So before we start, I’d like to point out that there’s no theatrical poster or DVD cover or any kind of artwork for this film. The closest we get to is this one [above], with some bad WordArt over the top. I for one think it is an excellent indication of the film.

Poor Jen (Samaire Armstrong) is having a lousy Christmas. Why? Well, to put it in her own words, “Christmas reminds me of being left on my own when my husband walked out on me.” (Ding ding ding, I hear the exposition bell!) Urgh, men eh? Just like buses: one leaves without you, and then you wait six years with your son, and then two come along at once! Do you feel me, ladies? Jen knows, and it’s up to her to choose between jet-setter journalist Sam (who keeps telling Jen she’s more attractive than somebody who covers personal interest stories. I didn’t know there was a hierarchy of sexy journalism, but then I’m no movie crime investigator like what he is) and Chris. (“As in Kringle?” Why yes, you spotted the “subtle” reference, well done.) Chris is none other than the son of Santa- which on a larger scale has caused some problems, because I for one thought that was Nick Snowden.

Chris has just a week to find a wife before Christmas, because that’s apparently a rule now. At least, it’s what his friend Jack keeps saying (Jim O’ Hair playing essentially Christmastime Jerry from Parks and Rec- but hang on, there are no parks in this film! Damnit Jerry!) Chris also has this magical Christmas spirit power of some kind, which he achieves by just smiling at Jen when she’s mid-cynical rant. Suddenly she feels calm and in the festive mood, which leads me to ask whether their entire relationship is actually just based on a brainwashing scheme. Who knows, though after we’ve been treated to a flashback we don’t mind Chris’ hypnotic skills- it’s definitely the lesser of two evils compared to Jen’s ex. He’s a flapcap wearing meany, who hates their baby and smashes the one Christmas ornament they have on his way out. It was probably this trauma that led to Jen’s wild arm flailing to indicate she’s acting, rather than showing any emotion in the face.

Is she happy about this tree? Is she unimpressed? I can't see her arms, she could be anything!
Is she happy about this tree? Is she unimpressed? I can’t see her arms, she could be anything!

Jen and Chris’ relationship is a rocky one. They’re surrounded by hammy acting and they only have a limited amount of time to go through what most relationships experience in six months- this is a rom-com, after all. The whole “I’m Santa’s son” thing doesn’t go down smoothly, but thankfully Chris gives Jen a new unsmashed version of her old smashed Christmas ornament and she changes her tune. He even gets Jen’s son that long sought-after action figure, completely negating the opportunity for any Jingle All the Way hijinks. The moral here is that emotional damage can be done at Christmas, but the way to heal those wounds right back up is with material goods. So remember: insult your loved ones, but only if you have something from their wish list.

Rating: Ho/Ho Ho Ho.

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