O. Henry’s timeless tale of treasures surrendered by loving hearts comes to life in “Gift of the Magi,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie premiering Dec. 15.
“Gift of the Magi” stars Marla Sokoloff (“The Practice”) as Della Young and Mark Webber (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) as her husband Jim, financially strapped newlyweds about to spend their first Christmas together. Challenged to buy secret gifts for each other, both end up selling their most prized possessions.
An amateur photographer, Della focuses her prized, but well worn, Nikon 35mm camera on reluctant Jim, persuading him to pose with his beloved, but dilapidated ’55 Chevy Bel Air convertible. Della longs for a professional zoom lens to take better pictures of the man she loves. Camera-shy Jim sits in the Chevy pretending to drive, but his four-wheel antique has no steering wheel. He can buy parts at the junkyard, but more than anything, Jim is passionate to own the original steering wheel.
While Jim chews over ideas for a gift for Della, she already knows exactly what she wants to get him. But when the couple’s everyday car is stolen, and they exhaust their savings buying a new one, Jim and Della make the difficult decision not to buy any gifts this Christmas. Determined to get Jim his steering wheel, Della takes a second job, making up excuses for why she is late every night. When Della does get home, she finds Jim in the garage, tinkering with the old Chevy. Della is tired from pulling double shifts, while Jim harbors anger about being alone so much of the time. The pair begins to drift apart.
Even working extra hours, Della cannot afford the steering wheel, so she makes the heart-wrenching decision to sell her Nikon camera. Days before Christmas, Jim and Della get into a heated argument and decide to call it quits. Intervention and a top notch scheme by well-meaning friends reunites the couple on Christmas Eve. There, Jim and Della see that of all the givers in the world, they have been the wisest of all.
Jim has sold the beautiful Bel Air to buy Della a quality camera lens. Della sold her camera to buy Jim the original steering wheel for his trophy car. Motto of the story: Like the original Christmas gifts given so long ago, Jim and Della discover the all-consuming love that comes from giving a lot, while expecting only a little.
“Gift of the Magi,” is produced by Parallel Films on behalf of MNG Films in association with RHI Entertainment, which is also distributing. Robert Halmi, Jr., Alan Moloney, Mary Callery and Mark Grenside are the executive producers. Cliona Ni Bhuachalla is the producer. Lisa Mulahy directed from a script by Jennifer Notas.
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