Well, my friends, we have arrived! Today is the final day of the Hooked Heartie Christmas in July celebration. It’s been fun, huh? I’m not ready to put my tree up, by any means, but I’m happy we did this. Never hurts to combat the summer blues (like wrangling children all day everyday, or coming home from vacation, right?) by infusing life with a little Christmas spirit. So, here we are at our last step.

Step 4: Experience a little Christmas magic, and make a big announcement that will make someone squeal!

 

Paul Greene tweeted a few days ago, “It’s #paulgreene day over on the @hallmarkchannel check out the moving pictures.” No joke! Hallmark Channel aired a rebroadcast of both “The Christmas Detour” and “A Wish for Christmas” in one day! And not too distant from them, there was “Christmas in Angel Falls” too! It was awesome, especially because I seem to be having a “Paul Greene Summer”. I’ve covered other subjects, of course, and other people; and not all the movies I’ve reviewed have starred him. But then the wheel turns, and up he pops again…and I’m not complaining one bit!

 

It was a tough decision, choosing which film to review, but I finally settled on “A Wish for Christmas” for two reasons: 1) I’m a sucker for Christmas magic, real and imaginary, and 2) there are three WCTH actors in it, instead of just two. 😉 We obviously have Paul, then also Laura Bertram, and Andrea Brooks. I’d forgotten that Paul and Andrea had done a project together outside of WCTH, and even though I’m an actor, it still felt weird seeing them as “not a couple”. Did it for you too?

 

Her character drove me nuts in the beginning! She was so flaky and manipulative, then she’d turn around and say something sweet and supportive. It was frustrating! It made me crazy how Molly would sympathize with Sarah about her being walked all over, then she’d turn around, and expect her to do all her work! Grr! But after Sarah gets her Christmas wish of courage from Santa at the company party, nothing gets her down, including Molly!

 

It was funny, because Molly does another contradictory move right here: Sarah walks up to her superior, Dirk, to finally tell him off for stealing all her ideas to impress their boss, Peter (Paul). At first, Molly is frantically whispering, “No, Sarah, NO!” to keep her back. But once Sarah starts talking, Molly is right beside her, giving Dirk the stink eye, and providing examples of how Dirk had used her. Brownie points for being supportive in public!

 

But what I really like is Molly’s moment of truth. After Sarah takes a breath from the Dirk incident, she goes off on Molly, privately, which is good. But Sarah makes Molly realize that she’s missing an element in being a true friend: not taking advantage. Too often, Molly guilts or bugs Sarah into doing her work, which is just like everyone else around her. But Molly realizes it, accepts responsibility for her behavior, and promises things will be different. Good girl! 

 

Then we have the lovely Lacey Chabert, not of the WCTH series, but fits in with them seamlessly. I think all of us, at some point in life, no matter how brief, have been Sarah: walked on, passed over, and taken advantage of. And it’s NOT fun! But Lacey embodies that shy, submissive, hard-working girl to a T. Then with the signal of a boom and a magical tinkling, the Christmas wish overtakes her. Lacey does a really great physical change when this happens, so it makes it all the more believable.

 

The best part is, she doesn’t just use this gift to help herself. Her unselfish nature crosses over to the wish. You see the change come over her when she convinces a car rental clerk to spare some wheels for a mother (Laura) and her little girl to make it home so Santa can find them, and that causes the mom to be a wonderful Christmas Good Samaritan as well, and give them a lift.

 

But my favorite selfless act is when she’s desperately trying to do her part of healing a rift between Peter and his dad. There’s absolutely nothing in it for her, she just wants her boss to be fond of Christmas again, and have a happy family.

 

The other best part is after the wish ends. Sarah was warned that it would only last 48 hours, and she was scared she would lose all her confidence, and mess up the “Christmas 365” business pitch Peter had brought her to present to a client. Well, that client is incredibly rude and disrespectful, and her last act WITH the wish is telling him off. Obviously, that causes some bad feelings between Sarah and Peter, and he leaves her at the airport to travel home alone. But Sarah doesn’t go home yet. She goes back, and finds Mr. Wilson Taylor getting into his limo; she climbs in right after him. But she’s very apologetic, and asks if they can “talk, just you and me.” The sound effects are different. There’s no boom, and the tinkling is different. You get the feeling Sara has found the magic in herself. And when she gets home, and goes to the office to tell Peter, she doesn’t make a huge announcement, or stand on ceremony. She quietly hands him an envelope, and wishes him Merry Christmas. It’s beautiful!

 

Well, we can’t talk about this movie without mentioning Paul, can we? He was great here. I’m noticing that he likes playing slightly cynical guys who are running away from Christmas. 🙂 But his arc and his journey are really well done. He goes from being the tough and business-like CEO who makes some employees work on Christmas; to the lost and prodigal son afraid of facing his estranged father; to a guy reluctantly crushing on a colleague, and being backed into a corner by his mom and aunt; to an angry executive who didn’t get an account; to a cheerful boss who’s made peace with his dad, fallen in love, and provides holiday pay and Christmas dinner for his employees.

 

Okay, Part 2 of Step 4: The Big Announcement. You’ll have to watch the video to find out! 😀 And will the winner please message me her address! Good night, #Hearties! Merry Christmas in July, and I’ll see you Monday! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!   

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