Anna MacLaren hates it when her Christian parents force her to go to church and obey all kinds of silly rules. So when they insist that she goes to church on the same day as her all-important Winter Ball, it’s just the last straw for Anna. She wishes with all of her heart that her parents were not Christians, and next day, her wish comes true! She is excited at first but soon discovers that she needs to be careful what she wishes for because her wish has far-reaching effects that she does not even like.
Production Quality (2 points)
In an improvement from their freshman effort Catching Faith, Mustard Seed Entertainment benefits from PureFlix with improved production quality. Camera work is exquisite, as is video quality. Audio quality is great, but the soundtrack needs improvement. Sets and locations are fairly realistic. However, the editing is not very good as it is very choppy and amateurish. The storyline is hard to follow as the editing makes it jump around. Basically, this is an improvement with more room to grow.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
Though this is a stereotypical Christmas wish psychological plot, it does not follow the same patterns as usual. For example, the wish does not create an alternate It’s a Wonderful Life universe, but actually changes real life. This in turn causes all kinds of confusion and continuity problems. While the Mustard Seed crew had some good intentions in writing this script, there are just all kinds of problems here. Changing the parent characters from legalistic Christians to obnoxious atheists is just too much and screams of PureFlix influence. Any meaning that is conveyed in this plot is hamstrung by the lack of character development and substantive dialogue. As the plot jumps all around, we never get a chance to understand these characters or why they do the things they do as they are swept along in an inevitable storyline and flat ending. There was definitely potential here, similar to that of Catching Faith, but it just fell short.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
This casting job was poor, even if they are mostly experienced actors and actresses. Many of them seem far too plastic as costuming and makeup are overdone. Line delivery is fine, but emotions are not very believable. Overall, while the cast is generally professional, they just seem like they stepped out of a Hallmark movie.
Mustard Seed Entertainment certainly has potential and it’s great to see that they have a better platform now with PureFlix. We sincerely hope that they have not been ruined by PureFlix demands and that they can combine their newfound production success with the creative and meaningful plot ideas of Catching Faith. Mustard Seed has plenty of hope for the future—next time they just don’t need to rush a Christmas movie for the sake of having one. It’s better to take time on movies and produce a true work of art rather than a half-measure.
Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points