Jungle
Dear Santa

Dear Santa

Movie
Director(s): 
On DVD: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Grade:
B+
Running Time: 
90 minutes

With December just around the corner tis’ the season to have a thousand and one generic Christmas movies coming down the pipes for the small screen, and let’s face it, probably some even worse big budget theater releases as well. Dear Santa stars Amy Acker (Dollhouse), David Haydn-Jones (Rumors), and adorable newcomer Emma Duke. The story involves Crystal (Acker), a socialite living off of mommy and daddy who is given the ultimatum of finding a job and or a man and getting her life together before Christmas or she’ll be cut off. Coincidentally she finds a letter to Santa from Olivia Gowen (Duke); all Olivia wants for Christmas is for daddy to find a new wife who will make him as happy as he had once been before her mother died. Seeing opportunity Crystal stalks Olivia and her father Derek (Haydn-Jones), owner of a snow plow business and owner operator of a soup kitchen. Before long Crystal has infiltrated their lives but is quickly thwarted by Derek’s jealous and possessive girlfriend. With the help of a master chef working at the soup kitchen Crystal quickly realizes that her plan may very well have been set into motion by fate and that Derek and Olivia might be offering the change she needed with or without the scheming.

I’ll admit that this movie had me smiling from ear to ear and all those warm and fuzzy feelings a good holiday romantic comedy should possess are there in abundance. So what if I was two steps ahead of this mostly predictable film. The casting for the film proved to be impeccably on the money. The acting was fantastic, there was plenty of chemistry between all characters, and by the end you wanted the happy outcome you knew was bound to show up. Best of all the film is not hankered down by corny sentimental writing that condescendingly leads you by the nose through the happy artificial ooze of your typical holiday film. Where as Acker’s Crystal could have been your typical airhead socialite with a cloud of ditsy stupidity hanging about her, she instead quickly, almost too quickly, settles into her role and makes it a living breathing human being instead of your usual walking cliché. I also think that a lot of films that star children live or die by those children and how well they can act. Aside from a sobby tearless scene with Duke the up and comer does a pretty fantastic job. Your never put in that awkward situation were you feel as if the kid really stinks but for the sake of moving ahead you’ll just use that as an excuse and keep watching. Really, this film should have been a wreck. All of the elements of just another horrid Christmas film are there to cause havoc with your entertainment value. Fortunately the film turns out to be great with a great cast. Well worth checking out. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.
 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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