A while ago, when I still had Cable, I watched The Perfect Gift on JCTV. I remember when I first saw it I really liked it, but I never got around to purchasing it. Years later, when trying to think up some good Christian Christmas movies for my upcoming movie night, this was one of the first thoughts of which I was reminded. However, I didn’t completely remember why I had enjoyed watching Jefferson Moore’s The Perfect Gift so I had to re watch it again in order to properly write this review.
The Perfect Gift contains multiple stories, which all revolve around a drifter named Jes. Maxine is a spoiled rotten girl who is forced to make some new adjustments with Dad and his money no longer being in the picture. Maxine’s mother also has a burden forced upon her, but this mom’s trouble involves planning a politically correct celebration called “The Winter Gala”. Tony is an over burdened, Assistant Pastor who is in the process of setting up a Nativity Scene outside of the church; he also wishes the church was doing better. Blaine is an Atheist who is the head of an activist organization which claims to promote “religious freedom”. Jes is a drifter who peacefully arrives into town who looks a lot like Jesus Christ, is mysteriously a great carpenter, has a gift of wisdom, and somehow directly and indirectly affects the lives of all of these people and the rest of the town itself. What sort of lessons will everyone learn, and what makes Christmas… well Christmas?
After watching this I remembered why I LOVED The Perfect Gift. This movie is wonderful for many reasons, and certainly puts many Holiday Fluff films out there to great shame! One of my favorite reasons for enjoying this movie was the deep theological messages contained within the film without the actors hammering it into your skull. I was especially enamored with the way the townspeople respond to Blaine; it was awesome!!! Jefferson Moore is great as Jes, because he is able to cultivate a variety of moods appropriately, and I also liked how he passionately talked about Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and what he said to Blaine. In fact most of the actors did very well; Christine Fougnie wasn’t the best at first but got better with each scene. The story is very clever and quite realistic, and this was even funny at times. I am amazed I didn’t buy this sooner or tell people about this any sooner. I very strongly recommend this movie for your collection; especially if you like Christmas movies.
Movie Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
I’ve been meaning to watch this movie as I had it saved on my DVR from a time ago; it was on JCTV for those who are curious. Anyway, I liked Jefferson Moore in the movie Clancy, which I will review for you another day, and I heard good things about this movie too. The Perfect Stranger I couldn’t help, but find to be a curious idea as it sort of reminded me of the concept behind The Encounter only a different actor playing Jesus and only one person was talking to him.
The Perfect Stranger is about a stressed out lawyer named Nikki. She comes into work and sees on her desk an invitation to have dinner with Jesus Christ. At first she’s creeped out thinking it was “one of her crazy Christian neighbors”, but laughs it off thinking it was her husband inviting her on a date due to the fight they had earlier in the morning. She figures “why not?” since her daughter’ll be at a sleepover and she loves the food at Pepino’s Restaurant. When she gets there though, her husband isn’t there and it is as the invitation said “a Dinner with Jesus Christ”.
I thought this was pretty good, though I would say The Encounter was better about using this “if you could have dinner with Jesus Christ what would you ask him?” concept, even though The Perfect Stranger is based on the original book by David Gregory. I think Jefferson Moore is a very good actor in this film as well and the woman who plays Nikki is decent at times too. The camera work isn’t the best, but then again this is a low-budget film and the concept for the film isn’t supposed to have anything worth using CGI’s for so what do you expect right lol? I liked most of what was talked about during their dinner conversation, some might find it controversial Jesus was drinking wine *gasp*, I thought a few of the questions could have gone a little better in that they didn’t talk about Evolution much, but maybe they did that for the sequel Another Perfect Stranger, I’ll have to find out. (when I write that review I’ll link it here) Overall this was a pretty decent movie, though I’d say this is definitely for the adults as the kids might find this to be boring.
TCP Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.