Back in my hidey-hole in the basement, this time because it’s 98 degrees (and not the cool, Nick Lachey version) in my house right now, and the basement is the coolest place to be. Boys don’t seem to be bothered by the heat, so I’m here watching The Birthday Wish. It’s with the girl from the Royal New Year’s Eve, and the guy who plays one half of the awesome gay couple on the cancelled show on NBC, The Night Shift – other half of which is the always nice Brendan Fehr, and I remember his name only because he was my favorite character on Roswell. #MichaelandMariaForEva
Anyway, we start at a commercial shoot for insurance which showcases a guy who puts the engagement ring in the champagne and the girl drinks it. A) How does she swallow that ring? B) why is that a thing? I feel like it’s not a real thing, it’s just something they do in movies. Main Girl and Main Boy are working together on the shoot – girl wants more, boy is happy with what is…is this a metaphor for their life? The entire crew is on her side. Oh, and they are just work friends…for now.
Just learned that this was directed by Peter DeLuise.
Girl is named Gwen, and has a boyfriend, Alex, and her 30th birthday is a week after New Year’s. She plans big, and is hoping for a ring by New Year’s Eve.
Girl has a SemiSassy Friend who gives her fashion tips. Her boyfriend is a douche weatherman who has his picture on park benches. He insists on her taking a picture of him sitting next to his picture. Like I said, giant douche. He also points out that she has lipstick on her teeth before they go to a party. She thinks he’s going to propose on the balcony like her commercial, but he doesn’t and she has to swallow her disappointment and the apparently really bad champagne.
SemiSassy Friend says he’s gonna propose at her birthday party. On her birthday, she’s working on a cookie commercial and Boy is there (Still don’t know his name). She also receives a major bouquet of carnations from, I’m assuming Alex, and Boy rightly calls it out as an atrocious gift. Carnations are only good for high school play opening nights. We discover that Boy is the creative director behind these commercials, and he storyboards things that look like my son drew them. Gwen gets the anti-carb actress to eat cookies by claiming they are ‘high protein.’ I wish that was a true thing. She is also inundated with gifts from Alex, including a watch, a briefcase, and balloons. Boy is going to go sing karaoke – deep cut Journey.
Alex takes her to a very “chi-chi” restaurant, which looks like a set. Gwen is thinking he’ll propose amid the brickwork, and she keeps looking in her champagne class for a ring, and then she decimates all her food looking for a ring. Jeez, Gwen, give it up – no one puts a ring in with the beet salad. And we also learn that Alex didn’t pick out any of her gifts – his intern did. He gives her one more thing – it’s a ring smartphone. Like a Fitbit, but for your finger. It’s awful and she’s super pissed, so she bails on her own party, and doesn’t even mind that Alex doesn’t want to take her home.
We find out that she’s had a “Be Engaged By Thirty” plan since her dad died and she’s had to button down so she never feels that out of control again. She is now 30, and she’s not engaged, so what the hell is she supposed to do? Enter Boy – named Dave! – who is leaving her an actual protein cookie, which he then puts a match on so she can blow it out for her birthday, as she left before the cake. She wished she could see what her life would be like in 10 years. AAAND we’ve come to the title – The Birthday Wish.
After the commercial break, she’s waking up and her vision is all blurry. She heads to the very nice town optomitrist, and after she got some drops, she has a vision of 3 kids, a big St. Bernard dog, a minivan, and Dave in a sock monkey hat and they Loooooove each other. This sends Gwen off to eat ribs and confiding into her SemiSassy Friend, who is not all that adverse to the idea of Dave.
The ribs came from the commercial they are shooting. He then shows her the next thing they’re shooting – which is a minivan. Gwen is super super freaked out – and it seems like her vision is coming true – even down to the random macadamia nut allergy – don’t ask. Alex shows up to take her out, and even though she is covered in hives, he says “I can stay with you, if you want…” which is the douche way of getting out of taking care of your girlfriend. But you know who does show up to take care of her – Dave! He brings her soup and the start of a realization that Alex is crap.
Gwen’s mom is preaching the truth about moving on from Alex, and she makes Gwen a chocolate cake. She also decides to talk with Alex about their future together. He doesn’t want to talk about their future, but placates her with saying that he’s waiting for the perfect moment, and that they’ll be the couple that everyone wants to be. If I’ve learned anything from all the shows on Investigation Discovery, it’s that those couples are always a second away from killing someone with Drano, so that’s not something you want to aspire to be. They are at a fancy restaurant, and she’s bored by dinner, but gets her hopes up when she sees the waiters lighting a candle on a piece of chocolate mousse cake…until it walks right past her to another diner. And then the waiters at this fancy-fancy restaurant sing Happy Birthday. That’s not something that waiters at restaurants like this do. At. All. And Gwen is mad that she doesn’t get a birthday wish, and she’s SUPER MAD because girl with the birthday cake also got a ring to go with it! So she leaves.
Mini-van commercial time, and we learn that Dave is good with kids, and makes stupid voices for teddy bears. And she also learns that she and Dave are such a good team on commercials that they are stuck together, and the next one they have to do is a dog food commercial. She hates dogs.
They hang out at the kraft services table, and he makes her a sandwich with sprouts on it – just so he has an excuse to say “you’ve got a little something” when the sprouts hang out of her mouth. It’s cute when it’s whipped cream, or chocolate, are even peanut butter. it’s less cute when it’s sprouts. But their banter is cute.
Alex takes her to a pretentious gallery opening full of fake Jackson Pollocks and metaphors for climate change. He also gets out of their big “talk” and Gwen gets pissy and heads back to the Optometrist hoping for another vision…which she sees on the letter board – which spells out DAVE. She also heads over to the dog park – and he’s got a St. Bernard. They are getting awfully chummy and he’s awfully nice to her even though he knows she’s got a boyfriend.
Gwen is still driving the mini-van, because she’s in love with the heated seats. She has to drive SemiSassy Friends nieces and nephew to school, and Dave needs a ride, too. And he leads those kids in a rousing rendition of “John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt.” I have not heard that song in forever. But it gives Gwen the feels on how cute he is singing this dumb song. Dave is also all about getting Gwen to get over her fear of dogs, which they do with the cutest Labrador puppies ever. Puppy Montage. Now they are so happy with each other they get to talk close to each other, and the grumpy DP notices that they like each other.
Gwen confesses she might have feelings for Dave and SemiSassy Friend is Super Into It! But Gwen is not into it yet, and she got Dave a directing gig away from her, so that she has time to think. But it backfires because the Creative Director that replaces him is a huge dick who is way behind the #MeToo Movement and says they should have hired a male director. Gwen rightly calls him on this BS, and Gwen wishes she was back with Dave.
She’s home-cooking for Alex, and he’s given her a framed picture of himself, and more worries, because he’s got an audition for an LA anchor gig. Seriously, this guy Alex is basically the Paul Rudd character from Monsters vs Aliens. Gwen heads out to the movies and sees Dave, who rightly calls her out on getting him the job to get rid of him. She says she did it for his future, and he says he always thought his future was with her – professionally. Right? Personally? Who knows. Longing glances abound.
Alex is in LA, and he begs her to make an edit of his sizzle reel because he’s too swamped to do it. He’s doing all this for them, but SemiSassy Friend drags her off for shopping and trivia at the local dive bar – all her crew are there, and she has a lovely time. She’s also winning, because they’re using Hamilton lyrics to ask about Lafayette. And guess who’s also there? Dave! And guess who are in the final round together? Dave and Gwen! This is a very upscale dive bar, as everyone is playing on iPads. Gwen wins, and I appreciate that because trivia.is.life.
Everyone remarks on the fact that they didn’t think Gwen would ever be caught in a ‘place like this,’ because Alex is a pretentious gasbag who only likes things with gold labels on them. But Gwen loves fried pickles and beer and she’s realizing just what she’s losing by hanging out with Alex. SemiSassy Friend ditches her after the trivia is over and she and Dave get some pretzels before she is reminded she has to finish Alex’s video. Dave asks her to do trivia again and she hedges because “it’s complicated.” Then she looks at photos of her and Alex vs photos of her and Dave and realizes how happy she looks with Dave, and she’s back putting a match on the cookie Dave gave her to make another Birthday wish. Seriously, that cookie is still in her fridge? How did she not eat it all already – it’s been at least a month by now!
Now they are both at a ski chalet for another commercial shoot – longing glances and almost kisses – my little boy just called it “KISS BLOCKED!” Evening at the chalet, they are making s’mores, and learning about each other. He also knows that his presence makes her feel conflicted about her relationship with Alex, but she doesn’t seem all that conflicted – she’s in smit with Dave. They share a s’more and are joined by an elderly couple, and we also learn that it’s Dave’s birthday! He makes a wish on a burning marshmallow. She knows what his wish is – I mean, we all know what his birthday wish is. And guess who coming to ruin it all? DOUCHEALEX.
Gwen skypes her mom, and her mom is dating a silver fox named Charlie, and she gives her the advice to stop planning everything. Hard to rethink behavior that has been ingrained since her dad died when she was a preteen. And when Alex shows up, he says a) he didn’t get the news anchor job in LA b) he got a part in an action movie c) he wants to be an actor, and d) he wants Gwen to support him while he toils in bit parts. She says LA is not the problem, and Alex proposes with a ring shaped like a donut that he just bought at the chalet gift shop. Dave sees it and runs away in The Sad Times, but she says no to Alex, only Dave doesn’t see it. Gwen is in The Sad Times, but still powers through her job, because that is what women do – they work through it all.
Montage of Gwen running around town looking for Dave, and she has to wade through a bunch of dogs at the dog park to get to him. Facing her fear because she’s in love! Good for her! Gwen tells him she’s falling in love with him, and he’s been in love with her since he met her. Yay! Cut to one year later – Gwen likes dogs now, her mom is engaged to Silver Fox Charlie, and it’s Gwen’s birthday. She gets one candle to make a wish, and he proposes! My boy calls it The Happy Times!
Ten Years Later – they act out her vision from the optometrist’s office for real. And the end.
This one was cute. Dave was too good to be true – no annoying quirks at all – but Alex with his massive dimples made up for it in spades. I felt like there was a film over the camera whenever it focused on Gwen, almost Cybil Shepard in Moonlighting levels. Not sure what was going on there. Glad to be cool in my basement watching fluff while a summer lightning storm flashes in the window. Glad to have my little boy give me pointers while I write. Glad to recap, just so you don’t have to.