Debuting the unlikely crossover fanfic of Rosemary’s Baby/Wish Upon a Christmas.
We open with a kid who’s far too old to believe in Santa, Danny. He’s obsessed with The Night Before Christmas and – ah yes – we find out very quickly that Danny is also afflicted with Dead Mom Disease (curable only with the love of a new mother figure). His babyfaced father Jesse Donner (Aaron Ashmore) misses his late wife, as we witness him having a painful flashback of taking family photos together. Nice try covering up the brand name, props department.
Danny has begun a letter to Santa; his wish is for his dad to find someone special to bone down with. I might be paraphrasing. Anyway, he witnesses something akin to a meteor crash, and for some reason, is instantly certain it’s Santa.
Amelia Pierce (Larisa Oleynik) is an actuary for a multinational corporation, meaning she fires people for a living. She’s good at it, but that makes her depressed. After sharing a gripe with a boozy mall Santa at a bar, she gets called out on her next job: the Donner ornament factory in a town she lived in during high school. It just lost a major account and is hemorrhaging money. This should be fun!
She calls her dad (Alan Thicke) continuously throughout the movie, and he just gives general advice and guidance whilst wearing cozy sweaters, sipping hot bevvies, and eating Christmas cookies in his log cabin. It’s all I ask of Alan Thicke cameos.
OMG, this factory is a fucking creepy take on Santa’s toy shop. Everyone is just humming in unison while doing various crafts.
I’m so unnerved. Apparently, Jesse’s grandfather started this creepy-ass place and now Jesse’s just running the legacy into the ground. Amelia arrives and we discover that these two actually dated in high school. And as we have learned from many a movie, old flames are almost always MFEO. She moved away after high school and that was that. His wife Carol died three years ago.
So, Amelia has to evaluate factory operations over the holidays, which means the employees have to work on Christmas Eve. For a guy who loves Christmas so much, that sure is a shitty decision.
Meanwhile, Danny’s camped out at the diner next door, getting babysat by the poor waitress, Rachel. Danny overhears her talking with a cop about the “meteorite” crash behind the diner, so he tries to escape and go find evidence of Santa’s sleigh. Rachel stops him, but not before he finds ROSEMARY’S “TANNIS ROOT” NECKLACE FROM ROSEMARY’S BABY.
Danny is now in the possession of this mysterious evil bauble. You know who’s looking for it? Santa Claus, in disguise as a business man named Mr. Tompte.
SANTA = SATAN
Now that Lucifer has landed in town, shit starts going sideways. One of the factory workers, a sculptor named Ben, starts getting super aggressive and paranoid with Amelia when she tries asking him some work-related questions. Jesse breaks it up and promises his employees that nobody’s going anywhere. Jesse is 100% useless and the very worst boss of all.
Amelia’s about to tell Jesse why corporate sent her, but he interrupts her with takeout food and reminiscing of old times together. She discovers his cache of Santa drawings for the sculptures.
These poor factory workers are going to be out of a job in days, and this fuckin’ guy just sits around, drawing shit. Jesse invites Amelia to their Christmas work party that night; yes, bringing the actuary to the party will certainly improve morale! Great decisions all around!
Rachel helps Danny superglue the cursed bauble, since it was apparently broken. That’s keeping the evil in, Rachel! Did you not watch Rosemary’s Baby?!
Danny discovers that the evil bauble matches the one on the back of Santa’s sleigh in his book, meaning it’s definitely his and he’ll be wanting it back soon.
Amelia calls Alan Thicke for more dad advice and he tells her to keep an open mind.
Does Amelia bring a party dress with her on business trips, just in case?
She meets Danny, but I’m distracted because this male party guest is so Rosemary’s Baby, I’m frightened for Amelia.
Don’t eat the chocolate mousse, Amelia! Anyway, Jesse discovers Amelia’s terrible secret: she doesn’t really care for Christmas and thinks it’s just all about capitalism. He’s sincerely bothered by her interpretation and starts digging into it seriously, which she’s clearly not comfortable with. Ugh, he’s a That Guy at parties. Determined to change her outlook, he shows her some nutcracker and tells her how his grandparents met. Who cares, dude!
Danny explains the bauble to Amelia, then tells her he’s going to hang onto it until Satan comes to retrieve it. No, Danny! That shit needs to get thrown into Mount Doom.
So, this already creepy factory has an annual tree lighting ceremony during their party, however when Jesse goes to light the tree, it doesn’t work. Everyone’s audibly disappointed until…well, this happens…
Danny literally finishes it with “God bless us, everyone,” so it’s clear that Satan has got a great sense of humour.
Amelia and Jesse share a slow dance, and later, Ben tells her he’s sorry for blowing up at her. He’s grateful that she saved the ceremony. DID SHE, BEN. It seems like she made it way creepier!
Jesse invites Amelia to stay at his huge-ass mansion (he inherited it, because of course), since she’s currently staying at a seedy motel. She accepts and as they chitchat over wine, he grosses me out by being so cocky about changing her outlook on Christmas. He calls her his guardian angel for “saving the factory” (ugh!). He’s not even listening as she tries to tell him that she’s not saving shit, basically. He’s so blissfully ignorant, he does not deserve this ornament factory.
Creepily, he gives her an angel figurine to represent…her? Ew. She’s sleeping in their guest room and spends the night going over the factory’s numbers, trying to find an alternate solution to firing half the staff. By morning, she’s got it figured out and calls Alan Thicke to just…get more dad wisdom, I guess. She’s gotta run her report by head office; they’re not typically encouraging of creative solutions, but maybe!
She shows Jesse the plan and he gives it a second’s glance and announces it looks great! How did this guy not go bankrupt earlier? “I knew you could do it,” he crows. UGH.
Satan is in town, handing out flyers for his lost bauble.
Head office calls Amelia, and they are not happy. Her recommendation: no terminations. Corporate wants people pink-slipped that day (it’s Christmas Eve, by the way), and she’s needed back in DC right away.
Jesse asks Danny if it’d be cool if he started banging another lady sometime soon. Danny gives his stamp of approval and then slyly notes that Amelia’s really pretty.
More cult-like humming at the factory until Amelia interrupts to pull Ben into Jesse’s (unoccupied) office. Um, it’s Christmas Eve and Jesse’s asked his staff to work, YET HE’S OUT HAVING BRUNCH WITH HIS KID. When he returns, it’s to a rude awakening: Amelia has fired half the staff as per head office’s orders.
He’s all, what about your creative solution that I didn’t look at!! She’s all, head office said no and there’s nothing else I could do! SO HE TELLS HER TO JUST GET OUT. This is her job, you asshole, and you are completely undermining her authority by throwing a hissyfit about it in front of your son. Pissily, he throws her report into the garbage can and storms out of the office. When she tries to fire another lady, he tells the lady to stick around and work instead?! This guy is the worst.
Back at their house, Danny asks Jesse if the factory will be closed. Jesse continues to lie to himself and others, and says nope, it’s all good!
Satan approaches Amelia outside the factory and asks if she’s seen the bauble. She’s like yeah, but I’m about to catch a flight, but Satan’s powers are too strong for her, and he convinces her to give him a ride to Jesse’s house to retrieve the evil bauble.
Trouble is, Danny has lost the bauble. Instead of strangling him, Mr. Tomte is eerily patient. Danny tries to trick him into admitting he’s Santa Claus, but Satan’s smarter than this kid.
Meanwhile, Amelia is trying to help Jesse find the bauble and he’s being such a snide little asshole to her the entire time, it’s incredibly unpleasant to watch. She realizes he’s kept the same outgoing voicemail message since his wife died, which is supposed to make me sad, but this guy doesn’t elicit any sympathy from me at all.
Back at the factory, Ben’s packing his shit up, using a lost and found box.
Jesse continues to attack Amelia in passive aggressive ways. They think they’ve found the bauble at the factory (a lady put in the lost and found), so they call Satan back, but when he shows up, they’ve got nothing. He says he lives “up north.” He fixes the broken Christmas tree lights, but then Danny realizes, they’re not even plugged in!
Amelia spies her report sitting in the garbage can and puts it on a workstation. Satan steals it on his way out and does a piss poor job of concealing it as he watches Jesse and Danny say their final goodbye to Amelia.
Later, Jesse finds Danny crying over the book. He thinks he’s ruined Christmas.
Amelia’s sitting her car, talking to Alan Thicke, when she sees Ben walking with his lost and found box, which falls apart all over the sidewalk. She runs over to help. She apologizes for everything and then sees the evil bauble glinting its evil eye at her from inside the box. Instead of helping him, she runs away with it, gleefully. Satan at work, man.
She shows up at Jesse’s house with the bauble. Everyone’s excited, but suddenly, they can’t reach Satan at his number and have no idea how to get ahold of him anymore. Danny’s panicky about this and run out of the room, seemingly to go upstairs. Jesse and Amelia make up over popcorn garlands and hot chocolate.
In his one redemptive moment, Jesse admits fully that he didn’t understand how to run the factory, that it was all his fault, and he shouldn’t have blamed her.
Oh, way too late, they discover that Danny’s peaced the fuck out to go find Satan himself. Jesse is beside himself with fear, even though Danny’s basically a teenager, it’s midday on Christmas Eve, and everyone in town knows him.
Hilariously, Danny falls off his bike in the forest on his way to Satan’s crash site. In the accident, he breaks the evil bauble and thus, Satan’s hold on him and the town.
Satan suddenly appears to tell him that he didn’t need it after all. So why the hell is he here? To bring Danny his real gift:
Umm, well you were passing out flyers like crazy, so I don’t buy it, Satan! Also, Danny, your dad was like, wicked bad this year, so he absolutely will never deserve Amelia.
When Jesse and Amelia run up, Satan vanishes.
Well, it’s Christmas morning and Amelia’s still staying with Jesse and Danny. She calls Alan Thicke so he can open his present over the phone (it’s a coat), and this is where I wrote down, “Is Alan Thicke drunk?”
Jesse and Amelia are ready to make out hardcore in front of Danny when her boss calls (Amelia’s been ignoring her calls, since she skipped the flight to DC and thinks she’s [justifiably] in trouble) to tell her that the Donner business is actually going to be expanded, she’ll be in charge of the project since they just got a major account: “Tomte’s Global Deliveries.”
Oooh, a deal with the devil. Did Amelia sell her soul?
They finally kiss and read that dumb book aloud, even though it’s not the night before Christmas anymore, Danny!
This movie was only entertaining with my (rock solid) Satan conspiracy theory.
A friend recently mentioned the uncanny trend of “Hallmark man sweaters” that pop up in Christmas movies, so I’ve decided to keep tabs in my recaps. However, this was a knitwear-light movie to start with, as Jesse really wears just one suit and a plaid shirt. Here’s his only foray into the world of sensitive leading man sweaters.