5.5/10
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7 user 3 critic

A Different Kind of Christmas (1996)

When you're the city attorney you don't need the kinds of problems that her father was giving her. After her mother died, her father began doing his "Santa Schick," as she called it, much ... See full summary »

Director:

Tom McLoughlin

Writer:

Bart Baker
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shelley Long ... Elizabeth Gates
Barry Bostwick ... Frank Mallory
Nathan Lawrence ... Tommy Gates
Nancy McLoughlin Nancy McLoughlin ... Susan
Michael E. Knight ... Alan Schaefer
Bruce Kirby ... Santa
Richard K. Olsen ... Henry
Janell McLeod Janell McLeod ... Fran
Keith Flippen ... Michael
Rebecca Koon ... Marguerite
Troy Simmons Troy Simmons ... Lester
Wells Struble Wells Struble ... Charlie
John Pontrelli John Pontrelli ... Homeless Father
Kelly Wilson Kelly Wilson ... Receptionist
Larry Parks Larry Parks ... Mover (as Barry Bell)
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Storyline

When you're the city attorney you don't need the kinds of problems that her father was giving her. After her mother died, her father began doing his "Santa Schick," as she called it, much more intensely... which meant that he turned his home into a kind of year-round Santa Claus castle where children of all ages could come to see the wonderful presents and no child ever left without a gift. But what's wrong with this kind of philanthropic generosity was that it totally embarrassed her when, as city attorney, it fell to her to make him stop his 'commercial' enterprise in an area zoned for private homes. But there's more to it than that and the outcome is not quite what you'd expect. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Santa Claus - A Neighbor from Heaven or Hell?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Biography Channel TV-Series, Celebrity Ghost Stories (2008), actress Shelley Long tells a story about a behind-the-scenes haunting experience which occurred at the Wilmington Courthouse in which she filmed at for this movie. See more »

User Reviews

 
problematic story
3 December 2019 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Long-time Santa Robert George has set up his home like he's the real Santa Claus all year around. He invites everybody to visit. The kids believe again. City attorney Elizabeth Gates (Shelley Long) fights bad developers and plans to run for mayor. Her hard-hitting reporter boyfriend Frank Mallory (Barry Bostwick) does a story on the Santa house and it becomes a popular destination. The neighbors are not happy and Elizabeth is bombarded with complaints.

Elizabeth's character doesn't make sense. I can accept that she is so clueless that she can shut down Santa. Once that happens, she should be working overtime to smooth over the situation. It can be excused by the big reveal but that only makes her original shutdown much more reckless. That scene needs more to set up the eventual reveal. Maybe she can recognize him at the last minute and sends in a cop to do the deed. She needs to sell that moment. In the end, the solution should be easy despite the family dysfunction. If he needs to be Santa, set him up in City Hall and get him out of the neighborhood. Non of this story makes political sense. With some rewrites, this premise could work but it needs a lot of fixing.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Santa and Me See more »

Filming Locations:

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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