Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year, by which I mean yes, I watched my first film for 2019 on the 6th October. THE THINGS I DO FOR YOU.
A Gift-Wrapped Christmas offers up schmaltz and cliches like a bath you can lower yourself into. Granted, the water’s lukewarm but as least the conceit feels mega familiar: Gwen (Portia from Search Party- as if good actors do TV movies too? No offence to my Christmas princess Lacey Chabert) is a personal shopper assigned to hard-working businessman Charlie Baker (not the comedian).
Charlie is too busy doing…*mumble* that he has no time to hang out with his son- played by a kid actor who is called and I shit you not Anthony Bolognese. Sadly he doesn’t talk like a teeny mafioso.
Charlie’s also a widower (naturally, divorced men are apparently trash but if she’s dead? no slander!)
To be precise, the way we find out goes like this:
Gwen: Do you think that your wife-
Charlie: She’s deceased.
Deceased!! Is that ever how humans say it?? Deceased! Reader, I couldn’t help it, I laughed. Like a proper bark. Deceased.
The film drags along to its inevitable conclusion, and despite the recognisable tropes (sage older married sister prone to exposition, Gwen’s spider sense for gifting, montages revolving around shopping and decorating) it’s not working. If anything, I found myself rooting for Charlie’s mean girlfriend who I’ll call Business Bitch.
Business Bitch is out to destroy the blossoming romance and who can blame her? It’s dull! (Stay with your girlfriend/Yeah yeah cos I’m bored) Her quaffing wine to get through the interminable office party is relatable, baby!
There are at least two natural end points in the plot and yet the film continues? and because Gwen and Charlie are so obviously endgame that the only real suspense left lies in finding out what Charlie does as a job.
It’s equity Like, stocks and shares. A dull job for a dull man and a dull film. The interest in this movie? It’s deceased.