In bad Christmas movies there are 3 types of children: adorable mute toddlers who never cry, adorable precocious muffins who will say things that are wise beyond their years and in the case of Christmas Angel, a f*cking judgemental child who needs to mind her damn business.
Every other kid in Olivia’s class asks for a bike or a non-allergen dog for their Impossible Wish assignment, but Olivia’s decided it’s time for her mum to get back on the market. “She’s not impossible to marry,” Olivia concedes. “but she’s getting kinda old.” Bloody hell Olivia, you must be a joy of a child to have around.
Taking a leaf from It’s a Wonderful Life (a film I’d recommend 20 times over watching this, partially because the Bailey kids are nice and not terrible and Zuzu only makes a bit of a fuss in protest of being named Zuzu), Olivia and long-suffering pal Lucas throw stones at an old house’s window to make wishes on behalf of the less fortunate kids in their class. There’s speculation over whether an angel is granting the wishes, but Olivia discovers it’s a reclusive old woman because of course she barges into the woman’s home unannounced and forces a friendship.
Now you might say Olivia gets this pushiness from her mum, a woman who will decorate her love interest’s home without asking, but Olivia is worse. She disapproves of her mum’s burgeoning romance and is just short of thrilled when he’s a no-show on date night. Not to mention the barbed comments beforehand: “You don’t wanna look like you’re trying to impress him”, “I’m glad we both agree that Dr Davis isn’t the man for you.” Bloody hell, get out of that toxic environment Mrs Olivia!
Olivia love judging other families too- at least it’s not just for her mum. I’ll be honest guys, I really don’t like the cut of this kid’s jib. She beats up a kid so her mum can meet an approved bachelor en route to detention! WHO DOES THAT
There are plenty of enjoyably crap moments in Christmas Angel once you get past Olivia. We’ve got plot points which are abandoned for half the film, inconsistent light sensitivity from a character, a pointless montage of a woman reunited with her cat. The time old question of what the hell this is at the dinner table.
There’s a surprisingly effective emotional climax as well, no matter how much you see it coming. Like it wasn’t not going to happen. A Chekhov’s Estranged Daughter, if you will.
My favourite bit was when somebody said “who do you think you are” to Olivia because they were saying what we were all thinking. May she get the gift of humility this Christmas.