In Review: Genie

Genie is a  fairytale comedy about a workaholic man who enlists the help of a magical genie to help win his family back before Christmas.

Synopsis: Genie is a  fairytale comedy about a workaholic man who enlists the help of a magical genie to help win his family back before Christmas.


The Story

When Bernard disappoints his family on his daughter’s Birthday a series of events unfolds in which his life falls to pieces. But when he rubs the surface of an old jewelry box Bernard summons himself a Genie that can grant him unlimited wishes. Throughout the film. Bernard and the Genie, who calls herself Flora formulate a plan to get him his wife and kid back, but the misadventures they have along the way make for some comedic moments, which include the unintentional theft of the Mona Lisa, which gets switched for a signed Leanardo Messi Shirt.


The Acting

Paapa Essiedu is immediately likable in the role of Bernard and pretty much has the viewer pulling for him right off the bat. Melissa McCarthy is brilliant in the role of Flora the Genie and nails it, which is huge praise coming from me as I haven’t been a huge fan of any of her prior work. But for some reason. The role of Flora feels very much made for the actor. We get a fun cameo from Alan Cumming who played Bernard in the original television movie as Flaxman who fires Bernard at the start of the movie.



I have to say that I had mixed feelings going into this movie as I am a huge fan of the original TV movie Bernard and the Genie, which this is essentially a reimagining of. However, from the first scene, it was very obvious that I was in safe hands as Richard Curtis deftly reimagines his original story without taking anything away from the original TV Movie, which aired over Christmas of 1991 on BBC One and starred Lenny Henry as the Genie and a very young Alan Cumming as Bernard.

The story for this new version has more at stake. In the original film, Bernard is fired by his boss and dumped by his girlfriend. Whereas this new take, Bernard has a family and an entire life at stake and has to win back the love of his wife and daughter. So even trying to compare this new take with the original TV movie would be unfair and wrong. As I can safely enjoy both movies without one movie ruining the other, which to me is the ultimate compliment that I can give to the writing of Richard Curtis and to the acting of the leads from both versions of the story. As both versions feel  unique.

Overall. Genie is a sure fire winner that will entertain both the kids and grown ups over the Christmas Period. Now if only they release both this and the original as a Blu Ray box set or due a double deal on Prime Video.

  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
No Comment