Everyone loves a good Santa film, don’t they? Jolly old fella, enchanting some dispirited town. Or how about a good son of Santa film, eh? Opens up a whole new demographic: women who don’t mind the suit so long as there’s a thirty something figure of man candy inside to charm some dispirited journalist or zookeeper or whatever. But hang on, there’s something those Hollywood fat cats had neglected to cover, and that is the seasonal movie starring the daughter of Santa!
The writers of Christmas Mail have completely spotted their own demographic: men who don’t mind the father-in-law so long as there’s a thirty something free-spirited figure of lady candy (?) to charm some dispirited rockstar or postman. In the case of our protagonist Matt, it’s both! Yeah, all 19-35 year old American guys have found themselves in a postal rut after their band doesn’t work out. Good job Kristi North (festive sounding name there. Hmm. HMM. Though also, not Kristi Claus? I think we all want to know what happened to warrant a lovechild with a different surname…) has arrived at the post office to write replies to all of the children sending mail to Santa.
Whereas in a normal town this would surely be a soul crushing job to lie to hundreds of thousands of hopeful kids, here Kristi’s task is seen as the pinnacle of Christmas spirit. Why? Probably because of the post office boss, who is a double threat of both a total Grinch of a character and a bad actor to boot. It doesn’t help that his first line is delivered on a green screen, but the hammy quality holds up regardless of backdrop. That said, it’s not all his fault. He does have to say the line “I’m grooming you. You’re being groomed,” to Matt completely straight faced. It’s not the first instance where I wondered if Christmas Mail would be way better if it didn’t have any dialogue. Not only does it cram in awkward lines like bossman’s back here, it also misses out on some golden opportunities. Kristi acquires a sassy black friend, and not once does she say anything along the lines of “Enough Christmas mail, time for you to get some Christmas male!”
I have to say, Christmas Mail surprised me by having its own charm which I can’t normally find in hastily put together seasonal movies. Matt and Kristi are victim to the Christmas matchmaking trope which is these days more common than the modern adaptations of A Christmas Carol (though if you’ll remember my earlier rants, it’s a move which is probably for the best), but it’s not the exact same trope. For once, originality! It’s only a little but it feels refreshing. Matt isn’t constantly deciding to get a love interest because of some child he’s a single guardian for. Admittedly he is a guardian for his orphaned niece, but if anything he’s not that caring- the guy decides to up and join that band anyway! Yeah, screw that little girl’s education and a true feeling of stability from living in a house instead of a van! You followed your dreams, you responsible adult!
Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.