pretty badly and perhaps should watch the movie again to help her. I'm completely appalled by her reference to the adults as "clueless children" because to be honest as a person whom has suffered through a few things there are times you stand in a mirror or a window and say "ok and what do I do now" completely clueless and powerless. In fact it took one of my children saying "Dad you just gonna stand there" before I snapped out of it. It's as if Sue has never failed to the level that she needed a small child's innocence to help her view the world a bit differently. Sue don't rent a movie with the word Angel and then mock it telling the story of a couple that needed a little Angel magic in their lives. Read Less

  • Mary Norman

    July 5, 2017 at 3:51 pm
    Reply

    Great Movie! Sue is Stupid!

  • J A ï

    March 29, 2017 at 11:57 pm
    Reply

    5 Stars! KiD was sublime

  • Mike

    January 23, 2017 at 5:27 pm
    Reply

    I heartily disagree with the negative conclusion of this review. Yes, this gives a reasonable idea of the plot (though more unbiased plot descriptions may be found on other sites). It is also very obvious that Ms. Millinocket personally found […] Read MoreI heartily disagree with the negative conclusion of this review. Yes, this gives a reasonable idea of the plot (though more unbiased plot descriptions may be found on other sites). It is also very obvious that Ms. Millinocket personally found this film not to her tastes - and that is certainly her right. However, one person's opinion does NOT render a movie a "disaster." My wife and I saw it on Netflix last night and both heartily enjoyed it. Maybe that makes us sappy pabulum lovers - or maybe it means we're not the only two people on the planet who might actually find this movie heart-warming as well as entertaining. I give it AT LEAST four stars. :) Read Less

    • suemillinocket
      to Mike

      January 23, 2017 at 5:57 pm
      Reply

      Yep, I hated it. :)

  • Alf Cengia

    November 23, 2016 at 8:56 pm
    Reply

    Sounds great ;-)

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