Perhaps the reason bad things happen to good people is because if good things happen to them, like finding a wish-granting genie, they forget to wish for lots of money. Genie is the story of Bernard Flaxman, who finds a genie who was probably a neighbor of Jesus Christ, and now she wants to transfer some of that goodness to Bernard and his family to bring in the holiday cheer. There is not an ounce of sadness in the film, with Flora’s backstory being relegated to the background and everything just being hunky-dory from start to finish, with the added flourish of Melissa McCarthy’s energy. This is indeed a truly feel-good movie from start to finish, and it doesn’t waver from its position even for a second. This is a summary and ending of Genie.
How does Bernard find the genie?
Bernard has to meet his family on his daughter’s birthday to celebrate at an ice-skating rink. But he gets caught up with work and is unable to make it. When he gets home, he realizes that he has dropped the birthday gift on the way, so he tries to make up for it with an old jewelry box in the house. But his wife sees through it, and she decides to take Eve to her mother’s house. Julie loves Bernard, but she is tired of never being her husband’s priority. By going away for a while, she has started her separation from him. Bernard realizes that he needs to work on his marriage seriously, and the next day, he asks his boss for some time off but just ends up getting fired. With no job and no family by his side, Bernard is not looking forward to a happy holiday season. When he gets back home, he starts rubbing the jewelry box in anger, hoping to open it up, and lo and behold, a genie pops out of it. Her name is Flora, and she is dressed like a raggedy Peter Pan, but she still has to prove that she is real, and she does it by summoning a camel. Now that Bernard is convinced, he wishes for the one thing he truly wants, which is to get his family back. But the genie is not allowed to manipulate feelings, so instead, she offers to do things that would win their hearts once again.
What does Bernard ask of Flora?
The first thing that Bernard and Flora do together is walk around the city, shopping, eating, and celebrating Tom Cruise, whom Flora instantly loves. She also likes the doorman and tells Bernard that she knew Jesus, though he refused to go into business with her. The first real help that Flora does for Bernard is when his family comes over for dinner, and they seem to be chronically unhappy with everything. Bernard just wants them to be happy for a while, and Flora decides to grant them all three wishes. But they use it terribly, with one of them getting a trip to hell and another asking for his wife’s voice to be gone. It all ends when they disappear because they wish for it. The second thing that Flora helps with is making the house more child-friendly. But this brings the Mona Lisa to Bernard’s apartment, and France is in turmoil because of this.
During a mishap at home, the police come to contain the situation, and they end up arresting Bernard. Sadly, for him, Flora is out on a date at the moment, so he cannot wish for things to get reversed. He manages to bring her to the station by listing her as an accomplice, and he barely manages to make his wish to reverse things. Thankfully, that sends the Mona Lisa back to the Louvre, and Bernard and Flora are able to leave. This is quite an adventure to be had, and Bernard has probably learned a lesson or two about how to make his wishes. His daughter and wife are quite happy with him, though. Eve gets to go on a flying carpet, and she also gets the doll house she so desperately wanted. As for Julie, she is happy to see Bernard putting in the effort for his family, but she needs a lot more convincing. Eve’s birthday party was her last straw, and while she still loves Bernard, a few days of attention would not set things right with him.
What are Bernard’s three wishes?
Bernard’s last wish and Flora’s Christmas present are for her to be free. Flora had never expected that, but Bernard had always intended for her to find her own way, and he gave that to her on Christmas. That is when Flora tells him that when a genie is leaving, they give their owners three wishes, and Bernard can ask that of her now. Bernard throws the jewellery box into the trash, and Flora gives him a number, which she says is a suggestion as to what his final wishes can be. It takes Bernard a while to figure that out, but he understands that those numbers indicate a date and a time, and Flora is saying that instead of setting things right now, he can prevent the damage by going back in time.
Bernard goes back to the day of Eve’s birthday, and this time, he doesn’t stay overtime but quits the job himself. He takes his wife and daughter out on a date and uses his last two wishes to get them a prized reservation and for Eve to get the food she wants. All are seemingly frivolous things, but they mean the world to his family, and that is all that Bernard wants. His wife is happy that he quit his job, his daughter is happy to be with her father, and Bernard is happy because this is what he had wanted all along.
At the end of Genie, some time has passed, and Bernard is living peacefully with his family, while Flora is working with Lenny in a corner pizzeria, as she wanted to. A Christmassy ending for everyone.
Genie is as sweet movie as it should have been, but what struck us the most is the fact that Bernard said that he and Flora were ‘equals.’ It is impossible not to compare this to Aladdin, where the genie was a Black man, and wonder whether this movie was sending some sort of message. Regardless, it remains an enjoyable watch for Christmas.