The Birthday Wish (2017) – Make a Wish! (To See The Future)
Gwen Turner (Jessy Schram) has plans. Right now she’s hoping her modest successes as a creative TV commercial director turns into a win in her personal life. You see part of those plans involves being engaged by thirty. Little does she realize her boyfriend doesn’t share these plans. When he elects not to propose on the eve of her birthday, Gwen begins a new year sans a ring on her finger.
This inspires her to make a wish... to see her life in ten years. Normally a harmless notion, Gwen’s wish her a vision she’d rather not come true.
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In her vision, Dave McKinley (Luke McFarlane) is the man next to her. Dave’s creative direction and Gwen’s director skills have been paired together (by ad agencies) professionally, but never has Gwen imagined herself dating the spontaneous Dave. What’s a girl to do when her carefully laid plans fall apart?
Penned by a familiar Hallmark scripter (Hello, It’s Me, Wedding Bells, The Convenient Groom) one of the things I like best about this teleplay is the humor. It works well on so many levels. From sappy slapstick (a desperate search for a ring) to a more realistic approach (playful competitive competition), everything blends nicely. As I watched this one, that’s the memory that stuck with me. The humor and the way the script allows these characters to shine, all of which is assisted by the talents of its cast.
Speaking of, it was great fun to see Luke McFarlane (a familiar Hallmark leading man) in this role. He’ll be familiar to those who saw Dashing Through the Snow and The Memory Book. Costume drama enthusiasts may also recognize him from Mercy Street. Fun fact: in ‘Memory,’ Luke’s co-star is Megan Ory who plays Red on Once Upon a Time. In The Birthday Wish he romances Once’s Cinderella, actress Jessy Schram (who plays Cinderella in recurring appearances on the ABC fairy tale). The careers in this film are also interesting which gives the story a new layer.
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Futuristic romantic comedies aren’t always my cup of tea, but in the case of The Birthday Wish, I thought the blending of present and future was well done. The latter doesn’t consume the present timeline so that we remain affixed on this path rather than the back and forth of the alternating realities. The ways Gwen experiences her future prophesies is also funny and sweet.
If you love romcoms, The Birthday Wish is worth spending a Saturday afternoon in. There’s plenty of (real) magic going on in this happy-face comedy, filled with one wish you’ll root to come true. 🕯