** Gift of the Magi (2010)

RHI Entertainment

Marla Sokoloff, Mark Webber, Gary Hetzler, Clelia Maurphy, Thomas O’Sulleabhain

A modern twist on the O’Henry classic short story, this is the modern update on Della and Jim Young, two newlyweds with two prized possessions.   Jim has his 55 Chevy Bel Air Convertible that he’s restored, but is missing the original steering wheel.  Della has a classic Nikon 35mm camera and is a budding photographer, but cannot take close up pictures because she’s lacking a zoom lens.  The two have decided there will be no Christmas presents this year because they are financially strapped, but each cannot bear that the other is missing the thing they prize the most.  So in secret, Della pawns her Camera to afford the original steering wheel for Jim’s car, while Jim sells the car to get the money for the zoom and wide angle lenses for Della’s camera.

When you take a short story and pump it up to a full length film, you have to think of side stories and develop other characters and sides stories to fill in the time.  This is a blessing and a curse to this movie.  In one, Della is trying to fix up her friend with another guy with a little boy.  This definitely adds to the story and the relationships between Della and her friends and Jim and his friends is an add.  But there is a whole sub plot where Jim thinks Della is cheating because she’s not where she says she is, and is always disappearing on short notice.  He even sees her meeting an older man and walking into a hotel with this man.  We know where she is and why, but her over reaction to his questions to force a break up to make up is just a cheesy plot device to extend the movie.   One of the nicest things about O’Henry’s story is that these two love each other above all else through all the hard times and sacrifices.  This is a great feeling.   This little side plot cheapens the movie for me.  However, I understand that they needed to add some time, and it was resolved in a pretty good way.   It’s nice to have a new film for the holidays this year, and this is a really nice one.  Enjoy!

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** Gift of the Magi (2010), 3.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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