A Hallmark Christmas Gift
In the UK the TV Movie "Gift of the Magi" is also known as "Gifts for Christmas" which in truth is actually a better title. The reason I say that is because this Hallmark Christmas movie is based on a story by O. Henry but in order to stretch that short story into a 90 minute movie a secondary romantic subplot is introduced which dilutes the main story. Now that means for fans of the original O. Henry short story which I believe is part of the American education system this movie seems to be a disappointment but for those who have never read the story "Gift of the Magi" is still fun, sweet and charming and basically a typical Hallmark Christmas movie.
Newly weds Jim (Mark Webber) and Della Alexander (Marla Sokoloff - Flower Girl) have just moved into their first home together and with money tight agree that they won't by each other Christmas gifts. But Della decides she is going to get Jim a really special gift, the authentic steering wheel he needs for the 1955 Chevy Bel Air which he has been restoring in his spare time. And Jim decides that he too is secretly going to get Della her perfect gift, a zoom lens for the vintage camera she uses for her photography hobby. At the same time Jim and Della are trying to fix up their single friend Renee (Megan Riordan) with recently widowed father of one Ian (Tomas O'Suilleabhain).
As a Brit educated in the British school system I never had to read O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" and it is only through my love of movies especially Christmas movies that I became aware of it. And that is a surprisingly important point when it comes to how much you will enjoy this Hallmark movie version of O. Henry's short story because if you don't know the story what you have is a very sweet Christmas movie with a pleasant, wholesome side. But for those who have read the short story what this movie version of "Gift of the Magi" ends up is not only a diluted version of the story but just another typical pretty Hallmark Christmas movie.
Anyway whether you are a fan of the original story or not there is no denying that "Gift of the Magi" is very much a typical Hallmark Christmas movie. Jim and Della are a cute couple with hearts of gold who are to be frank a little too sweet and live in a remarkably charming apartment and do plenty of cute traditional things like going to chop down their own Christmas tree and stringing popcorn to decorate it. And then there is the subplot surrounding them trying to set up their friends a widow and their single friend who doesn't want to admit that she likes the widow. Everything about this movie is purely typical from the jokes, to the secrets to the cuteness of it all and it is nice in a predictable manner.
What this all boils down to is that "Gift of the Magi" or "Gifts for Christmas" as it is also known is little more than a typically sweet and cute Hallmark Christmas movie. It is fun but also overly sweet and it certainly dilutes O. Henry's original story which won't be to everyone's taste.