A lead who can actually act well? A plot which is quite original and pretty interesting? Oh ABC, you’re treating me! Did you forget this is a generally pants genre?

We follow Krissy Kringle- which means yes, you do have to put up with three iterations of the conversation, “Krissy Kringle?” “…yes.” “As in, Kris Kringle?” “…yes” “And you live on Candy Cane Lane?” Get used to that tired exchange. I can’t decide if the writing’s really lazy or actually clever because I was getting as pissed off as Krissy with each conversation. If it’s the latter, we’re dealing with the Yogi bear of Christmas films in that it is smarter than the average bear seasonal movie.

Krissy also receives a shit ton of post from children addressed to Santa. In a refreshing move away from Christmas Mail-esque fluff, writers make the bold move to not make Krissy the daughter of Santa- or a Scrooge like character either! Whaaaat? No tropes for this film, thanks, The Man! They’re not going to fit into your moulds!

Well…there is still a bit of fitting into the mould. Krissy’s mum wants her to get married (Pushy Mum Klaxon is sounding), leading to five minutes of awkward as shit silence with Krissy and her lawyer boyfriend  which is so long I thought the film was buffering. Ooh, also the boyfriend is always busy in the evenings- cause for concern in these films, am I right? He’s totally geared up to be cheating on her.

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Yes? No? He doesn’t look like a generic douchebag though. I’m so conflicted.

After getting told off by her parents for not emulating their life in every way, and by her neighbours for not having put up Christmas decorations (“have some respect” says a lady with an oh-so tasteful LED baby Jesus on her lawn), Krissy is just about done. So is her boss’ Australian accent- I love how the script loses faith in him being Australian, it’s like he watched Crocodile Dundee one time and decided to wing it. Suddenly she works out that she’s received Santa’s Naughty or Nice book, which reveals everyone’s bad habits. Like a teenager who’s only seen the first half of Mean Girls, she uses this magical Burn Book to get pay rises and free coffee. Unfortunately, she has to grow as a person and learn that this isn’t the way forward- though it’s totally working in her favour. Flip side of the book shows the nice side of people- ahh, you’re thinking, there are two sides to every story. And don’t worry if you weren’t thinking that, because characters will go on to say that exact phrase several times for the rest of the film.

Despite the super repetitive bits, I’ve got to praise the film for not falling down lazy pitfalls- shock horror, the lawyer busy-all-the-time boyfriend isn’t cheating on her after all! She does however run into his office during a meeting to accuse him of such, and a few days later to take back her accusation through more yelling. Likewise, Krissy has a male co-worker/friend who isn’t gay but also isn’t attracted to her??? Ironically this magical book film is way realistic. Also, the lead actress’ eyebrows are very expressive- or at least I imagine they are, because I made two separate notes that just read “eyebrows”. So nice I wrote it twice.

Yes, there’s still lots of hammy acting and stupid lines (“You’re the nightmare before Christmas, Krissy!” er no, she’s clearly just pissed off about having a terrible novelty name), but there’s actual quality hidden in there too! Sneaky, I like it.

Rating: Ho Ho Ho/ Ho Ho Ho.

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