I don’t know whose bright idea it was to make a film which starts with Santa having a heart attack. I have even less of an idea which people let that slide. Why are you giving Santa a heart attack? Kids love that guy, you can’t nearly kill him! Stocking full of coal for this writer.

Still, to make amends, Santa’s daughter Mary travels up to Polaris to take over the family business. Who’s playing Mary? Why, it’s Jenny McCarthy! You know, wholesome family film actress Jenny McCarthy. Her previous roles include the hot mum in John Tucker Must Die, the hot girl in Scary Movie 3, and herself in Playmate of the Year: 1994. Typecasting shouldn’t hold McCarthy back, and to her credit she does go for it as the businesswoman-turned-present bringer. When she isn’t turning around into a wind machine and smouldering (which for real happens at least twice but I gather that’s part and parcel of being a Hollywood Hot Person), she’s giving motivational speeches. “Let’s take the elf out of selfish”. Hang on, I thought normally you put the “elf” into “self-sustaining business”? Is she saying that the elves are selfish and she’s taking the name out to stop their constant cake breaks? Is she saying that the word should be “sish”? Is her “accidental” spitting of hot cocoa into an elf’s face actually a distraction from how terrible a speech she gave?

Look at that stance. That's the stance of somebody who doesn't mind throwing some cocoa.
Look at that stance. That’s the stance of somebody who doesn’t mind throwing some cocoa around.

We never find out, but we do see how annoying the elves are to work with. They’re always slacking off and cheering for no reason, and the people she gets in actually do their jobs. I’m not saying that she should make all these elves redundant just a week before Christmas, but I am saying they should be having regular reviews on their poor performance. Santa, wheeling himself through the workshop, disapproves of the new methods (ie. efficiency) and argues that it’s all “tradition”.

It isn’t tradition which wins Mary over, but an old flame in her home town. Now isn’t that always the way? In seasonal movies, I mean- because I’ve never heard of anybody getting back together with a high school sweetheart after years. Staying together and getting married, I’ve heard of those. But if you broke up, maybe there’s a reason? I mean, his “old seduction kit” is a superimposed bench and some beers, which is hardly romantic. Yes, the chemistry between them is nice, but the whole awkwardness of her business boyfriend coming to visit and then turning evil so the audience won’t feel guilty for wanting Mary to cheat feels unnecessary.

I think out of all the films with Santa’s children in them, this is one of my least favourites. It doesn’t really try anything new, except for introducing elves who know terrible karate which is no Oscar-winner. Also, the song Santa Baby is played for all of thirty seconds, and relates to a sub-sub-plot. Not even the main sub-plot. Boo.

Rating: Ho/Ho Ho Ho.

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