The Christmas Gift (1986) – John Denver Xmas Holiday Movie Review

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By Geno McGahee

Every year I try to find a new Xmas series of films to review for the holidays. I want to spread joy and I do love this time of the year. Eager to spread joy, I went to the Xmas DVD section at Walmart and found THE CHRISTMAS GIFT DVD with John Denver on the cover. He looked so happy. He had that “I just shit my pants but I don’t care” happy look and I immediately picked it up and threw it into the cart. I was lucky to get a copy. There was only like 500 left.

George Billings (Denver) is approaching his first Christmas since the loss of his wife and he’s still feeling it. He lives in New York City with his young daughter, Alex (Gennie James), but they are about to head to Georgestown, Colorado, a place he is scouting for his boss. The plan is to open a ski resort on a foreclosed ranch and Billings is there to make the deal happen. His boss, Renfield (Edward Winter), is ruthless and immediately falls in love with the idea and gets ready to move forward, but then it happens. George begins to fall in love with a girl and the town.

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While in town, George meets Susan (Jane Kaczmarek), a girl that works at the post office. They don’t get off on the right foot when he’s refused service at the post office. She is only accepting letters to Santa and that’s not good enough for Denver. Fucking Denver. The line is large behind him and they are not bitching despite the fact that he is refusing to move. When I’m at the post office and some asshole won’t move along, I start looking at the guy next to me and start trashing him. It makes my day go by quicker. If I was in line, I would have definitely said “John Denver-looking mother fucker needs to move his country boy ass.”

After the rocky start, George meets up with Susan again and the sparks begin to fly. The city boy is starting to discover the greatness of country life. Every one of these holiday movies have to be written by people that live in the country. It seems like nobody can have a good Christmas in the city. I guess George being a widow and having his wife die in the city made this movie make more sense. Different surroundings and new chick will make him feel a lot better.

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An annoying cab driver, Bud (Pat Corley), keeps driving around town and rambling about Santa . Everyone loved him and is amused by his antics. I found him to be an asshole. I’m surprised that nobody dragged him out of the cab and beat him to death. He even intrudes at the post office, being Susan’s “helper”, and I know that she doesn’t want him there. You can’t tell me he’s not checking her out. He screams perv.

As time goes by, George begins to change his mind about the ski resort deal and tries to get the town out of it, but his boss is en route. A very strange moment happens when he tucks his young daughter into bed and she asks him if he’ll ever love again. He begins to sing a song with a falling in love again chorus that he obviously prepared. I wonder how long he waited for his daughter to ask so he could sing the song, and it was so out of place. It wasn’t a musical, but they had John Denver and he wanted to push his new song, but it sucked. Then again, I’m not a Denver fan.

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After a battle with his boss and losing his job, George finds a way to save the town and the ranch and becomes a resident. He even falls in love, but the kiss with Susan was incredibly weak. I wonder if Denver was one of those religious guys that refused to kiss an actress for real because he was married. It’s acting Denver! Grow a set and kiss that chick like you mean it. Kaczmarek was going for a good kiss but Denver refused. It took away from the film. It made me question which way Denver swung…or whatever the fuck his character name was.

THE CHRISTMAS GIFT isn’t great but it was worth a watch. They put “family approved” on the cover of the DVD, which probably meant that they saw Denver kiss like a pathetic pussy and noted that there is “nothing to jack off to with this mess.” In the end, it ain’t bad. Take or leave it.

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Rating: 5/10