Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle) directs an all-star cast featuring Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible: 2), Mykelti Williamson (Three Kings) and Alfre Woodard ("Miss Ever's Boys") in a Golden GlobeĀ(r)-nominated* performan... more »ce. Based on the wildly successful stageplay by writer Cheryl L. West, Holiday Heart is a "poignant" (The Hollywood Reporter), heartfelt drama about how love can overcome addiction and prejudice. Choirmaster by day and female impersonator by night, creatively talented Holiday (Rhames) is a lonely man living with a broken heart until he befriends a bright young girl and her drug-addicted mother (Woodard). Helping them offthe street and into an empty apartment across from his, Holiday quickly forms a special bond with them. But when the mom hooks up with a dangerous drug-dealing boyfriend (Williamson), their worlds are again turned upside-down, forcing Holiday to confront his own prejudices if it means saving the two people he so desperately loves. *2001: Actress in a Leading Role - Mini-Series or Television Movie« less
A Deeply Moving Inner-City Film with an All-Star Cast
M. Hart | USA | 12/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The made-for-TV film "Holiday Heart", directed by Robert Townsend in 2000 and written by Cheryl L. West, is a deeply moving and engaging story involving an unusual set of characters. The main character, Holiday Heart (Ving Rhames, who is better known for his role of Luther Stickell in the 1996 "Mission Impossible" & the 2000 "Mission: Impossible II", as well as Marsellus Wallace in the 1994 "Pulp Fiction"), is an openly gay, professional female impersonator who is also deeply religious and directs a church choir. On a Halloween night while driving himself and his friend Jambalaya Blue (Johnathan Wesley Wallace) to a drag performance, his car breaks down. While trying to call for assistance, a girl about 12 years old pleads for his help. Following the girl, Niki (Jesika Reynolds), into a dilapidated apartment building, Holiday rescues her mother Wanda (Alfre Woodard, who played Lily Sloane in the 1996 "Star Trek VIII: First Contact") from her abusive boyfriend, L.T. (Ron Selmour). Taking them back to his apartment building (which he manages), Holiday becomes Niki's de facto father and good friend to Wanda. Wanting to give Niki a more stable home environment, Wanda marries the drug selling Silas (Mykelti Williamson, who played Bubba in the 1994 "Forrest Gump" and Don King in the 2001 "Ali"), who forbids Holiday from having any more contact with Niki. However, Wanda's unfortunate drug addictions drives Silas away, leaving Holiday to once again take care of Wanda and Niki; but Wanda's subsequent disappearance creates an interesting relationship between Holiday and Silas.
Though some may find the story presented in "Holiday Heart" disturbing with its starkly realistic portrayal of life in the inner city, drug addition and drug selling; it is these qualities that pull the viewer into its dark realism that allows the light within each character to shine brightly. Also, the excellent acting from Ving Rhames, Alfre Woodard and Mykelti Williamson makes this made-for-TV film truly stand out. It is no wonder that Alfre Woodard received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of the tragic Wanda. Consequently, I rate the 2000 "Holiday Heart" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it."
THE VERY BEST GAY THEMED STIRY I HAVE EVER SEEN BAR NONE!
DAS SKY LYCANTHROPE | Baltimore, Maryland USA | 11/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lately I have been buying as many of the quality gay themed DVD's and VHS movies AMAZON.COM has and folks they have many many many. I have had a chance to look at most of the Gay themed DVD's I brought so far. I have loved many if not most of them for they all moved me in special ways. I am happy I brought all the Gay themed DVD's I have from AMAZON.com and would do so again in a heartbeat.
That said nothing I have seen holds a candle to the story, the acting, the realness of the characters, the locations, the passion, the glory the joy the sadness the pain the plot twists everything about this Movie was so real to me. I watched so much of this movie through a veil of my own tears. I cried with pain one minute only to cry with joy the next and I am not a man easily given to crying but this movie touched me in places few things I have ever experienced do. I can count on one hand the films that have been the blessing in my life seeing this movie has been and have 2 fingers left over.
This DVD starts real showing a slice of inner city life staying true and real to its meassage throuhout. During the drama nothing gets watered down or sugar coated. The movie while not vulgar or base is adult subject matter that always treats its audience as INTELLIGENT adults. Holiday Heart is sensitive to its subject matter and you grow to love all the people even when they are not the best people in the world. You feel the struggles each of the characters are dealing with and you feel their pain and hurt and laugh right alone with them. You invest so much of yourself in these characters that after viewing this Holiday Heart you are in some ways spent emotionally because you feel as if you have lived this movie not just sat through it.
I do want to give any of this movie plot away because it is just too good and I do not want to steal its awesome impact. I will say this story ends in a most tragic painful irony yet you feel good for from this deepest pain your pain is transformed to joy. At the very end of Holiday Heart you are left to dwell in the bitter sweet triumph and partial victory that yes again brought me to tears. Thats what makes this so real, is that the crafts prople who created this movie could have made it sappy schlock that resolved all issues in a patented hollywood happy ending but they did not. The endind is sad but real. The victory is there but only a partial victory but so often in life we win only the victory incomplete. In the end there was redemption of a sort an addict mother brought for her child a christmas gift replacing one she stole years earlier the sadness is she paid far more than mere money in an attenmpt to give her child back a lost part of childhood.
I am 46 years old at this writing and might well live another 30 years or more GOD willing, if that is the case I will not likely ever invest another 90 minutes of my existance as wisely as I have in seeing this movie because to me it is just that damn good.
If ever ANYTHING AMAZON.COM HAS IS A MUST BUY ITEM, THEN Holiday Heart ~ Ving Rhames IS IT TOTALLY COMPLETELY AND WITHOUT ANY DOUBT IN MY MIND! I thank God he let me see this movie and I can only pray you take time to see it as well. If you care at all about enjoying a part of the uniquely black gay experience you can not miss this DVD it is just too good to miss for any reason.
This Movie Made Me Want to Go To Paris TOO! Thank you for reading my review.
Heart warming and wonderful story
jansen7 | Lafayette, LA USA | 07/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was just marvelous. It takes a very talented actor to pull off drag and Ving Rhames did it wonderfully. Overall, the entire cast was wonderful. Hats off to the always delightful Alfre Woodard. This movie certainly gets 5 stars from me!"
Myrtle A. McDonald | Louisville, KY | 07/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I got this movie I had just lost my best friend. I was in a deep funk, watching this movie gave me the good cleansing cry that I needed to move on. Ving as Holiday Heart is so moving. Very few men can play a drag queen and make it realistic. Ving pulls it off with style and grace and total believeability. Not since Rupaul has a drag queen had so much class and style. Alfre Woodard as the drug addicted mother was a moving performance that she should get an Academy Award for. I thought the daughter was a bit obvious though. Her acting was not the best. But she's new and hopefully as time goes on she'll improve. Buy this movie you will not be disappointed."
Ecxellant film with great performances
D. Pauley | Charleston, WV | 07/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I caught this movie this morning on Logo and was blown away by it. Alfre Woodard, who is one of my favorite actresses, is amazing as the crack addicted mother. Her scene when she's watching her daughter read her prize winning poem is heartbreaking. Ving Rhames in a silver lame dress performing I Love the Night Life is a hoot. He does a lovely job as the openly gay Holiday who's a drag queen who can be just as tough as he needs to be when it's called for. His performane is terrific. All in all, this is a film that will make you laugh, cry and everything in between. Robett Townsend's direction is excellant."