This is a Christmas movie for the family. First things first – do not be confused by the title/s: A Christmas Gift from Bob is the same movie as A Gift from Bob. I want to save you the 15 minutes it took me to sort that out.

Bob is a street cat, and if you have not heard of him then he is quite the global phenomenon. It all started more than a decade ago. In 2007,  Bob adopted James Bowen a busker and Big Issue seller in London. The two fell in love. Bob followed Bowen to work at his various busking location, notably Angel Tube (yep just like in Monopoly) station, and Covent Garden. In Covent Garden, tourists were soon uploading videos of the charming pair. If there’s one thing we all know about YouTube is that cute animals are the biggest “influencers” of all.

It didn’t take long for a local newspaper to hear about Bob and Bowen and publish their story. Literary agent Mary Pachnos saw it and introduced Bowen to writer Garry Jenkins. Nine books and millions of sales later, a movie A Street Cat Named Bob was released. A Christmas Gift from Bob (2020) is the sequel.

The plot is predictable and suitably heart-warming. It’s a feel-good movie for children and for Christmas. You would have to be pretty Scrooge-y not to fall in love with Bob and not to feel for Bowen (Luke Treadaway) and his life struggles. Personally, I love the movie for its cityscapes — Christmassy London, sigh.

There is one moment in the movie that perplexes me. After the publishing company’s Christmas do, an experienced author sympathises with Bowen’s predicament: to write a follow-up best seller. I can’t place the actor and presume she is a British author – I’m appealing to readers, can anyone place her?

Speaking of Christmas parties — what’s your favourite movie Christmas party? Bridget Jones’ karaoke anyone?

A Christmas Gift From Bob opens nationally from 3rd December. Rating PG. Running Time 103 minutes.

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