The Christmas Wish (1998)
Harris' Real Estate
As a connoisseur, yes I did say connoisseur, of made for TV Christmas movies I have seen all sorts many of which are obvious, many of which are corny and many of which that are so drenched in sugar that they should come with a health warning. But then there is "The Christmas Wish" a sugary but not dangerously saccharine heart warming Christmas tale which has mystery, beauty, romance and a really good heart. "The Christmas Wish" also has Neil Patrick Harris who delivers this beautifully sensitive performance as a young man rediscovering life.
Following the death of his Grandpa, Will Martin (Neil Patrick Harris - Starship Troopers) returns home to his Grandma's (Debbie Reynolds - In & Out) to tie up a few things including the real estate business which he has inherited which he plans to keep but with a manager running things for him. But whilst there his Grandma ask him to do something for her as having looked though one of her husband's journals finds mention of a Lillian and asks Will to look into who Lillian is. His search into his Grandpa's past leads Will to start re-assessing his life as he realises his girlfriend Julia (Alexandra Wilson) is self centred and becomes close friends with Renee (Naomi Watts - Bermuda Triangle) a single mum and her son Justin (Ian Meltzer). But the mystery of Lillian bugs Will and he fears he might uncover something that neither him nor his Grandma really wants to know.
Now without giving too much way "The Christmas Wish" manages to draw you in with this mystery surrounding Lillian, a name which appears in a journal and it is this mystery which keeps you watching. But whilst this is going on it brings in some traditional aspects and by traditional some might say cliche aspects as Will begins to understand his Grandpa and how he ran the business the more he looks into who Lillian is. As such we have Will's transformation as he falls in love with the business, realises the woman he thinks he loves isn't right for him and another woman is and a few things more. It makes it familiar because there are other movies involving a young man returning home and transforming but with that mystery it makes it more than just an obvious heart warming tale,
At the centre of "The Christmas Wish" is Neil Patrick Harris who shines in this quiet role of Will Martin filling him with goodness and small business naivety. It is such a perfect performance from Harris because whilst he is a good guy and sensitive he isn't overly sweet and that is the same through out be it Debbie Reynolds as Grandma or Naomi Watts as Renee, they are all just the right amount of sweet so that the characters are easy to warm to but never become sick of.
What this all boils down to is that "The Christmas Wish" is one of the most charming and heart warming Christmas movies I have had the pleasure to watch with just the right amount of sweetness and warmth.
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