You learn something new all the time, and today I found out that my cap on magic-themed Christmas films is one. This week, I’ve seen movies about magical shoes, ornaments, and Santas and enjoyed exactly one of them (the shoes). I thought I’d try my luck on the magical stockings, but like most gambles, this was a fail. I confess the gloomy Thanksgiving weather and five pounds of cranberry sauce in my gut may have put me off watching anything, but I’m also worn out by the plot device. You know Hallmark’s just going to choose another inanimate wish-granting Christmas object for next year’s lineup.
The mediocre story doesn’t help things. Lindsey (Bridget Regan), the main character, is beset by grief and has not been able to move past her husband’s death a few years ago. I get it and sympathize, but man, she really digs into her feelings and keeps everything from moving forward. It’s one episode of sadness and pessimism and anger after another. She hasn’t done much in the way of celebrating Christmas, and that’s been on a drag on her daughter, Hannah (Imogen Tear). Her mom, Donna (Iris Quinn), is also less than thrilled to be dealing with a moody daughter again.
You’d think Lindsey would rediscover the spirit of Christmas once her daughter brings home a box of decorations and an old stocking from a Christmas fair. The empty stocking starts to yield trinkets, which Hannah and Donna take as signs of hope and joy. Lindsey, however, strengthens her opposition to all this merrymaking. She snaps at her daughter, who won’t let go of her puppy pipedream, and at her mom for encouraging her to take some chances in life again.
A colleague also bears the consequences of her temper. In fairness, Scott (Victor Webster) is the reason for some of Lindsey’s frustrations. He has been hired by her boss, Mayor Fred (Fred Henderson), to rebuild his grandfather’s gazebo for an important Christmas lighting ceremony. He insists on reconstructing it using the original plans, except those are missing and he can’t bring himself to slap any old thing together.
Here you have a story of two people who have trouble letting go. They can’t see how their actions affect others and they don’t trust those closest to them to guide them through change. Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of movie where Lindsey and Scott join forces, however grudgingly, and work things out. Instead of small, painful victories, it’s just the two of them banging on about the same things until everyone’s exhausted and they finally reach enlightenment. If it weren’t for a couple cute puppies along the way, and Donna’s much more cheer-filled relationship with Fred, I’d want to take that magic stocking and stuff it.
Dir: David Winning
Writer: Buddy Baron
Cast: Bridget Regan, Victor Webster, Iris Quinn, Imogen Tear, Fred Henderson
Time: 90 min
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Movies and Mysteries