FoxFaith's newest offering, The Ultimate Gift (based on motivational speaker Jim Stovall's novel of the same title), aims to be just the sort of movie Christians pine for. Lovingly crafted to engage the viewer in an exploration of what truly matters in life, to gently invite a contemplation of faith as a source of meaning, and to inspire hope in even the most tragic circumstances, this film has its heart absolutely in the right place. If only it were a bit more entertaining. Like sensible woolen socks in a ribbon-wrapped package, The Ultimate Gift may be good for you, but it's a little hard to get excited about.
Former model Drew Fuller (TV's Charmed) plays Jason Stevens, a photogenic, spoiled and selfish jet setter who has never worked a day in his life. When his muscle car roars up to his grandfather's gravesite midway through the burial service, we get our first clue that Jason is a jerk—and that the movie isn't going to be particularly understated in its portrayal of that fact. For reasons the film will eventually take great pains to explain, Jason and his grandfather have been long estranged. So while the rest of Jason's impossibly self-seeking family bicker greedily over Red Stevens' extensive assets, Jason assumes he will receive nothing beyond the generous trust fund he has always enjoyed. However, at the reading of will, Jason discovers he is included in his grandfather's estate, in ways he could never have imagined.
It turns out that Red, a visionary oil and cattle tycoon (played with appropriate wise-old-timer-ness by James Garner), filmed a series of messages for Jason before his death. Each message will send Jason on a month-long challenge his grandfather hopes will impart some gift of insight or character. ...1