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By Merle Bertrand | November 28, 2000

Insurance broker Jack Topper (Tony Abatemarco) describes himself as a people person, not a paper person. No surprise there since Jack, (who bears a disconcerting resemblance to James Taylor), tends to have a bit of an organizational problem around his office. In fact, the owner of Lookout Insurance is on the verge of running his company into the ground when, in about as heavy-handed an homage — or rip-off — of “It’s A Wonderful Life” as one can imagine, the Bureau of Guardian Angels sends Harvie (an endlessly vamping Nichelle Nichols) down to the rescue. A cross between Clarence and one of Jacob Marley’s Christmas ghosts, Harvie transports in and out of the rest of this film, teaching Jack how to get more organized.
“A Stitch in Time” plods along, its highly predictable narrative about as exciting as, well, the insurance business. Writer/director Marta Houske imbues the film with way too much insurance techno-speak for its own good. (They say write what you know, and here’s guessing that Ms. Houske has spent a considerable amount of time in the insurance biz.) At least competent in all areas, “A Stitch in Time” is hardly the disaster that odd-numbered “Star Trek” movies tend to be. For instance, the film looks as slick and polished as one would expect from a 35mm short. Yet, neither the presence of an original former “Enterprise” crew member nor her brightly colored wardrobe can lift this film above the merely workmanlike level.

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