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Film / All I Want for Christmas

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A 1991 family comedy about a brother and sister trying to get their parents back together.

Hallie O'Fallon asks Santa to get her parents back together, but thinks it backfires when her mother announces she is engaged to another man. Her brother, Ethan, decides to help after he remembers the good times his family had together.

This film is light on the comedy, but in a restrained manner compared to children's films since then. It also features early roles for Ethan Embry and Thora Birch.

This film provides examples of:

  • Big Applesauce: Takes place in New York.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Ethan for Hallie
  • Christmas Miracle: The protagonist manage to make one themselves.
  • Covers Always Lie: The poster gives the impression that the kids kidnap Santa in a Home Alone style trap, and demand tons of presents.
  • Exact Words: Hallie thinks her wish to Santa was this because she said she wanted her parents to get married again, but forgot to add that she meant to each other.
  • Guess Who I'm Marrying?: Ethan and Hallie aren't happy about the boring, stuck up guy their mother is engaged to. Hallie even thinks this was her wish backfiring.
  • Happier Home Movie: Ethan watches films about when his parents were together, and this leads to him wanting the same thing as Hallie.
  • High-Class Gloves: In her second visit to Santa, Hallie dresses her best, which includes fancy white gloves.
  • Mall Santa: Played by Leslie Nielsen.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The movie subtly implies that the Macy's mall Santa is in fact the genuine article. Earlier in the film, Hallie says to her brother upon seeing a street corner Santa Claus, that it's pathetic for people to talk to those Santa's because only the real Santa can be found at the New York City Macy's department store. It's possible she may be right, because after the parents Do get back together on Christmas day, the Macy's Santa somehow finds his way to the O'Fallon household, and surprises Hallie with her beloved pet mouse, Snowball, whom she was forced to give up, in order to trick her mother's boyfriend to get him out of the way. There's also a brief scene the previous night, with the kids playing in the snow outside the diner. Suddenly they all look up at something in the sky, that whizzes past and glows red; a cutaway scene shows the light passing over the parents, asleep on the couch together, symbolizing that Hallie's wish has indeed been granted. It isn't shown what went flying past but it's implied to have been Santa Claus in his sleigh, soaring through the night.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Hallie to her mother's help, showing she isn't a Spoiled Brat (and she is a part time waitress herself at her father's cafe).
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The kids occasionally have New York accents, but they usually only have them for random scenes.
  • Pretty in Mink: A few furs, given the season and that much of the film is with upper class people. Hallie even wears a white rabbit muff when she sees Santa for the second time.
  • Roadside Wave: On the way to see Santa, Hallie steps back from a curb as a car passes by, splashing wet snow on the people in front.