21 February 2013 | inkblot11
An engaging cast and a fine concept make up for the film's somewhat erratic execution
Maggie (Jenna Mattison) is a free-spirited, aspiring writer in San Francisco. Although the city is a very expensive place to live, Maggie has two advantages over others. First, she doesn't own a car, being able to bicycle to work at a used bookstore. Second, her landlord adores her, so if she is late on the rent, at times, he doesn't evict her. Her only companion is a cat, for Mags doesn't want a romance in her life whatsoever. You see, her mother died when she was four and her father promptly gave her up for adoption. Her heart still stings, badly. She does have some galfriends, who are married ladies with busy agendas, and she is close to her boss, Lettie (Betty White), even though they work different shifts. O lucky day, however, when our Maggie uncovers an Aladdin type lamp in a desk at work. Rubbing it, she makes some wishes. Not long after this, in a very ancient copy of Great Expectations, Maggie first finds a ticket to a magic show. Then, a flight pass for a birdseye view of the city arrives next. There, two wishes granted. But, while waiting for the third, a handsome gentleman, Brandon (Sean Maguire) comes to the store and announces that Maggie has a secret "benefactor". Soon after, with Sean's help, Mags gets new clothes, a posh car, even a new apartment. But, the one thing Maggie can't learn is WHO the Daddy Warbucks-type really is. It's forbidden, Brandon says. Moreover, along with her other lucky new acquisitions, Maggie may be getting a romantic admirer in Brandon. Will she let a man into her heart? Finally, will her benefactor ever appear? This modern take on the Dickens classic GE has its charm, mostly due to its engaging leads. Mattison is a vibrant rebel while Maguire, who resembles Guy Pearce, is quite fine as her seeming opposite. White, as usual, is her great lovable self while the supporting cast, including Armand Assante, is nice as well. Then, too, the setting is great, as the Golden Gate City is wonderfully attractive, while costumes and photography keep pace. Therefore, the movie's weak points are its uneven script and direction. From one scene to the next, the action goes from sublime to somewhere above ridiculous but nowhere near successful. Nonetheless, fans of romantic comedy will adore it and, as the target audience, they will overlook any deficiencies.