Crystal’s life is shallow and frivolous until she discovers a girl’s letter asking Santa for a new mother. But when she decides to play matchmaker (for herself), Crystal is pulled into a Christmas competition for a man and the soup kitchen community he’s created. Will she be discovered as a fraud…or is this holiday redemption her fate?
Opens w/ City Scene
Cute, Precocious Child
Ice Skating Scene
Tree Buy & Trim
Playful Food Fight
The 2011 flick “Dear Santa” has been a staple on our yearly watch list. A movie where a woman comes across a letter to Santa asking for a new mom? The premise pulls on your heartstrings and screams classic Christmas clichés.
When we watched again, knowing we’d have to review for all to read, that yearly tradition started to crumble under our own deep scrutiny.
Flaky rich girl Crystal (Amy Acker, perfectly shallow) shops. That’s all we know about her…well, that and her love for lattes. While eyeing a designer dress in a shop window, a letter to Santa floats into her path. A Cute, Precocious Child asks Santa for a new mom/wife for her Widower father. When Crystal’s parents threaten to cut her off unless she “finds a husband” and/or a job, she decides to creepily stalk said father from the letter, Derek, and winds up inadvertently volunteering at Derek’s soup kitchen to see where fate takes her.
Crystal is intended to be perky and adorable, but her focus on dressing the soup kitchen patrons in designer goods just feels ignorant. We do like the relationship she forms with Derek’s daughter, Olivia, but that feels like the strongest relationship in the film vs. the romantic one between our two leads. At least there are some honestly hostile confrontations between Derek’s kind-of-Evil Fiancé and Crystal, but those also make you question how desperate Derek is to find just about anyone to fill his wifely void.
The only Christmas-y elements surround the Charity Work that is the soup kitchen. When the bank threatens to close the kitchen on Christmas, Crystal aims to keep it open for the sake of love…and to get a stubborn patron to share Christmas dinner indoors. But that angle, plus the sexiest snow plow scene ever seen on screen, is still not enough to rise above the sickeningly surface story.
It’s a movie that hasn’t stood the test of time…or changes in fashion. It feels outdated and lacks that joy that comes from a good Christmas movie.
Rob's Final Take: Not Very Merry
I’ve tried many times, but this movie and I are like oil and water. The story is shallow, Christmas is an after thought, and none of the characters are likable. Other than that...
Jess's Final Take: Not Very Merry
Our yearly viewing has been more about availability and lack of competition than movie quality. It’s trite…and officially off our list.