12 Days of Netflix: A Perfect Christmas List
James R | On 23, Dec 2020
Director: Fred Olen Ray
Cast: Ellen Hollman, Beth Broderick, Aaron Hill, Richard Karn
Watch A Perfect Christmas List online in the UK: Netflix UK
What makes your perfect Christmas? In a year when many people’s wishes for an ideal, or even normal, festive season have been dashed or severely reined in, watching a film called A Perfect Christmas List on Netflix might seem like bad timing. But you’d be wrong: it would be bad timing any year.
The film follows Sarah (Ellen Hollman) and Michelle (Beth Broderick), a daughter and mother who don’t get on very well. When grandma Evie (Marion Ross) picks up an injury, she seizes the chance to pretend that it’s something fatal – and tricks them into carrying out her wishlist of Christmas activities to give her the best possible Christmas, as it might be her last.
Lying to your relatives that you’re severely ill? It’s not a particularly festive thing to do at the best of times, but it’s presented here as a cute, entirely justifiable act – and so we see Sarah and Michelle attempt to reconcile their differences as they bake cookies, cut down a Christmas tree and (yes) go ice skating. While the film deserves points for focusing on a family bond more than a budding romance, it swiftly loses points by introducing hunky physician Brandon (Aaron Hill), who happens to also be a manly handyman.
The cast is solid enough – if you were wondering what Aunt Zelda from Sabrina the Teenage Witch is up to, here’s your answer – but the script doesn’t give any of their relationships a depth that’s remotely convincing. The result is a disappointingly dull drama that’s literally a tick-the-box exercise of holiday cliches. What makes your perfect Christmas? Start by skipping this unmemorable festive flick.
A Perfect Christmas List is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.