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This film follows a typical Hallmark movie plot, which is "The Big Christmas Event Is In Jeopardy." There is a sub-plot of "Let's See If Two Strangers In A Fix Fall In Love."
Jodie Sweetin plays Grace, who lives happily in a small town running her deceased parents' year-round Christmas store. Grace also organizes the annual Christmas Parade, which has become so good that a big city TV show wants to televise it this year. The Santa who always heads the parade makes Santa his family business, and plays the perfect St. Nick.
Unfortunately, a mishap occurs and Original Santa is suddenly out of commission. A local casting call for a replacement fails miserably. The TV spot is on the line, as well as the town's economic resurgence everyone was hoping for.
Original Santa reveals that his son, Ben, is trained in the family Santa business and perhaps might fill in. Ben, however, is now a freelance writer in not-so-far Boston. He flatly turns down the request. Somehow the family business is a bit of bitter baggage for Ben, who prefers to be a reindeer's behind instead of letting a one- time Santa gig interfere with his independence.
Unfortunately the movie drags viewers through Grace's Herculean efforts to bring Ben back to his hometown and convince him to take two hours out of his busy schedule to save the day. Ben and Grace seem to hit it off as the big Santa-less event approaches. Ben is a young super- looks guy who has no resemblance to a traditional Santa, so, again, why all the effort to recruit him for TV? There is a scene where he demonstrates his Santa-like persona to some children; somehow that is supposed to reinforce why Grace wants him to be The Big Red One. It falls short. After all, the job consists only of waving at fans for one parade. As it becomes apparent to anyone not in the movie that there is absolutely no logical reason for Ben's continued refusal, it becomes a lesson in not letting civic charity get in the way of your selfish aspirations. Ben even tries to convince Grace that she must be unhappy carrying on her family legacy, and should bust out of the joint.
If you want to sit through this to see how it all plays out, be my guest. Jodie is an excellent actress. The movie is beautifully filmed. The music is better then the typical annoying cues in many Hallmark movies that lamely attempt to supplement strained humor. Accordingly, I gave it three stars instead of none. Be forewarned, though; this is about as dumb as plot conflicts get.
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