lifetime logoJust as a puggle is somehow more adorable than either the pug or the beagle, the best Lifetime Original Movies are the ones that blend two Lifetime genres together. In Stolen Miracle, we are treated to your basic stolen baby plot (so deeply loved by Lifetime fans) and your basic Christmas miracle motif – creating a superior film that has both larger, floppier ears and wiser, droopier eyes.

On Christmas Eve, a bipolar woman named Mary kidnaps a newborn baby boy from a hospital. Months before, she suffered a miscarriage but continued to believe (and tell her live-in boyfriend) that she was pregnant. While the birthmother (who has an actual husband, making her less evil) spends the movie so distraught that she barely has a speaking part, Sgt. Jane McKinley takes on the case – perhaps putting her own family aside in order to do her job and recover the baby in time for Christmas.

To fit the Christmas miracle genre, several vague symbolic Christmas themes were added. For example, the boy was stolen right before Christmas and is “delivered” home by Christmas Day – kind of like how Christ was delivered on Christmas Day (it’s left unsaid whether the baby is any sort of messiah). Also, Mary seemed to be a sort of “anti-Mary,” in that she can’t conceive even though she’s totally having sex and praying for a baby. In Mary’s house, there’s a nativity scene that the camera likes to focus in on from time to time.

Mary, as she gets crazier and crazier, begins ranting about how all she wants is a Perfect Christmas. And, as we all know, Perfect Christmases involve stolen Christ-like babies, car chases, leather-jacket-clad common-law husbands, and stopping your medication. I also like to throw in some eggnog and carols.

However, Sgt. Jane McKinley seems to have forgotten what a perfect Christmas means: she’s never home with her family, she’s fixated on her career (supporting her family) and helping others (charity), and she refuses to get her whiny son the expensive material object that he constantly complains about not having. This means, of course, that she doesn’t love her family or understand the meaning of Christmas.

Slowly, through a series of obvious leads and clues (I’m guessing Lt. Lennie Briscoe could have knocked this one out during a Law & Order commercial) McKinley solves the case, returns the baby to his family, and vaguely patches things up with her family. In the final scene, her whiny son gets his expensive material object from the family that bore the Christ-child.

Mary, the mentally ill and heart-broken woman who only wanted a chance to be a mother and a shot at a Perfect Christmas, is happily forgotten by everyone, including whoever wrote the teleplay. Merry Christmas, everyone who is not incarcerated and who also has the ability to successfully reproduce! We deserve it!

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