Peacock’s comedy film ‘Genie’ brings a new fantastical take on a classic transformational holiday story of rediscovering the joy in life. Bernard Bottle’s workaholic lifestyle is hardly ideal for anyone, let alone his wife, Julie, and young daughter, Eve. As such, it’s the final straw when the man misses Eve’s birthday, prompting Julie to move to her mother’s house with the kid for the holidays. Worse yet, Bernard gets fired from his job soon thereafter. However, an unconventional Christmas miracle falls in the man’s lap after he discovers an ancient artifact with an eclectic Genie, Flora, inside.
With Flora’s help, Bernard attempts to win back his family’s affection and learns how to let loose in the process. Once Bernard’s luckless situation turns into an impossible one overnight, it changes his life’s trajectory. Therefore, viewers must be curious to see where this new path leads the man. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Genie Plot Synopsis
In New York, the city that never sleeps, Bernard Bottle’s taxing job keeps him at the workplace well into the night. As such, even though the man tries to leave early for a promised night of ice skating with his family for his daughter Eve’s birthday, his boss, Flaxman, finds an excuse to hold him up at the office. At home, an unpleasant picture awaits him when he arrives after Eve’s fallen asleep. To make matters worse, the kid wakes to find that her father forgot to get her the one gift she wanted: a dollhouse.
As a result, Bernard’s wife, Julie, initiates a break by asking Bernard not to accompany her and Eve to Julie’s mother’s house. The very next day, Bernard also ends up losing the job for which he pushed his family away. Soon, he finds himself alone for the holidays, his marriage falling apart, with only Lenny, the doorman, for the occasional pity company.
However, things take a drastic turn when Bernard mindlessly rubs the dirt off an old jewelry box in his home office. The simple action leads to blue smoke filling his living room, from which a woman, claiming to be a genie named Flora, emerges. Although the man is skeptical at first, it doesn’t take long for Flora to convince him otherwise with the help of her magic. Thus, Bernard’s circumstances change as he’s left with a Genie and unlimited wishes at his disposal.
Still, even though Bernard wishes for his family to be back together more than anything, Flora can’t revert people’s feelings. As a result, Bernard and Flora end up commencing on a mission to help Bernard make amends with his family and prove that he can be a good husband and father. Together, the duo undertakes many adventures, from mundane Christmas shopping to the more exciting accidental theft of the Mona Lisa.
Eventually, Bernard begins to make progress with Eve, who enjoys spending time with her father now that he can impart his undivided attention to the girl. Soon enough, Bernard has his family back together in their home, even if only for one dinner together. However, just when things begin to look up, Julie makes it clear that she intends to let Eve have two Christmases with each parent this year.
Therefore, on December 23, despite previous complications caused by the Mona Lisa theft, Bernard manages to spend an enjoyable time with Eve and Flora. In the end, Bernard asks for one last wish, a payback against his boss, before using his final wish to set Flora free from her genie duties. The former genie, moved by the action, reveals that Bernard still gets three bonus wishes he can use at any moment. Lastly, the pair parted ways, with Flora leaving one final note behind.
Genie Ending: What Does Flora’s Note Mean?
Despite pulling out all stops to fix things up with his family, Bernard’s efforts can’t reverse the damage of his previous actions. For months, Julie and Eve had to watch Bernard miss one big family moment after the other, like Thanksgiving and other holidays. Therefore, by prioritizing work over his daughter’s birthday, Bernard essentially confirmed to Julie that he would choose his career over his family. As such, even though Julie still loves her husband, she can’t continue a future with him since she doesn’t want her daughter to get accustomed to the same treatment.
For the same reason, Bernard’s big gestures coming on the heels of a fallout fail to fix the very big problem his previous negligence created. Ultimately, Julie is prepared to allow Eve’s relationship to blossom with his father but can’t hit rewind on the entire ordeal. Near the end, Flora and Bernard begin to realize the same and give up on their mission.
However, Flora has one final ace up her sleeve. Throughout the lead-up to Christmas, Flora watches Bernard use his wishes to make others happy. Instead of instantly clamoring for wealth and power, Bernard wishes for pizza and charity donations at the hands of the rich. Yet, the one thing the man wants for himself remains his family’s affection. Therefore, after Bernard sets Flora free, she hands him the key to his wish: a note that reads “Bernard Bottle. This might come in handy. 1830121323.”
At first, Bernard is oblivious to the message and its meaning. Nevertheless, he soon realizes the numbers are the time and date for the moment his boss held him back at the office, preventing him from showing up for his daughter. Moments before he bid Flora farewell, the genie revealed that time travel is actually possible through genie magic if unadvised due to the potential complications. As a result, Bernard deciphers Flora’s note, advising the man to use one of his final three wishes to travel back in time and undo his mistakes.
What Does Bernard Use His Final Three Wishes For
In the beginning, when Bernard is still grasping the scope of Flora’s magic, she reveals that the three wishes rule is a fairytale myth. Consequently, Bernard spends the entire film making wishes to his heart’s content without having to part ways with his Genie friend. Yet, in the end, once the man decides to make Flora’s wish come true and grant her eternal freedom, she reveals one final rule about her magic. As a fail-safe for owners realizing they forgot to wish for something after setting a Genie free, the latter can still grant three final wishes to the former.
Thus, Bernard has three added wishes. He uses the first one to travel back in time to the evening of December 13, when he quits his job and returns home in time for Eve’s birthday. From bringing her birthday present to changing their ice skating plans into a fancy dinner, Bernard does everything he can to make his time with his family count. In fact, upon arriving at the restaurant and realizing there were no last-minute tables available, Bernard uses his second wish to get them into the establishment.
Lastly, Bernard’s final wish is to ensure his daughter’s unequivocal happiness. The restaurant has a strict rule against ordering off-the-menu, preventing Eve from getting peanut butter sandwiches and cherry ice cream. As such, Bernard wishes for his daughter to get what she wants, using all three wishes to manufacture a perfect moment for his family. By doing so, he chases away Julie’s doubts about her husband, sending the family back on a happy path.
What Happens To Flora, The Genie?
After Bernard grants Flora her freedom, it opens up a whole new world of opportunities for her. Throughout her time with Bernard, Flora often subtly and unintentionally exposes the loneliness and unfulfillment that comes from being a genie. As per the rules of her existence, Flora has to remain in a small box until some human happens upon her and allows her to walk the Earth again. Even then, the woman can only make her master’s dreams come true with no input of her own.
Despite her grand powers, Flora finds happiness in the small things like Tom Cruise movies and good pizza. Therefore, when the time comes for her to live her own life, she picks a quaint one, running a pizza shop with Lenny, the doorman, with whom she has had chemistry since day one. In this new reality, Flora and Bernard continue to be close friends in each other’s close orbits.
Read More: Where Was Genie Filmed?