Jennifer loves David but her overbearing almost-mother-in-law is pushing them into a high-society Christmas Eve wedding in just a few months that Jennifer doesn’t really want. Having lost both her parents and her childhood best friend Gabby, the holidays have always been hard for Jennifer, and she’s worried her loneliness will be more pronounced. But never mind that: Jennifer (Nia Fairweather) is about to meet her fairy godfather (Cooper Koch) who sends her to an alternate universe to, you know, learn a lesson or whatever.
Alternate Jennifer is in a committed relationship with her dead childhood best friend Gabby (Adriana DeMeo), who is not dead in this version of reality, obviously. Neither is her father, which is nice. But instead of an overbearing mother-in-law ruining her impending wedding, they’re now dealing with a heartbreaking rejection from their catholic church. Father Kelly (Chris Noth) has been instrumental in their lives but his hands are tied – the church does not permit or approve of same sex marriage.
Full disclosure: there are no Christmas weddings in this movie. There is no Christmas, period. Writer-director Otoja Abit (he also plays David) seems to be trading on the romantic holiday theme to bring attention to his gay rights in the church movie. Which is a little dishonest, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.
It’s a timely film considering a documentary by Evgeny Afineevsky called Francesco that premiered at the Rome Film Festival a couple of weeks ago featured comments by Pope Francis that seemed to indicate his acceptance of same sex civil unions. Not of marriage in the church of course, and certainly not of “homosexual acts” which are of course still very very wrong and very sinful. But hey, if two dudes want to spend a committed life together, raise a family and share a marriage, that’s cool, they can put a ring on it and get the tax breaks as long as they promise to never have sex.
That Father Kelly even considers their request is a work of more fantasy and fiction than the godfather’s alternate universe in which it exists. I guess it’s nice to dream.
If it sounds interesting to you, A New York Christmas Wedding is a tolerable watch. It has that much in common with the romantic holiday movie it pretends to be: it’s low budget and medium quality but don’t mind the genre, then you won’t mind it’s production values. It’ll do.
Well, that’s one way to get people who aren’t sympathetic to maybe see the issue. Maybe.
I agree it’s tolerable to watch but the production quality is lower than your traditional Hallmark or Netflix made Christmas movies. Trust me, I’ve seen them all. Usually the rest of the production value is there while the story is way too predictable to be deemed high quality.
Some spoilers ahead:
The flashback scenes in the beginning were badly filmed, cinematography-wise. Some of the changes in camera angle seemed arbitrary or seemed to be forced like in deconstructing things in close ups. What bothered me the most though was the confusing logistics that interfered with the plot. I was confused about a number of scenes that were entirely unnecessary to the plot while leaving out important information, for instance, how the dog got to the dad’s place after being dropped off at their apartment. The emotional aspects of the film like her old best friend being dead or her parents could have been actually used for an emotional reaction, but weren’t. And what about the weird coincidence of the angel somehow being the son of her dead best friend? That’s not believable and probably more than we need to know about a guardian angel. Also the lesbian/bisexual aspect could have been hinted at easily in those flashbacks which would have been good too. They could have played up any amount of chemistry between the main character and either love interest with better acting and production quality. I didn’t believe she loved either of them or care if she ended up with either. The plot twist at the end making the film a circular/book end type is technically unique for this kind of guardian angel plot, but too easy a way out of the holes in this story. I was underwhelmed.