Santa’s elf is coming to town.


Okay, needed to get that off my chest before heading into this recap. The character in question is ten, and I am a curmudgeon who would never tell a child Santa was real in the first place. So yeah, I think the kid’s a loser. But of course, in the world of the dreaded “Santa really exists!” Christmas film, my protests have no merit.

The movie is Northpole. Yes, spelled as one word. Because I guess that’s the name of the city at the North Pole? I don’t fucking know. We’re trapped in one of those stories about how sad kids down south are killing snow magic or something, there’s an elf named Clementine, Santa has a horrible fake beard and looks like he’s been on the Atkins, and Mrs. Santa has clearly had Botox.

Hallmark has been obsessively promoting this film as if they’re the first to ever think of making a Christmas movie that features Santa. I mean, they are the only ones to do so using Tiffani Thiessen, that I know of, so that’s something. (FUN FACT: little Brandi once wrote a fan letter to Tiffani [-Amber] Thiessen and received a signed photo in exchange. Those were the days.) She is Chelsea Hastings, single mom to Kevin Hastings, new kid in school. She’s also a reporter, and her first major scoop at her new paper is… a story about a tree-lighting ceremony that’s been cancelled! This town has no Christmas spirit! We all hear Kirk Cameron’s cries echoing across the lands. A WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!

Thank Santa there’s an elf on the way.

While Chelsea stalks the mayor and finds a possible connection between the neglect of Christmas Tree Park and a planned new development, Clementine stalks Kevin into helping her with her elf biz, restoring joy and whatnot. Of course no one believes him that the elf is real, but they’ll all come around soon enough. (Sidenote: Clementine has a mom. Is this the first time anyone has admitted that elves definitely procreate and aren’t just created via Santa’s beard magic or whatevs? Is this the first-ever hint that elves have sex?? THIS IS A FAMILY FILM! No one tell Kirk Cameron about this!!)

"Northpole" Hallmark Channel

Thank god there’s at least a cute teacher involved in this stew: Kevin’s teacher, Ryan (played by Josh Hopkins, also Grayson from Cougar Town, a show I will defend to my grave). But he’s too fun-loving for serious Chelsea, which means she’s weirdly rude to him when he does nice things like helping her carry her Christmas tree or humoring the blathering of her freak of a son. DON’T WORRY, she’ll be discovering her inner child again by the end of this adventure.

With Chelsea accepting Clementine as a friend from school Kevin just weirdly likes believing is an elf (unclear why teacher Ryan doesn’t point out he’s never seen this kid before), they all work together to save the Christmas tree lighting. Except they have to do like no work on that front, because the assumed-to-be-Scrooge-y development guy never wanted to pave over the park at all — he wanted to restore it in his sister’s memory. And so, Chelsea learns a lesson about seeing the good in people instead of assuming the worst! She lightens up and finds her own ~~~Christmas spirit~~~. We do have to endure some more chatter about the mayor not wanting to give a permit for the lighting or somesuch, but you’ll forgive me for focusing more on my drink than the movie at that point.

Anyway, eventually the whole town shows up at the park on Christmas Eve, there’s gospel singing, a couple firefighters are all “Permits? We don’t need no stinking permits!” and Clementine flies away on her mini sleigh, which provokes surprisingly little reaction from Chelsea and Ryan, who’ve just learned that elves are real but respond as if they’ve been told they’ve been drinking Diet Sprite all along.


You can tell I’m not a fan of the “family” brand of Hallmark films as opposed to the straight-romance variety, but this is a reasonably pleasant movie, even if surprisingly little actually happens. The cast is enjoyable, and that’s half the battle. Still, I don’t understand why Hallmark has been so obsessed with this one — to the point where the end of the premiere was an announcement for a sequel during next year’s line-up. IT’S NOT THAT GOOD, HALLMARK. I’d much rather see The Further Adventures of Brandon Routh and His Matchmaking Cat.

Countdown to Christmas scorecard:
*female lead’s name is a Christmas reference: 3/4 films
*female lead gets fired: 1/4 (Though she briefly quits in this one.)
*male lead has sad childhood Christmas memories: 1/4
*romantic ice skating scene: 2/4
*romantic tree decorating scene: 2/4
*character comes to senses after heart-to-heart talk with father figure: 2/4
*dead parents: 2/4 (Here we get refreshing talk about her deadbeat ex! Much more realistic.)


1 Response to “Santa’s elf is coming to town.”

  1. 1 maliaann November 19, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Reblogged this on Writing for the Whole Darn Universe and commented:
    Some Christmas movie snark! :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Other projects:

Downton Gabby: podcasting about Downton Abbey from a funny, foul-mouthed, feminist perspective

Quick Lit: reading one short story a day in 2015

Grand Dames: collecting sundry achievements of admirable women

The MacGuffin: archive of my days as a film critic

I love Twitter.



%d bloggers like this: