A Wish For Christmas (2016)

A Wish For Christmas
Director: Christie Will Wolf
Writer: Helen Frost, Don MacLeod
Cast: Lacey Chabert, Paul Greene, Andrea Brooks, Colleen Wheeler, Kendall Cross, Michael Ryan, Mark Brandon, Donna Benedicto, Howard Storey, Jason McKinnon
Seen on: 27.12.2019

Sara (Lacey Chabert) works hard, but she has the tendency to let everybody walk over her, even her best friend Molly (Andrea Brooks). When her boss (Jason McKinnon) outright steals her idea for a Christmas marketing campaign and presents it as his own to the CEO Peter (Paul Greene) at the office Christmas party, Sara needs a break. As she withdraws, she makes a wish to Santa (Howard Storey) to finally be able to stand up for herself. He grants her the wish – but only for a little while. Sara thinks it’s a joke, but when she returns to the party, everything bursts out of her and Peter takes notice. That’s how Sara finds herself on a business trip with her boss’s boss to present her idea to maybe the richest and scariest man in the business.

A Wish For Christmas didn’t convince me, despite some (more or less) feminist attempts which is rare enough in the Christmas movie world. It is okay to watch, but not more.

The film poster showing Peter (Paul Greene) and Sara (Lacy Chabert) standing in front of a Christmas tree.

There is a proto-feminist vibe to A Wish for Christmas: Sara is empowered – first by Santa’s magic but then she manages on her own. She learns to draw her lines and speak her mind. But unfortunately, in all of that empowerment, the movie completely forgets that the problem with patriarchy/sexism/misogyny isn’t just that women aren’t assertive enough: it’s a system that values assertiveness, keeps women from being assertive – and punishes them when they are anyway. If the film had acknowledged that, the plot would have quickly fallen apart. Because it would have meant that after Sara’s outburst, she would get belittled, probably fired and definitely not promoted.

Now, we can all chalk this up to the fantasy portion of the film – it’s got Santas granting wishes, so why not pretend that having an (understandble! justified!) emotional outburst at an office party is the way to career town? The thing is, we live in a society that constantly keeps telling women (and other non-cis-men) that it’s up to them to end sexism and whatnot and this film just plays into that idea so hard, it was frustrating.

Peter (Paul Greene) and Sara (Lacy Chabert) in a festively decorated room.

Lacy Chabert and Paul Greene are likeable enough leads and the film did the “employee and boss dating” bit in a way that isn’t completely creepy (not so easy to do). But at the same time, in the second half of the film when it becomes all about how Sara fixes Peter’s life and his relationship with his family, things were a little unfortunately handled. Sara constantly meddles, which is not necessarily the best look and Peter’s motivations were unclear.

There are some charming moments here and there, but in the end A Wish For Christmas is not a Christmas movie keeper.

Molly (Andrea Brooks) and Sara (Lacy Chabert) at the office Christmas party.

Summarizing: okay, I guess.

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