The Clauses’ marriage is on the rocks and it’s not the first film where this has happened. What is it with the Christmas couple going stale? What about “staying together for the elves” makes Lifetime think “yep, the kids are gonna love this!”

The film opens with Mrs Claus complaining about Santa no longer touching her dumplings- the script’s exact words. I mean I get the double entendre but is that referring to…is it boobs? Is it a bum? I don’t see how anyone would be happy if either were called their “dumplings”…I digress. It’s their 500th wedding anniversary, and everybody’s too grossed out about the dumplings metaphor to ask what the deal is with Santa and Mrs Claus being immortal I guess.

But never mind how they’re still alive, Mrs Claus has a letter to read! A little girl in Las Vegas wants her mum to find love, so off Mrs Claus goes. Personally I found the letter a bit condescending: “Mom’s name is Noelle. In French that means Christmas.” Did you forget who you’re writing to, small child? She’s married to Mr Christmas. Get outta here.

Mrs Claus gets away super easy (bypassing all two of the elves at the North Pole) and uses magic sparkle dust to look like Cher from Clueless but also in her forties? It’s a good look for her. Santa follows (transforming from lumberjack to blackjack chic) and oh boy, the capers from there-!

Actually there are surprisingly few capers. The couple somehow don’t spot one another’s younger selves but we do meet Noelle (that’s French for Christmas) who’s a maitre d’ on the Vegas strip. She’s clearly going to get with the cowboy bartender but for some reason she keeps telling him how easy he is and how many girls he’s slept with. Way to neg, Noelle! Your name’s French for Christmas but your attitude’s French for…no, this snarky comment ran away from me. (Fun fact: Noelle is no other than Chelsea from Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire! She’s no longer rocking that jacket.)

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But the jacket suited you so much!

The film is made almost too well, but its main problem is who the target audience are meant to be. Is it for kids or adults? Honestly, it’s all puppies and hookers with no middle ground. Admittedly the hooker has a heart of gold and the puppy is what I call a “lovely dog” (which those of you who’ve seen me absent mindedly Google “lovely dogs” know is a big honour), but the Clauses have their vows renewed by fake Elvis. Maybe that’s what the Clauses need to save their marriage. As they zoom off in their flying limo and giggle about the sex they’ll have in their younger bodies, we learn that it’s okay to be a little tacky at Christmas.

Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.

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