Have a Little Faith

Presented by: Hallmark Hall of Fame

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Once dreaded affairs, I now look forward to the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies that have gotten much better and way more interesting as the years have passed.  It was while looking up the next airing of a Hallmark Hall of Fame film that I learned their contract with CBS was not being renewed.  I stared at the article in disbelief.  Decades of tradition were thrown out of the window!  Yes, Hallmark had it’s own channel, but for some reason, CBS not airing these films seemed so very strange.  And then I learned that not only had ABC picked up the contract, but that the very first movie airing would be based on Mitch Albom’s latest best seller, Have a Little Faith.

            The movie opens with a request from sportswriter Mitch Albom’s (Bradley Whitford) childhood rabbi Albert Lewis (Martin Landau).  Rabbi Lewis’ request is quite out of the ordinary - he wants Mitch to write his eulogy, despite the fact that he has not been diagnosed with a fatal illness.  Having fallen from the path of the faithful, Mitch is uneasy with the idea, but unable to say no to his rabbi.  He decides to visit with Rabbi Lewis to gather information for the eulogy.  He continues to visit long after he has gotten all the information he needs for the eulogy, finding the visits to be spiritually stirring.

            Mitch soon decides that he, like Rabbi Lewis, has a need to help people.  He begins a charity to aid homeless shelters.  Discovering that a rundown church he passes quite often runs a homeless shelter, Mitch decides to talk to the pastor.  He discovers that Pastor Henry Covington (Laurence Fishburne) is not exactly what he expected.  Having been a hustler, arrested for manslaughter, a drug dealer and eventually an addict, Pastor Covington has made a drastic change in his life and now preaches second chances, hope and love.

            As Mitch travels between these two religious figures, he beings to discover some of his faith in fellow man returning.  He wants to help Pastor Covington and his parish, but the job is simply too enormous.  The church has no lights, no heat, a hole in the roof and no money for even the simplest of things, yet the parishioners are faithful, the shelter runs on and Pastor Covington continues his work as best he can.  Inspired by Rabbi Lewis and Pastor Covington, Mitch finds a way to bring attention to the parish’s plight and a bit of joy to its members.

            Yup, they did it to me again - Hallmark Hall of Fame made me cry.  Have a Little Faith is an incredibly touching movie about a man who believed he had lost his faith finding his way back and making peace with himself.  Each of the stories - Rabbi Lewis’ unyielding faith, Henry Covington’s downward spiral that brought him back to his faith and Mitch’s faith resurrected through both Lewis and Covington, two men with such different backgrounds, but such strength of character  - are incredibly inspiring.  And the fact that this is a true story, not just some fictitious creation of an overactive imagination, makes the movie’s message that much more poignant.

            Have a Little Faith was just what the doctor ordered this Christmas, a story of faith - in oneself, in God and in humanity.  What a perfect tale for this holiday season and the perfect way to start Hallmark Hall of Fame‘s journey on the ABC network. 


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