From December 1 – 25, I will endeavor to watch a different Christmas movie each day and write about it on this blog. Here are the parameters:
- The movies I choose from cannot have been distributed in theaters for wide release (so no Elf, The Santa Clause, etc.). Movies made for TV, direct to video, streaming, or otherwise independent are up for grabs.
- I will only cover live-action full-length feature films. No reality shows or television shows (but again, made for TV movies are fine). I also won’t cover any holiday specials (ex. the Bob Ross special, Mariah Carey holiday special, Charlie Brown Christmas, etc.).
- All the available movies to stream (along with a Hallmark wildcard) are in a Google sheet, from which I’ll randomly choose one each day. If the movie turns out to be truly unwatchable within the first 10 minutes, I will redraw.
- Each movie will be rated based on a very strict set of Christmas criteria.
Got it? Let’s go!
48 Christmas Wishes (2017)
Directed by: Marco Deufemia and Justin G. Dyck
Written by: Neale Kimmel
Starring: Madeline Leon, I guess?
Synopsis: “For the first time ever, two junior Elves have to leave home after losing an entire town’s letters to Santa. While attempting to blend into small town life, they set out to retrieve every missing wish before Christmas Eve.”
Watch on: Netflix
I’ve gotta hand it to 48 Christmas Wishes. It’s the first of these movies so far that’s actually elicited a laugh from me. “I love the smell of wishes in the morning,” uttered by a small child playing an elf, is guaranteed to make me guffaw every time.
This movie is on the weird line of being too boring to discern a plot but still being somewhat watchable. Two elves leave the North Pole to track down wishes in time for Christmas with the help of a Christmas-addicted kid. The girl elf in particular is probably the best actor in the movie. (Santa chews the scenery way up, not unlike the best of my community theatre comrades.)
48 Christmas Wishes did serve a purpose, though. It got me to think about the mechanics of so many Christmas movies that want to have their cake and eat it, too. 48 Christmas Wishes, not unlike The Santa Clause or Elf, conveys the North Pole both as a highly bureaucratic system that falls apart if one cog falls out of place, but one that also is full of magic.
Which begs the question: if Santa is magical, why design a world that is so utterly mundane and human? (And also reliant on the slave labor of the Elvish race?!)
Also, there’s a whole weird subplot where the only two Black kid elves in the movie are slavishly flossing for hours on end for some unknown reason. (And by flossing, I mean doing the backpack dance.)
A real Christmas movie should be so full of snow that the characters are at risk of suffocating on it. The more snowflakes, the snowier (and more Christmasy) the movie.
Snowmeter: ? out 10 snowflakes. I have to say, I honestly did not pay enough attention to this movie to tell you whether or not it snowed. So we’ll leave the snowmeter unrated this time.
What emotional cord is the movie trying to strike? Is it all about believing in the season? Or is it about the disillusioned bakery owner finding love once again? The higher the mistletoe, the feels this movie has.
The Feels: 2 out 10 mistletoes. I neglected to mention above that the entire emotional core of the movie revolves around a dead dad. You can guess how much that moved me.
How good of a job does the movie do at getting you in the mood for Christmas? The more snowy white Santa beards, the more Christmas cheer.
Overall Christmas Spirit: 8 out of 10 Santa beards. Of the movies on the list so far, this is by far the most Christmasy. It’s all about making Christmas wishes happen.
Would I Recommend? Meh.