The Fox Family Channel, which before that was just the Family Channel, has been rechristened ABC Family, and for December the net’s inundating its audience with holiday-themed fare — 225 hours of it in 25 days. Original telepic “Three Days” heads the barrage, and it’s a capably constructed, highly predictable story of a bad husband who, thanks to an angel, gets another chance to prove his love to his good wife. It would be a lot less plodding if there were some chemistry between the leads, Kristin Davis (“Sex and the City”) and Reed Diamond (“Homicide”), but, alas, that wasn’t under the tree this year. Without it, this holiday pic comes off especially downbeat.
Davis plays Beth Farmer, a peppy woman with lots of Christmas spirit. Husband Andrew (Diamond) is an agent, meaning, of course, that he’s purely material and neglects his wonderful spouse, going so far as to fly off mere days before Christmas in an effort to sign another client. Worse, he goes off with a female colleague who’s been trying to bed him for a while and, despite resisting her advances, he can’t explain it well to Beth. She goes out in a huff and gets hit by a car.
Enter the angel, named Lionel and played, a bit blandly, by “Saturday Night Live” veteran Tim Meadows. Lionel allows Andrew to relive the last three days, with the caveat that he still won’t be able to save Beth when the time comes (can you hear the “unless” hanging over this story?). He must focus instead on proving his love to her, and the couple ends up back in the small New England town where they grew up, attempting to rekindle the romantic flame.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing very romantic about any of this, and Robert Tate Miller and Eric Tuchman’s teleplay proceeds at a pretty flat pace under Michael Switzer’s direction. Diamond and Davis are fine, and actually pretty convincing as a husband and wife who are used to each other but whose spark has been extinguished. The film, though, is never convincing in regenerating that spark, no matter how desperately it tries. What we’re left with is a story that always feels driven emotionally by guilt rather than love, and that’s not especially cheery.