By Matt Pascarella
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
This is no “Aladdin” or “Kazaam,” but it will leave you feeling good with the spirit of the season. When Bernard misses his daughter’s birthday, his wife decides to take their daughter to her mother’s place through the holidays. Bernard happens upon a jewelry box that releases a genie who grants him unlimited wishes.
‘Genie’ stars Melissa McCarthy, Paapa Essiedu, Denee Benton, Jordyn Mcintosh, Alan Cumming, Marc Maron, LaChanze and Ellen Cleghorne.
Bernard (Essiedu) misses his daughter, Eve’s (McIntosh) birthday and afterward his boss (Cumming) fires him.
Bernard’s wife Julie (Benton) decides they need some time apart through the holidays.
Alone in his apartment, Bernard rubs a jewelry box and releases Flora
(McCarthy), a genie who grants him unlimited wishes – as is the custom, that three wishes stuff is for fairytales.
Flora explains she was put in the box by an angry sorcerer many, many years ago and Bernard’s wish is her command.
Bernard explains his problems to Flora; she sweetly offers to kill his boss, but Bernard turns her down.
Flora said that wishes cannot change people’s feelings and you cannot time travel.
Flora and Bernard travel to see Julie at her mother’s house. It does not go well and ends up solving nothing.
Julie’s mother says that silence and solitude will make Bernard realize what’s important.
Back at the apartment, Bernard introduces Flora to pizza.
“It’s just a triangle of red bread,” she says.
After taking a bite she says, “This is Heaven.”
Flora then discovers Spot-iffy, as she calls it, in this funny scene.
When Bernard and Flora go shopping, Flora gets a new outfit and discovers hand sanitizer which she finds zesty.
Bernard explains Christmas to her. As it turns out, Flora knew Jesus and thought he was kidding about the whole Son of God thing.
“Christmas is also a time where kids learn all about disappointment,” says Bernard.
Bernard uses his wishes to do some good. Flora joins in.
When the two go to a movie, she falls in love with Tom Cruise. Then she strikes up a thing with Lenny the Doorman (Maron).
Bernard can be there for Eve and Julie. They have ice cream together, but Bernard is less-than-thrilled when they are joined by Julie’s childhood friend.
Later, a surprise visit from Bernard’s family only complicates matters.
Flora suggests “WWTCD – What Would Tom Cruise Do?” a Wishion Impossible mission to get Julie and Eve back. She suggests Bernard spruce up his apartment.
When the Louvre discovers the Mona Lisa is missing, (because it’s in Bernard’s apartment), it could be trouble for Bernard.
Eve gets to spend the night with her dad. Afterward, Julie and Eve have a nice dinner at Bernard’s apartment. Julie wants to talk about what their relationship might look like long-term.
A fire breaks out in the apartment, the Mona Lisa gets noticed and Bernard and Flora are taken to jail. Flora takes some excellent mug shots.
This is one of Melissa McCarthy’s best performances. Flora is such a fun
character. This is a feel-good movie the whole family can watch around the holidays. It’s definitely worth signing up for Peacock just to see this movie. As far as I’m concerned, it’s worth buying this movie and not signing up for Peacock, sorry NBC.
It’s a nice, happy story about the power of friendship and what’s really important in life. It gets a little emotional at times and shows that with effort – and a little magic – second chances are possible. I watched this twice and enjoyed it as much the second time as I did the first time.
Two Tom Cruise sweatshirts up.
Available to stream on Peacock or to buy.<