Saturday, December 19, 2015

Movie Review: "One Magic Christmas" (1985)

Image Source
Movie"One Magic Christmas"
Director: Phillip Borsos
Year: 1985
Rating: G
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

An angel named Gideon (Harry Dean Stanton) is sent to Earth to restore a cynical woman named Ginny's (Mary Steenburgen) Christmas cheer.

Released in theaters in 1985, "One Magic Christmas" is a very much forgotten live action Disney film. Like the vast majority of Christmas movies, it never went on to become a holiday classic and has simply faded away into obscurity over the years. We say this knowing it had never been in either of our households growing up and neither of us had even heard of this film until looking for Christmas movies to fill our annual holiday marathon. The basic premise here appears to be at least inspired by, if not blatantly ripped off from "It's a Wonderful Life." An angel named Gideon, played by Harry Dean Stanton, is tasked with showing a woman named Ginny, played by Mary Steenburgen, a down on her luck mother and at the moment sole breadwinner for her family, the true meaning of Christmas, and to restore her Christmas spirit. Ginny's Husband Jack, played by Gary Basaraba, has just been laid off from his job and his family is being evicted from their company-owned home just days before Christmas. Understandably, with the stress of being evicted, having to find a new place to live, packing up all their belongings, and having to work extra hours due to the holiday, Ginny doesn't exactly feel like wishing people a Merry Christmas and is a bit snippy with her family and even her customers, too. Gideon the angel has an idea of how he can restore Ginny's holiday cheer: by showing her, with the help of her young daughter Abbie, played by Elisabeth Harnois, that things could always be worse. In turn, Gideon makes Ginny experience some of the worst things imaginable in the hopes that she will start to appreciate what she has instead of complaining about how bad her life is right now. The things Gideon puts Ginny and her family through are way, way out of the Christmas spirit, and though there is a bit of a redemption towards the end of the film,along with an appearance from Santa, the jump this film makes to get to its lesson is staggering. As audience members, watching a film like "It's a Wonderful Life" really drives home just how important each and every person really is in the grand scheme of life, even though George Bailey basically gets erased to make him appreciate what he's got. In "One Magic Christmas," we could think of a dozen different ways Gideon could make Ginny regain her holiday spirit without taking the extreme measures this film takes. At the end of it all, instead of being restored in our faith as believers and lover of Christmas, we were left scratching our heads and wondering who the hell thought this would make a good idea for a Christmas lesson. It seems more like masochistic punishment with a minor redemption story than a greeting of yuletide cheer. After seeing this movie, we can understand why it quickly dropped off the map and moved away from the "classic" Christmas film status because it's not well constructed, only halfway decently acted, and pretty hard to watch. We left the TV room feeling worse than we did when we began watching "One Magic Christmas," which was pretty crappy on its own.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 50%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching"Jack Frost"

Two years ago, we were watching: "Miracle on 34th Street"

No comments:

Post a Comment