I’m still really behind on writing reviews for movies that I’ve seen so far this Christmas, so my numbers are a little lower than what they should be. I still have two entries from The Santa Clause series, a few South Park Christmas episodes, and a slew of other films that I’ve seen that I have to post.
A lot of Christmas movies deal with supernatural or spiritual themes. We see it in classics like It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol and the tradition is kept up with similarly-themed recent movies like The Family Man. Staying true to this is also the TV movie from 2001, the Kristin Davis starring Three Days.
I mentioned The Family Man specifically in the last paragraph because Three Days share a few thematic elements, right down to a more affordable Don Cheadle, played here by SNL alum Tim Meadows. Andrew Farmer (a charisma-less Reed Diamond) is a workaholic who takes his wife Beth (Davis) for granted. Their marriage has been stuck in neutral for years as Andrew has put off the notion of kids until it’s “the right time”. A misunderstanding, which leads Beth to believe Andrew is being unfaithful, starts a fight on Christmas Eve and after she storms out of the apartment, she is hit by a car and dies.
Shortly after returning from the hospital, Andrew meets an angel in the form of Tim Meadows, who gives Andrew a second chance: Andrew has the opportunity to relive the past three days in an effort to show Beth how much he loves her. The only catch is that no matter what, Beth will die in the same manner she already has. With the three days renewed, Andrew and Beth head back to their childhood home and Andrew starts to remember why he fell in love with Beth in the first place.
The idea is a little maudlin and seems almost cruel to Andrew, but the movie was actually a nice surprise to watch on a weekday afternoon. The lead character, Andrew, is kind of a schmuck and the actor isn’t much, but in these sorts of movies, in which the character needs a shot of redemption, it’s easier to believe the redemption when he is completely clueless. Doing much more in terms of character development is a bit much to ask from a TV movie. Kristin Davis is okay, but her character is a bit one note. She’s more angelic than Tim Meadows, who is the actual angel, but again, I guess it is to heighten Andrew’s redemption.
Despite the flat characters, the story is actually a decent one. It might be overwrought and morbid (the story could have just as easily been about him trying to get redemption after a breakup), but I sort of like these stories of second chances and supernatural intervention. It keeps with the magic of the season sappy romances usually get a pass from me if they take place during Christmas.