Genius Products // 2007 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // October 24th, 2008
"Nothing Is Impossible"
Does the world need another Christmas movie? Maybe, but All I Want For Christmas is not that movie.
Similarly, does the world need another movie where a young child tries to find a spouse for his or her widowed parent? Perhaps, but All I Want For Christmas is not that movie either.
All I Want For Christmas was made for the Hallmark Channel. This is all the information you need know to figure out what type of movie this is. Syrupy. Sappy. Unbearable.
Sarah (Gail O'Grady, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo) is a widowed, single mother with a ten-year-old son, Jesse (Jimmy Pinchak, The Polar Express). Since her husband's death, Sarah has dedicated herself to working at the Armstrong Community Center, named after her husband and purchased with the proceeds from his pension.
Ben (Robert Mailhouse, The Glimmer Man) lives across the hall from Sarah and occasionally helps her by babysitting Jesse, or taking the two out for a fun night on the town...like bowling.
Across town, at Toyco Toys, executive decide to a hold an "All I Want For Christmas" contest, asking children for their Christmas wish. Jesse enters the contest. His wish is that his mother gets a new husband. Guess what? Jesse's wish is the only non-materialistic wish entry, so he wins! What transpires afterwards is a series of lame events. It starts with some dates between Sarah and various suitors selected by Toyco. Meanwhile, there is a threat of the community center being shutdown by a rapacious landlord. Then Sarah gets romantically involved with Roger (Greg Germann, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), the heir of Toyco. As a result, the community centre is saved (surprise, surprise) through a corporate donation. However, the Sarah-Roger coupling leads to Ben and Jesse growing alienated from Sarah (surprise, surprise). The story then produces an engagement ring, the discovery of irreconcilable differences, the return of the engagement ring, a reconciliation, the discovery of true love, and, finally, a different engagement ring. Final outcome: a happy ending!
Does the above description sound like a familiar and formulaic story? It should because it is. Less than 10 minutes in my mind was wandering to other subjects, such as wondering what sin I committed in a past life obliged me to watch this film. There is no tension or suspense because the outcome is never in doubt. There are no new wrinkles or anything original to spice up this many times recycled story. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan would have starred in this had it been made 15 years ago, the only difference would have been a higher profile director and supporting cast. And it would have been released in theatres. Fortunately for the world that movie was never made. Unfortunately, we still have this one. Luckily, however, All I Want For Christmas is only 86 minutes, but this is still 26 minutes longer than it should be.
The actors appear to realize that there is nothing to be excited about here (aside from a paycheck). None of the performances are memorable, animated or engaging. Not that they have much to work with in the first place.
The video and sound are fine. They are neither good nor bad, but just what you would expect from a made-for-television movie produced in 2007.
There are no extras.
There is no reason to watch this.
Guilty of being unoriginal and a dreadful bore.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Genius Products
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated