Plans, Visions & Signs
Gwen Turner (Jessy Schram - Royal New Year's Eve) has her life planned out with a good job as a director of commercials and being engaged to boyfriend, Alex (Marcus Rosner - Christmas In Evergreen), by the time she turns thirty. But not only does Alex not propose when she expects him to but she finds herself working with the charming but laid back Dave (Luke Macfarlane - Karen Kingsbury's Maggie's Christmas Miracle) the total opposite of Alex. On top of that she discovers that Alex has been relying on his assistant to buy Gwen gifts rather than doing it himself. With her 30th birthday not turning out like she expected she wishes she could see what her life will be like in ten years years time and is shocked to get a glimpse of a life nothing like the one she planned but one where she is also happy.
That synopsis for "The Birthday Wish" makes this sound like another one of those movies where someone's birthday wish sees them living in an alternate version of their life but it isn't. In fact the writers of "The Birthday Wish" have come up with this novel idea that Gwen's birthday wish allows her to see a glimpse of what her life is like in the future and that is being a happily married wife and mother but not with who she expects. And that throws her a curve ball because in the present she is not dating the person who she is with in her vision. It is a genuinely fun idea which when it shows itself takes you a bit by surprise as whilst "The Birthday Wish" is a pretty typical Hallmark movie the twist on the formula makes you pay a bit more attention.
But as I said "The Birthday Wish" is still a pretty typical Hallmark movie so even before the clever twist presents itself you already know that Gwen is most likely going to be with the laid back Dave because he is a charming nice guy whilst her current boyfriend is flashy, self obsessed and career focussed. On top of that you have Jessy Schram who is not only attractive but also brilliant at delivering the sort of exaggerated facial expressions which are exactly what you expect from a Hallmark movie. They even manage to get a shot of a snow covered house in the movie just for good measure.
What this all boils down to is that "The Birthday Wish" is 90% typical of a Hallmark romantic comedy but with a couple of clever ideas which are a twist on what you might be expecting from what seems at first a very obvious story idea.