One Magic Christmas
The "magic" in One Magic Christmas is often (and surprisingly) of the "black" variety. Like Jimmy Stewart before her, worn-out wife and mother Mary Steenburgen wishes that she'd never been born. And like Stewart, Steenburgen is visited by a guardian angel, in this case the western-garbed Harry Dean Stanton. Instead of granting Steenburgen's wish, Stanton shows her what life would be like without Christmas--and that vision is as grim as anything you're ever likely to see in any Holiday film. Throughout the horrendous tragedies heaped upon Steenburgen, we are comforted in the knowledge that Stanton is working in concert with Steenburgen's young daughter. Steenburgen learns her lesson of course, but what a ride!
The movie is entertaining enough, but you could open a Dairy Factor with all the cheese in this thing. Basically an Angel is sent over a struggling family, NOT to help them get back on track, but to make the mother believe in the Christmas Spirit again. And he even allows her to go down a horrible path at one point that is way to mature for a G rated Disney flick imo!!!
The acting is okay. I always dig Koteas, but his character never goes anywhere and he only has maybe two scenes. But it was fun seeing the two young girls, as one is Sarah Polley, still had awful teeth then, and the other is Elizabeth Harnois, who…
Apart from another fun performance from the always charismatic Harry Dean Stanton, "One Magic Christmas" is convoluted in drudgery, flat lighting, and a narrative that has been tirelessly rehashed by dozens of others since the reign of Frank Capra.
"One of these days Abbie; to the moon!"
First christmas movie I watched this year, so it was a little bit of a let down, but different from what I'm used to, and I guess a little change is always good.