Genie (2023) – Movie Review/Summary

“Genie” may focus on a father’s decline professionally and personally to begin, but once McCarthy shows up, it is no longer about that, and she steals the film.


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Title Card

General Information

Director(s)

Sam Boyd

Screenplay By

Richard Curtis

Based On

N/A

Date Released

November 22, 2023

Released Via

Peacock

Genre(s)

Comedy, Fantasy, Young Adult, Holiday

Film Length

1 Hour 32 Minutes

Content Rating

Rated PG

Noted Characters and Cast

Flora

Melissa McCarthy

Eve

Jordyn McIntosh

Julie

Denée Benton

Mr. Flaxman

Alan Cumming

Bernard

Paapa Essiedu

Film Summary

Bernard is a workaholic. He misses holidays to work at an auction house, run by Mr. Flaxman, who isn’t a nice or kind man. Meanwhile, his wife Julie is questioning if maybe she should become legally separated, and as for their daughter Eve? She is disappointed, but with only recently turning 8, Bernard still has more than enough time to make an effort to turn things around.

Enter Flora, a 2,000+ year old genie, who comes into Bernard’s life as it seems he is heading towards rock bottom. She helps him fight for his marriage and relationship with Eve, and in return, he gives her a chance to be more than a wish granter and get to be a person again.

Content Rating Explanation

  • Dialog: Nothing Notable
  • Violence: None
  • Sexual Content: None
  • Miscellaneous:

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.

Bernard

Bernard works for Mr. Flaxman in his auction house and often allows Mr. Flaxman to passively bully him into staying late. This is at the cost of his marriage and his relationship with his daughter, and this is without even the dangle of a carrot for a promotion.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Men (2022).”

Mr. Flaxman

Likely a Mr. Scrouge in his own story, Mr. Flaxman only cares about money and the clients who has them, and everyone else is expendable.

Julie

Julie is Bernard’s wife, who is beginning to question whether she should stay with Bernard as it becomes clear he is willing to put work over his family.

Eve

Eve is Bernard and Julie’s eight-year-old daughter.

Flora

Flora is a genie from Europe who is over 2,000 years old and became a genie due to an evil wizard who trapped her in a box.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “The Boss.”

Discussion Items

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1. Have you ever thought about the origin story of your favorite genies before they were trapped in a lamp?

Review


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Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Highlights

It’s Sweet Enough To Make You Smile But Not Get A Headache

If you are someone who likes Melissa McCarthy and her shtick, you’ll enjoy “Genie.” No, she isn’t doing the type of physical comedy she did when she first started, but you still get this almost Robin Williams-type joy and occasional sadness that gives life to the movie.

I’d compare it to the similar “Dashing Through The Snow” in that, like Lil Rel Howery in that movie, McCarthy is the reminder that, as sad as the situation should be, this is a holiday movie and comedy, so it’s going to end well.

On The Fence

Lack of Investment in Bernard’s Family

Unfortunately, McCarthy’s energy overwhelms Essiedu. He ends up being the straight man to her antics, and while he is well cast for that role, the issue comes in that Bernard should be seen as the lead. It’s his life that requires a genie, since he is dealing with a collapsing marriage, setting negative precedents in his daughter’s life, and add that his boss is toxic? You’d think it would be about him.

However, between how common Bernard story feels, or the fact that McCarthy’s genie pushes you to wonder about the backstory of any genie you’ve ever seen on screen, Bernard’s family becomes an afterthought. They are just the wheels for McCarthy’s vehicle to speed on through till the end.

Also Worth Mentioning

  • Luis Guzman is wasted in this movie
  • The inclusion of Bernard and Julie’s family is another missed opportunity

Who Is This For?

Those who enjoy Christmas movies about a hard working father who puts work before his family and you see him try to undo all the damage with the help of a jolly and magical person.

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Dashing Through The Snow: A similar, but not exactly the same film

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.


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Genie (2023) – Movie Review

Summary

Aptly released for Peacock, “Genie” makes for decent entry for McCarthy though by no means a character or performance that will be more than content to feed the machine.

Overall
78%
78%
  • It’s Sweet Enough To Make You Smile But Not Get A Headache - 81%
    81%
  • Lack of Investment in Bernard’s Family - 75%
    75%

Highlight(s)

  • It’s Sweet Enough To Make You Smile But Not Get A Headache

Disputable

  • Lack of Investment in Bernard’s Family

What Would Your Rating Be?

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