Just when it seemed that Jay had reviewed all available made-for-TV Christmas dreck, 48 Christmas Wishes was suggested to us by Netflix. Netflix obviously has not been reading Jay’s reviews of similar fare. After a quick check to make sure we really hadn’t seen this one we pressed play, because we couldn’t leave our job unfinished.
48 Christmas Wishes deviates a bit from the standard formula because there is a dead dad who has not come back as a ghost, and a grieving widow who does not feel the need to latch onto the first available big city wreath salesman. Instead, it has a family of three who lost their husband and father six years ago on Christmas, who are helped by three misguided elves-in-training to rediscover the Christmas spirit.
One might give credit to the writers for mixing up the standard formula for these films, but I suspect to the intended audience these changes came across as missed opportunities. Awkward romances, it turns out, are preferable to children’s shenanigans that felt ad-libbed due to their terribleness but the more we saw the more it felt they were part of the script. It’s just that the script was thrown together with no thought or care whatsoever.
As you’d expect, Christmas is saved by the end, thanks to three child-sized elves who literally ruin everything they touch. All part of Santa’s plan, as it turns out. Santa doesn’t take the time to explain why the fate of Christmas rested on fulfilling 48 Christmas Wishes from a small fictional town unfortunately named Minnedoza, but I’m sure there is a perfectly logical reason for that too.
I’m still waiting for one of these films to go dark and have the creepy ex-boyfriend turn out to be the serial killer he comes across as. 48 Christmas Wishes is not that film, though I think the adult elf (supervisor of the child-sized elves) came close to torching Santa’s workshop a few times. But maybe that was just me making my own Christmas wish, for the sake of decent movie-lovers everywhere, that this movie would disappear.