Lionsgate // 2011 // 90 Minutes // Rated G
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 19th, 2012
Look who's been naughty and nice.
Just in time for Christmas: Reindeer droppings!
12 Christmas Wishes for My Dog tells the quaint story of Laura Lindsey (Elisa Donovan, Clueless), a high-powered executive in the fashion industry who has an impressive assortment of first world problems. She gets yelled at a lot by her boss. Her neighbor complains a lot. Her good-looking rich boyfriend wants to write a novel, threatening her dreams of a posh lifestyle. She has to put her dog in a kennel. What is an exasperated pampered whiner to do? Take advantage of the occult and start wishing her dreams true!
Through some unknown supernatural mojo, Laura is given the opportunity to make 12 Christmas Wishes, which she promptly squanders on stupid crap like having her best friend's hair look great on a date. Before she knows it, she's burned through all of her wishes and her life still sucks, relatively speaking.
But there's a lesson in all of this. You guessed it, it's "don't use magic to solve your stupid problems." Laura eventually wises up, starts learning how to act like a functional human being and maybe -- just maybe! -- finds love. Meanwhile, her dog, which has prominent placement on the disc cover and is featured in the movie's title (changed from the original 12 Wishes of Christmas) is in this thing for like two minutes.
So the good news is this made-for-TV holiday movie isn't as nearly as awful as its title and dopey artwork implies. The bad news is...it's close. As a Christmas product, 12 Christmas Wishes for My Dog is relatively innocuous. In fact, it scored five doves from the Dove Foundation! I don't know if that's five-out-of-five doves or five-out-of-100 doves, but the marketers are pretty proud of it, so there you go. I do surmise the Dove Foundation is likely looking at things other than "quality of movie" to bestow their accolades upon.
12 Christmas Wishes for My Dog is beyond dopey. It's feel-good schmaltzy ending is overwhelmed by the utter inanity that precedes it. Sure, I can get behind a magic yuletide story about wish-granting, but am I to believe there is a person out there so vapid and selfish, she would completely waste 12 legit wishes that could helped save a small country from a tsunami? Apparently, I am. Laura Lindsey might get my vote for most detestable film character of 2012, and that's saying a lot when you're going against Bane and Azog the Defiler. From the get-go, I didn't care about her so-called plights and the manner in which she went about rectifying them -- wishing people out of their jobs, homes, and health insurance for their diabetic children -- did little to endear her to me. Of course, she eventually comes around, but come on. If anyone was ever deserving of the monkey paw fate, it's this woman.
A ho-ho-hum DVD from Lionsgate: standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 Surround, English closed captioned and Spanish subtitles, a photo gallery, and a brief making-of featurette.
Guilty. Don't hide behind the dog.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated G
* Image Gallery