Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Dear Santa (2011)

Number Rolled: 11
Movie Name/Year: Dear Santa (2011)
Tagline: None
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Production Companies: Nomadic Pictures, ITV America, Johnson Production Group, Government of Alberta, Alberta Multimedia Development Fund, Annuit Coeptis Entertainment Inc.
Producer: Jay Daniel Beechinor, Petros Danabassis, Oliver De Caigny, Michael Frislev, Timothy O. Johnson, Chad Oakes
Director: Jason Priestley
Writer: Barbara Kymlicka
Actors: Amy Acker, David Haydn-Jones, Emma Duke, Patrick Creery, Gina Holden, James Dugan, Margherita Donato, Brooklynn Proulx, Paulina ‘Miel’ Chmielecka, Bob Irvine, James D. Hopkin, Dave El Wray, Kristina Elliott

Blurb from Netflix: Finding a letter mailed to Santa by a girl asking for a new wife for her daddy, twentysomething Crystal sets out to make the girl’s wishes come true.

Selina’s Point of View:
I imagine all our Christmas movies this month will be barking up the same basic rom-com tree. This one just felt like it did the whole thing a little better than the last.

It was still a recipe and super easy to predict… but I caught myself smiling a little more than I did with A Christmas Prince (2017). Of course, a lot of that could be attributed to Amy Acker (The Gifted, Con Man, Much Ado About Nothing).

I absolutely adore Amy Acker, and I have since I first saw her on Angel (1999-2004) back in the day. Just her existence in this film made me look forward to it.

I thought Dear Santa was going to be a disappointment. Acker’s character was not likeable to me upon first glance. I was sighing and rolling my eyes a lot – but as the film went on, she became less annoying and a lot easier to root for. Of course, that could just be the sweetness of the actor shining through.

I was not fond of David Haydn-Jones (Supernatural, My Christmas Dream, The Toyman Killer), though. His character and his acting left a lot to be desired.

All in all, I think this was a heart-warming film. It was flawed, certainly, but not bad for some light holiday watching.

To be honest? I don’t really expect anything to actually wow me this month. Hopefully, I’m wrong.

Cat’s Point of View:
Okay. So, I might rag on the Lifetime Channel’s typical programming fare occasionally – but I have a confession to make. While I don’t make a habit of watching that or the Hallmark Channel, I have been known to really enjoy some of their content. In random small doses; and then only if it’s not too over-the-top saccharine. I might be a die-hard optimist, but that only carries so far.

That being said, I wouldn’t mind adding this to my ‘guilty pleasure’ list. I can’t say that it would become a holiday tradition or anything; but out of the bazillion holiday romances out there, I enjoyed this one.

Would I go out of my way to seek it out or films like it? Probably not – but this is from someone who gets primarily horror, sci-fi, and anime suggestions from Netflix. (When I’m not watching for the blog or trying to catch up on one of my 999 shows, I tend to gravitate there for things I can’t watch with my husband or kiddo. I digress…)

Getting back to the movie, it certainly lived up to its expectations. The film was festive, had a good message, plenty of feel-good moments, a life-epiphany plot for good measure, and a few good chuckles. It didn’t matter that I’d predicted what would happen a third of the way in. I was smiling, and there was even a moment I got misty-eyed.

I was surprised to see that Jason Priestley (Call Me Fitz, Rookie Blue, Van Helsing) was the creative force behind this film’s direction. He is by no means a stranger to directing, though. He even directed 15 episodes or so of the hit show, 90210 (1990-2000).

I was more excited, however, to see Amy Acker (Dollhouse, Person of Interest, Con Man) in her role here. While I am waiting with bated breath to see if Fox will renew her current show, The Gifted (2017-), for a third season; it was a treat for her to step into the shoes of this heartwarming role.

To sum up, this film was everything you would expect it to be.  It might have technical goofs and a highly predictable plot, but it wasn’t shabby. It’s good if you have a glass of wine and want to curl up for some feels that don’t require a mascara alert.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English, Portuguese, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 50%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.5/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5

Movie Trailer:

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