Movie Review: A Wish for Christmas (2016)

Synopsis: When her supervisor takes credit for her idea, talented but shy Sara Thomas tells the Santa at her company Christmas party she wished she had the courage to speak up for herself. Santa grants her wish for 48 hours and it results in Sara being invited to Seattle by her boss, Peter Williams, to make a sales pitch to a difficult client. While there, she encourages Peter to reconnect with his estranged father.

Who's in it? The movie stars Lacey Chabert, Paul Greene, Andrea Brooks, Colleen Wheeler and Kendall Cross.

Review: After mostly spending the day at home because of crappy weather outside, my wife and I settled down to watch another Christmas movie this evening. This one sounded interesting and, as I've mentioned before, we both are big fans of Lacey Chabert (at least in holiday movies), so we wound up picking it. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to expectations.

I think the biggest problem with this movie is it attempts to do too much. There's Sara's (Chabert) Christmas wish, the big sales pitch she needs to be successful at to prevent company layoffs, the potential romance between her and her boss (Greene) and, of course, her trying to help Peter find his Christmas spirit and reconnect with his family. One or two of those might have made a good movie. Having so many of them crammed together made it impossible to make any of the stories as good as they could have been.

In fact, the end of the movie actually seems a bit rushed as a result of so many loose ends that need to be tied up. My wife and I even thought we accidentally fast forwarded past part of the film because, one moment, they are still in Seattle and, the next, they are back in Chicago with everything resolved. I feel a bit cheated as a result of that, especially since the movie pretty much just glosses over Peter's unresolved father issues in favor of an instant happy ending.

Another thing I feel would have helped this movie is a better introduction to Sara. It doesn't make a whole lot of effort to tell us that much about her prior to her Christmas wish being granted and, because of that, it was a bit difficult to tell just how much her new-found courage changed her. For example, there is a scene where she helps a mom and her daughter get a rental car. Was her kindness the result of her wish? Or was she a kind person before that? I want to believe it was the latter but couldn't really tell you with 100 percent certainty.

The love story between Sara and Peter also seemed kind of forced, at least in my opinion. The chemistry just wasn't there and, much like everything else, their romance seemed a bit rushed at the end. Frankly, this is a movie that might have been better had Sara not gotten the guy at the end, especially since it wasn't as though Peter really did anything to make her fall in love with him.

Final Opinion: This might have been a better movie had the filmmakers not tried to do too much. Unfortunately, because there is so much going on, the film just never found a rhythm and failed to be one of our favorites.

My Grade: C-


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