You might remember director Harvey Frost from such festive crap as All I Want for Christmas (2007), the film which wasn’t Modern Family and which I’d forgotten I’d already watched two years ago. Turns out that All I Want for Christmas isn’t the only incredibly dated film from the Noughties in Frost’s repertoire!
Meet the Santas is actually a sequel to the 2004 film Single Santa Seeks Mrs Claus. Don’t worry, you don’t need any prior knowledge because a small child sums up the plot line within the first five minutes of this film. Man, I love when people have to remind you what happened in a film, it really implies the original was memorable! To get you up to speed, Steve Gutenburg romances widowed mum Elizabeth because he’s the next Santa and he needs a wife to be the jolly guy. I’m guessing there were delightful misunderstandings, he maybe gives her a gift from her childhood (which seems to win every woman over in every film ever), she worries about how her son will take it, he’s absolutely fine because Santa, duh. The sequel focuses on their wedding. For some reason, Elizabeth and son can’t visit the North Pole unless she’s married to Gutenburg (which makes me wonder what kind of polygamous set-up is going on up there for all the elves to be allowed in). Elizabeth asks for help from her emotionally cold mother, who doesn’t believe in Santa (like most people in their 50s+). She doesn’t know about the whole marrying Santa situation, which should lead to some wacky mishaps!
It doesn’t lead to any wacky mishaps. He puts up some tinsel whilst she isn’t looking and she makes him eat food he doesn’t like, that’s literally it. I mean, the mother’s a cruel character and her “could be Jennifer Saunders if I squint” made me imagine how great a villain Saunders can play, so I disliked the character, but that didn’t mean I actually liked any of the other characters. Gutenberg’s Santa laugh is annoying as hell, with or without the red suit, and Elizabeth’s not that much of a catch either. After all, if her mother’s housemaid was her “babysitter and her best friend”, and she can’t land a guy other than the one man a lot of the world don’t believe in, maybe she’s not that nice? Seriously, maybe Elizabeth’s a bit of a dick.
You’re left to ponder all these big questions whilst the sax soundtrack could have come out of a Wii Music demo (yes, that bad), and the script comes out with lines like “it’s beginning to look a lot not like Christmas”. Despite the title, Meet the Santas, we barely see the Santas for five minutes. Why didn’t they come to stay and have some real culture clash comedy? The nearest we get to anything even midway cheeky is a cake mould which looks pretty phallic on the wall of the kitchen. I wouldn’t bother watching it for that though.
Rating: Ho/Ho Ho Ho.