This week we put horror movies aside (travesty, I know!) for a good ole traditional Christmas movie. I’ve picked one that isn’t too popular so hopefully you haven’t seen it already. This is my mom’s all-time favourite Christmas movie so it quickly became a staple at our household. It might be a little emotionally manipulative (listen to some thoughts on manipulation in movies here) but you’ve been forewarned. And it’s a Christmas movie, so what do you expect?
One Magic Christmas is about a family that is a little down on it’s luck. Mom (Mary Steenburgen) and Dad (Gary Basaraba) don’t have very much money for gifts as Dad wants to open a bicycle shop but Mom is afraid that it’s impractical and not a risk they can afford to take while she works at the local grocery store to support them while Dad is out of work. Mom in particular has lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas and has become very bitter. That’s when Santa tells the angel Gideon (Harry Dean Stanton) that he has to help Mom find her Christmas spirit.
What ensues after this is a series of truly horrible events that are all geared towards Ginny (Mom) discovering the true meaning of Christmas and appreciating what she has. It is a pretty heavy handed lesson that would never be made into a movie today because of how soft the world has gotten but it is still a great underlying message. Too often we take our lives for granted and we think that we have it tough but if we were to look around at what we do have we would see that we’re doing pretty well for ourselves. I like that about this movie.
Another great aspect of this movie is the portrayal os Santa Claus. He actually looks like Santa instead of a man dressed up to look like Santa, if that makes any sense. His worksop and, more specifically, his mailroom are done so well. It’s all very magical and was done very well by the set designers, costume designers and director Phillip Borsos. There’s a great quality to this scene and the little girl Abbie (Elisabeth Harnois) is really delightful to watch.
This movie does have it’s flaws. Gideon does come across as a little creepy sometimes, it is really dark in some places, there is room for improvement with the acting from some of the characters and the script is a bit much at times. That being said, it really is a charming movie. It gets to the heart of what Christmas is about, or at least what it should be about. It is about family, plain and simple.
Give this movie a watch and let me know your thoughts!