Holy Joe

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  • TV-PG
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 5.4  (232)

Holy Joe is a charming and heartwarming family drama film that premiered on CBS in 1999. Directed by Larry Peerce and written by Sally Nemeth, the movie follows the journey of an unlikely hero, a preacher named Joe Cass, played by the legendary John Ritter. Joe Cass is not your typical minister. He is struggling to keep his church doors open and barely scraping by with his tiny congregation of three elderly women. Nobody takes him seriously, and his sermons are stale and unengaging. However, his life takes an unexpected turn when a group of homeless men breaks into his church looking for a warm place to sleep during a stormy night. Joe takes pity on them and offers them a roof over their heads for the night, not knowing that this one small act of kindness would turn his life upside down.

The homeless men, who were initially hostile towards Joe, are slowly won over by his compassion and empathy. They start attending his church services and even help him spruce up the place. Suddenly, Joe's church becomes a sanctuary for the downtrodden, and his once-empty pews start filling up. He finds himself preaching to a brand new congregation, consisting of people who were previously invisible and forgotten by society.

As Joe continues to minister to his new flock, he also reconnects with his estranged wife, played by Meredith Baxter. Baxter gives a nuanced performance as a woman who has lost faith in her husband's calling but gradually comes to realize that he is doing something truly beautiful and worthwhile.

Another standout performance in the movie is by David Tom, who plays Mouse, one of the homeless men who becomes Joe's loyal disciple. Tom's portrayal of Mouse's struggles with addiction and his eventual redemption through faith in God is touching and inspiring.

Holy Joe is a movie that tackles some heavy themes, such as homelessness, addiction, and faith, but does so with a light touch. It never becomes preachy or overly sentimental, thanks to the grounded performances of the cast and the understated direction by Peerce. The film strikes an admirable balance between humor and pathos, throwing in some genuinely funny moments amidst the more serious subject matter.

Overall, Holy Joe is an uplifting and inspiring movie that celebrates the power of kindness and empathy. John Ritter's performance as Joe Cass is a testament to his talent as an actor and his ability to convey a complex range of emotions. The film's message of hope and redemption is universal and timeless, making it a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good family drama with heart.

Holy Joe
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • IMDB Rating
    5.4  (232)