The Christmas Gift

The Christmas Gift (2015) - Lifetime

Why do we have a picture of one of this movies tertiary characters, this being Tarheel standout, Lakers 6th man and stiff actor Rick Fox, forefront and center to represent this movie as opposed to stars Michelle Tracthenberg and Sterling Sulleman.  For one, I could find any pictures of the two stars of this movie together, even though they are together an awful lot in this movie.  Secondly, because Rick Fox is F'n beautiful!  And I'm a straight man saying this!  Just look at that dude!

Anyway, little Wesley is the sweetest boy ever, he is a secret Santa that makes gifts to send to the less fortunate.  One of these gifts he sent lands in the lap of poor little Megan, which includes a journal with an inspirational quote inside and Wesley's name as the author, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of being secret.  This journal was critical in shaping the life adult of Megan (Trachtenberg) who now works at the magazine of Mr. Cooper (Fox).  The problem is Megan does lightweight stuff but she wants to be a hard hitting investigative journalist, like her douchey ex-boyfriend Alex (Daniel Booko), but alas she stuck doing fluff pieces in the paper, like does the right lip gloss enhance your marriage possibilities, until her auntie sends her that old journal from out of storage.

Now Megan thinks she has the tools for a hard hitting story, though it still seems kinds of fluffy to us, but it does lead her to adult Wesley (Sterling Suleman) who is still a living angel, now running an orphanage, though his father Wesley Sr. (Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs) would like his son to use that expensive education he paid for to work for his construction firm putting orphans and old people into the street to make room for luxury condos.

Anyway, the pretty girl meets the handsome guy, she writes a heart warming human interest story which makes her handsome boss happy, pretty girl and handsome boy start to fall for each other, though the pretty girl, for some unknown reason, never tells Wesley about the book he gave her as a child.  I mean it's no big deal.  It's not like the usual secrets we see in these types of movies, like I'm the executive shutting down your cookie factory, or I'm the executive closing down your orphanage, or I'm actually the daughter of Santa Clause.  No, just you sent a book twenty years ago.  .

As you well know, something happens to tear the boy and the girl apart, be it a misunderstanding or deception.  This time around it's deception by the douchey ex-boyfriend which leads to a misunderstanding and a SEVERE overreaction by Sherman, who already has a broken heart.  Not gonna get into that because the movie didn't really get into that.  Just know that through the power of orphan kids... one of the most powerful sources of love on the planet... in these types of movies... the pretty girl and handsome boy will find each other once again, and love will flourish.  Even though she really should be checking on the status of her boss, whose like taller and better looking than both of her boyfriends combined.  Just saying. 

Three words for you.   Fred.  Olen.  Ray.   That's the director of this film, a man who has directed well over 150 movies.  That's insane.  And other than maybe 'Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers' or 'Girl with the Sex-Ray Eyes', he has yet to make a good one.  To Mr. Ray's credit he has stepped away from his original schlock horror / softcore roots and has dedicated himself to Lifetime movies and Christmas movies in particular.  And these haven't been very good either.  Including this one. 

As TV Christmas movie, it's lacking a lot of the vomit worthy stuff that we need to consider it a legitimate TV Christmas movie.  First of all it seems to take place in California, meaning there's not a snowflake to be seen.  There's almost no Christmas music playing in the background, nobody bakes cookies, nobody shops for Christmas trees, nobody drinks eggnog... nothing!  Come on Fred!  You know better!  The actual narrative has a decent Christmas hook with the whole Secret Santa thing, but that's kind of abandoned until the end of the movie, with the bulk of the movie being a stock generic boy meets girl / loses girl / gets girl back romance, featuring an unscrupulous land developer, which could take place at any time of the year.  The movie even had a scene of the boy having to creepily get up behind the girl to show her how to do something.  This time it was bowling,  but be it golf, pool, or how to properly place a kettle on a stove to boil water, there can't be a more tired... or true get up than creepily coming up behind a woman to properly show her how to do some mundane action.  Awesome.

As a regular movie our main characters are appealing enough, despite Mr. Ray's inability to properly pace a movie, 30 years into the game, but they are woefully underdeveloped, both of them given sketchy backstories which seem like they might be important in helping an audience like them more, but when you get 80 minutes to make a movie, clearly something has to be sacrificed. 

Not very Christmassy and a little on the slow side.  But it's got orphan kids and
Rick Fox!


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