If you gaze into a snow globe, it’s inevitable that you will imagine what it must be like in there — winter all the time, at the mercy of other people controlling your weather. Now imagine that you aren’t imaging it and you are about to experience A Snow Globe Christmas.
Meg (Alicia Witt) makes Christmas movies. To do so, she sucks the spirit right out of the holiday for her “elves” on set. Her one joy is her snow globe, which she’ll sometimes stroke like a Bond villain. Enter Sal, a spritely angel/ghost/spirit thingy who eggs Meg on to smash that snow globe…though it takes a hard throw, a bounce off the floor, and her hard head to accomplish it.
Meg wakes up in a place that doesn’t seem quite right. And she has a husband, Ted (Donald Faison). And a house. And kids, Teddy Jr and Mia (Hayden Faraday and Damoni Burkhardt). She, naturally enough, doesn’t believe it. When she wakes up the next morning to find out that it isn’t a dream…well, let’s just say taking it in stride isn’t the option she chooses.
As Meg interacts with the perfect people of this perfect town, she starts to have an effect. People who never argued before are now fighting. A town that was the model of a winter wonderland is now due to be razed so the mayor (Meg’s boyfriend in the real world) can make money. As with the crew of her movies, she manages to cancel Christmas.
Having a change of heart, Meg is determined to save the town from all the damage she’s done. And save it she does. Then Sal, the angel of dubious helpfulness, steps in and renders her unconscious again.
As with Scrooge before, when she awakens, Meg is a changed woman. A changed woman with a broken snow globe. She sets off to get it repaired and finds herself at Ted’s house. All ends well, with Meg, Ted, Teddy, and Mia…just as Sal had intended from the start.
This It’s a Wonderful Life derivative is a pleasant diversion. The snow globe conceit was a clever way to set the piece. The set design was nicely unreal without seeming fake. It provided a fantastical structure that allowed the story to have some flexibility.
I really enjoyed Meg and Ted (and kids) together. They felt like family — even when Meg was denying she was anyone’s wife or mother. That Meg is white and Ted is black never enters in the discussion (it does here because I’m not going to pretend that nobody noticed). They were just two people in a diversity-acceptance world. So, yay.
The idea that the George Bailey character (Meg) actually made everyone else’s perfect life miserable because of her actions was a welcome nod to the Blackadder Christmas Carol. Meg is one of those detestable characters that’s usually the antagonist: the person who has to take a nice thing and ruin it because they can’t help themselves.
Speaking of antagonists, Meg is sort of that as well. She’s both hero and villain in this piece, which is a nice twist. Sure, others help, but this is mostly all just her. And maybe Sal, a little. Sal has an agenda which isn’t divulged (not even to the audience) until the end — which is sort of mean. Fortunately, Sal’s pushing of Meg gets us to a satisfying end where her real world becomes her snow globe world. That made for a story with a nice bow on top.
A Snow Globe Christmas isn’t perfect. It’s a little choppy in places and the antagonist element could be a smidge stronger. That said, it’s very entertaining. Ted and the kids are remarkably patient with not-right-in-the-head Meg. The “let’s put on a show” attitude at the climax helps add to the holiday spirit that’s the foundation of the story. I’ll definitely be watching this again.
|3.75 of 5|
For more movies, go to the list at: Watching the Holiday Movies
Photo: The Global Asylum, INC.