Guys, here we are, still trying to make Godwink happen. This is the fourth? installment and it’s called “A Godwink Christmas: Miracle of Love.” I have only ever heard this phrase in Hallmark movies and from Kathie Gifford. Even though I think the whole premise is stupid, I haven’t outright hated the last few movies because they are based on true stories. But the first hour and a half of this movie were SO BORING. Also, I looked up the real story from which this movie was based and the “Godwink” didn’t have anything to do with how they met!
So, in the real story of “Joy and Eric,” Eric injures himself in the same way as they show in the movie (again at about 1:36 in the movie). He is fixing a break cable on a truck and the emergency brake snapes and rolls on him or something? Anyway, his liver is severely damaged. The “Godwink” is that the surgeon who operated on him had just happened to watch a seminar on repairing traumatic liver ruptures. So that all happened for real. The problem with the movie, is that Eric and Joy were about 3 months away from getting married when is in the accident. In the movie, obviously they change this to them meeting. Unfortunately, the story of Joy and Eric meeting (which I couldn’t find on the internet) seems to be the most boring part of their story. Eric goes on to have an incredible career with InterVarsity, the National Prayer Breakfast and a few other religious writing organizations. And he and Joy have been married over 40 years.
Like I said, the story of Joy and Eric meeting is SO boring. It is not a Godwink at all. They just met at an intern program after college like 90% of people do. They both wind up at a two week intern/fellowship type program in Wisconsin right before Christmas. Both of them are at crossroads in their lives. Joy is about to become a nurse practitioner (or has just finished her schooling.) Eric is also finished with school and doesn’t know what to do next. He wanted to be a pastor but that doesn’t seem to be working out. Joy has a very overeager boyfriend named Danny who seems to want to marry her dad just as much as he wants to marry her. He also has been aggressively pursuing fixer upper homes for them. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Anyway, both Joy and Eric wind up enrolling in this two week program which takes them both to Wisconsin.
They arrive at the airport at the same time and each think an approaching ride share is for them. They discover they’re going to the same place. Is that a Godwink? No. Because usually people going to the same place like that end up arriving at similar times even if they’re coming from different places! If that’s a Godwink, I’ve had about a million. Anyway, so that’s that.
There are four people in this program and they each have a mentor. I only ever see Joy and Eric’s though. Anyway, one of the other people in the program is training to be a chef and the other is a computer person. I don’t know. Upon settling in, they do exactly what I would do and head to find the town’s most famous baked good. KRINGLE! I am very excited for them. Except, Wisconsin kringle looks different than the Swedish kringle I make. It seems to have a lot more set up frosting and it is certainly looks more like bread. Have you had Swedish kringle? It’s an almond flavored pastry that we always have at Christmas. I would love to try this Wisconsin business for comparison. It seems this version comes in multiple flavors.
Alright now that we’ve got the kringle taken care of, we get to work. Okay, there was one thing I liked about the first part of this movie. The characters celebrate Advent and light a candle each week. I’ve never seen Advent even mentioned in a Hallmark movie. The Christmas traditions are largely secular. So, I liked seeing the Advent candles. If you have never heard of Advent, it is the four weeks leading up to Jesus’s birth, celebrated in most Christian churches. I think Protestants and Catholics both do it? Each Sunday, we light a candle that represents a different theme: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. A fifth candle is lit on Christmas Day. It is all meant to allow us to reflect and remember the anticipation of Jesus’s birth. If you have ever had an Advent calendar, that is really what its purpose is. Though those have been secularized as well! Anyway, it’s a lovely tradition and I enjoyed seeing them celebrate it.
Okay, so the gang’s project is to fix up a house for a family that lost everything in a fire. The wife is pregnant and due any day. All their belongings seem to have been lost as well. So here was the part that was confusing. They’re working on this project but also they’re doing things more in their skill set-like Joy is working in a clinic, Sadie is helping the organization with its website, the chef who’s name I can’t remember is cooking and then Eric is supposed to be writing articles (for who or what, I don’t know!!). And then they’re building this house.
Along the way they get these extra assignments like trying to buy all the furniture for the house or put some nice touches on it. Surely we haven’t entrusted these young adults to a full home renovation? I honestly don’t know. However, Eric seems to have really found his passion in all of this and is just whipping out these great articles right and left. Everyone is just so impressed.
They also do all sorts of things to help the family that’s about to move into the house. They invite all the neighbors to a party the night the family moves in to welcome them to their new neighborhood and get it all decorated for Christmas. They buy the family’s son Charlie an ENORMOUS television and gaming system for his room. I would have been ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS. Look, if you ask my kids what they’re favorite thing to do is, they will tell you its video games. They play video games about 15 minutes a day if they’re lucky. (I told you I was a fun and breezy mom.) If some youth took that response and ran with it and made my child a video game themed room, I would have had some words to say and then made THEM be the ones to tell them that the TV and gaming system would be moved elsewhere. My young children (who seem close to Charlie’s age) absolutely do not need this nonsense in their room. I love the rest of the house! It is gigantic! I hope this family doesn’t get dinged on the property taxes, etc…
So, after all that, Eric and Joy catch up outside. Eric tries to kiss her and that’s when Joy finally seems to remember about poor Danny back at home. After they wrap up the project, the team all heads home. Eric is going to stay for a little bit and help some trucking company over the rest of the holidays. Joy tells him she’s not sure what’s happening with her boyfriend and Eric tells her to just figure that out on her own time.
Back at home, poor Danny talks her ear off. He has all kinds of plans for the next few days and Joy and I both feel overwhelmed. So then she finally tells Danny she wants to break up. And then for some reason, she has to immediately head back to Wisconsin. But Christmas is like, days away at this point so I don’t know why she can’t just call Eric and tell him how she feels. But instead, she calls him and tells him she wants to talk and wants to tell him about Danny in person. As someone with mild anxiety, this type of phone exchange would KILL ME. Don’t do that to people. Anyway that’s the plan. She is planning to fly there that day.
Eric realizes he has to salt all the roads before she gets there but his truck won’t start. And THAT my friends, is when this movie finally starts to get interesting. And gang, at this point, we have about 25 minutes left in the movie, including commercials. But it is as this point when it finally turns into a good movie. One of the surgeons in the hospital had just happened to watch a seminar on traumatic liver injuries. Joy rushes to his bedside and his vitals seem to improve whenever she’s around. They realize this after his parents arrive and shoo her out. His vitals immediately decline after she leaves. So, she comes back in to the room and he ends up pulling through.
He is ready to leave the hospital on Christmas Day. Joy arranged a little surprise party for him, and her dad arrived! Boy these people are just traveling no trouble during the holidays. Lucky them! Anyway, then Eric and Joy kiss and that’s the end.
So, guys you know where I stand on this one. It was a yawn fest for the majority of the time. I hate the term “Godwink.” I also feel that the term downplays what happened to Eric! I mean the fact that a doctor had just happened to learn a procedure that would ultimately save his life! That’s a straight up miracle. I would have liked to see the actual story. Seen them as a couple and had more time at the hospital and then their wedding with his arm in a sling. I think that would have been a better movie. It doesn’t have to always be a meeting someone romantic story does it? What did you think of this movie?