All I Want for Christmas (2007)
Too Much Sweet is bad for Christmas
The fact that it is less than 12 hours since I watched "All I Want for Christmas" and nothing about it really comes to mind does not bode well. It is as you would suspect a Christmas movie and quite a sentimental one at that, no surprise as this is also a made for TV Christmas movie and an extremely predictable one at that. You could sum it up by saying widowed mother who works hard doesn't realise the man of her dreams is her neighbour who is also her best friend. That is really it except it is padded out by various events such as her child trying to find a husband for his mum so she can feel complete again. Yes "All I Want for Christmas" really is that sickly sweet that a 10 year old is looking out for his mum and utters things such as "complete again".
Between bringing up her son Jesse (Jimmy 'Jax' Pinchak - Hostage) and running a centre for the homeless, widowed mother Sarah Armstrong (Gail O'Grady - Another Woman's Husband) has her hands full, even more so when she suddenly has to raise enough money to buy the building that the homeless centre resides in. But that is the least of her problems as Jesse decides to enter a competition run by a toy company where they will make your wish come true and his wish is for them to find his mum a new husband before Christmas. When he wins Sarah not only has to try and keep the centre open but also date the various men the toy company sets up. The trouble is that whilst she hits it off with one of the men maybe the most perfect man for her has been in front of her eyes the whole time.
As already mentioned "All I Want for Christmas" really is just a story of a mother not realising that the man of her dreams is basically her best friend and neighbour. But there is a surprising amount going on which all works towards making this storyline more interesting, although in effect makes it more contrived. You have the homeless centre which may have to close down unless money can be raised to buy the property, then there is the toy company running a promotion which leads to young Jesse winning his wish and the toy company basically becoming a dating agency for his mother and then there is the rich executive who falls for her but as you can guess isn't really the right one. In a way it's not that there is too much going on but the whole set up, the toy company finding a date for Sarah and so on makes it all too contrived.
Maybe the whole point was that "All I Want for Christmas" was going to be a fairytale, magical Christmas romance movie but it doesn't come across. It is just too unbelievable and if it wasn't the storyline being contrived it's the whole over niceness of it which makes it feel so fake. The toy company willing to splash out over half a million to help save the centre is just laughable and the whole best friend/ baby sitter/ neighbour thing going on between Sarah and Ben is just sickly sweet. It just goes too far in trying to be a fairytale romance and takes nice one step too far to become sickly sweet.
The knock on effect of being so sweet is that the characters feel unreal and the performances cheesy. Robert Mailhouse as neighbour/ best friend Ben is so nice he borders on being a sap, a completely unbelievable push over. Gail O'Grady as widowed Mum Sarah is again just too nice and it's impossible to believe that not only has she raised a son on her own but kept a centre for the homeless running. And as for her son Jesse, played by Jimmy 'Jax' Pinchak, well he's the most unrealistic 10 year old I have ever seen, so kind, so nice that you almost end up laughing when ever he does something. Which is a shame as I like nice movies and nice characters, it reminds me of more innocent times but everything in "All I Want for Christmas" is too nice.
And even the sort of bad guys, Robert Pine as toy company owner Arthur may be all about the money but he's not unscrupulous enough. Greg Germann as his son Roger is no better because once more for a character who is meant to be a semi bad guy he is just too damn nice.
What this all boils down to is that "All I Want for Christmas" wants to be an entertaining, romantic Christmas movie but whilst trying to be nice it goes too far and becomes sickly sweet. It makes pretty much everything about the movie from the storyline; the characters and even the dialogue feel wrong. It still manages to be entertaining and although a little laughable in places is a pleasant enough watch, it's just not a great romantic Christmas movie.
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