Maxine is a spoiled girl who doesn’t like the fact that everyone always does something else on her birthday, which happens to be on Christmas Day. Her mother is overworked and barely has time for her, so she takes Maxine help her struggling pastor neighbor at church. At the church, Maxine meets a mysterious but kind drifter who is helping the pastor fix things up for Christmas. As Maxine spends more time around him, she begins to change and have a new perspective in life. As people continue to attack Christmas, she becomes a strong defender of the day, even though it’s also her birthday.
Production Quality (0 points)
It’s clear that not much care was given to this production. The video quality is quite poor and many camera shorts are very tight. Also, outside scenes are glaring and loud. Audio quality is equally poor, including a Christmas soundtrack that is blaringly loud in some parts. A lot of props look very cheap to the point that cast members can barely use them. Sets and locations are nothing wowing. As for editing, there are too many wasted uncut scenes. Yet there are also abrupt and awkward transitions between some scenes. Basically, this is an amateur effort that did not pay off.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
The entire premise of The Perfect Gift is the typical ‘war on Christmas’ mantra, including tons of asides about characters being ‘persecuted’ for saying ‘Merry Christmas’ and such. The giant strawman is made of the so-called ‘anti-Christmas agenda’, including terms like ‘winter tree’ and ‘winter gala’. Besides these juvenile false conflicts, nothing else really happens in this plot. It’s very boring and does not hold the attention. Many occurrences are unrealistic and all the characters are quite childish. Odd and offbeat dialogue peppers the movie and makes it an unintentional comedy. Perhaps the most perplexing part of this film is the fact that the Jesus character—who is also the creator of the film—has an impassioned speech at the end that actually raises several good points regarding the alleged conflict between atheists and Christmas. Yet Jefferson Moore, the creator, does not seem to actually believe what he is saying, since he inserted so much red meat into the movie about people being anti-Christmas. Overall, The Perfect Gift is both low quality and confusing, an odd combination indeed.
Acting Quality (0 points)
Unfortunately, the story does not get any better here. The few cast members that there are come off as either very obnoxious or totally dead inside. Line delivery is awkward and emotions are childish. The makeup work is amateurish. Basically, there is not much good to say about this film.
Jefferson Moore seems to have a good heart and some slightly interesting ideas. He can probably be credited with writing the original plots that have characters encountering Jesus in everyday circumstances. But with such low production and acting quality, The Perfect Gift will have very little of the impact that it’s intended to have. Fixing these two areas would be a good start to improving this film. It really seems like Moore needed some help with this film and it’s a shame to see some of his ideas go to waste. Perhaps there will be better things in store for the future.
Final Rating: .5 point out of 10 points