Santa’s Workshop is powered by Christmas Spirit. With the addition of tech to Santa’s production, he can measure how much people in the modern world believe — and it’s not looking good. Even worse, Santa (George Buza) is being sued by some a-hole who thinks he is responsible for ruining Christmas! Even the guy who serves the summons to Santa doesn’t believe he’s talking to the big man himself. When Santa shows up in court, he runs into Lily (Helen Colliander), whose dad is a lawyer (Dean Cain) in need of some clients. He’s only been a lawyer for two years and is trying to get established… Badumching, Michael is now Santa’s lawyer because of “Santa senses tingling.” Rachel Blanchard plays Lauren, a babysitter (and probably the love interest) who has belief while Michael has doubts.
Michael: That guy needs a defense lawyer more than anybody I ever met.
Lauren has been in love with Michael for a long time, but “men are really stupid when it comes to love,” as per Santa. Santa ain’t wrong. Lauren feels she’s not girly enough for Michael and he would never have him — but nothing ventured nothing gained, Lauren! Santa seems to have a soft spot for her, delivering the tires that Lauren needs to complete the Ford Galaxy she is restoring for Michael. It’s clear that Lauren does not have any girlfriends or even a life of her own because there is no way that other women wouldn’t tell her to get over that dude and MOVE ON, FRIEND. MOVE ON.
This movie does not pass the Bechdel Test. Production is medium – on par for the year it was made. The acting is waaaaaay better than usual for these movies. Almost universally. Standouts are Dean Cain (if you can believe that) and Rachel Blanchard, who I admittedly have a fondness for because of Clueless the TV show. Costuming is good. Storyline is mediocre, but it has all the usual things you’re looking for in a Christmas movie. This movie is also pretty grief sensitive, no talk of “stages,” but simple recognition that grief is long and complex.
Michael: Do you think I am in ‘an emotional holding pattern’?
Lauren: Michael, I think you lost your wife not that long ago.
Michael: Is that your polite way of saying yes?
Lauren: I think you’d feel a lot better if you opened up to someone.
That’s solid advice!
The nasty lawyers try to woo Michael away from the case with money and security for himself and Lily. Capitalists be capitalizing. But Lily and Lauren, and Michael himself, are already attached to dear Santa. Will Michael make the right choice? Will Christmas be saved? Will evil capitalists change their ways? In the real world, no. But only time shall tell in this cheesy movie that centers around the power of belief and, of course, the real meaning of Christmas. (Answer: magic.)