Another Christmas film, another of Santa’s “only” children- our fourth one so far! Santa must have been making some stops on Christmas Eve, wink wink nudge nudge adultery adultery. This time, we’re focussing on his most legit kid so far: Annie Claus, who lives with her parents at the North Pole. It’s time for this painfully cheerful lady to seek her fortune in the big world, and fate has chosen for her to visit Los Angeles. That’s great news, because LA’s where the film studio is as well! Isn’t that great? Man, I love coincidences!

Annie gets up to all sorts whilst she’s away: she directs a school pageant, brings joy and publicity to a forgotten independent toyshop, and helps a single mum with her self-conscious daughter. Brilliant, fulfilling work, right? Wrong, because Annie’s been taught terrible values and thinks it’s all for naught if she hasn’t snagged a man in the process. Not just any man, either- she’s got to find her “Calvin”. What’s that? Oh, Calvin’s the name of her dad. Yeah. This film should be renamed An Electra Complex for Christmas.

Thankfully, Annie’s found a sensitive lawyer, Dean. He’s got a face like a Ken doll and talks non stop about helping “the orphans”. Turns out it’s all a ploy by Chester, Santa’s second in command, so he can take over the North Pole. I don’t know why he wants to do that, all he seems to be after is a bit of power but with no other changes. Have some imagination, man! Scar knew how to do it, he mixed it up a bit over at Pride Rock. Dean it turns out is just an actor, which you would never have guessed cos he’s wooden as hell. I love his romantic conversations with Annie: “I love lights.” “I love lights!”

i love lamp

Everything turns out for the best in the end, whoop-de-doo. The bitchy pageant kids learn to get along, Annie ends up with a nice guy who doesn’t look like a Ken doll, everyone’s remarkably chill about her being the daughter of Santa. It’s a cutesy film, but it has zero conflict which is a pain. The lack of peril is probably because everybody’s just a bit dim. Still, if you don’t mind unwinding and feeling clever in comparison, I’d give it a go.

Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.

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