Mary is a workaholic consultant who just happens to be Santa Claus’s daughter. But when her dad falls ill weeks before Christmas, Mary returns to the North Pole to take over and save the season. Will her fresh ideas finally bring Santa’s workshop into the 21st century…or will she realize that tradition is more important than the bottom line.
Small-Town Guy Who Works w/ Hands
Never has a divide been more clear: Rob likes “Santa Baby” while Jess hates it. (Scratch that. “Snow” could be more divisive. We’ll see if we ever get around to reviewing it to explain why.)
“Santa Baby” is from 2006, an era when made-for-TV Christmas movies were few and far between. You can usually find it on any streaming service. Add it to your list at your pleasure…or peril.
Career-Driven Mary Class (Jenny McCarthy, in her heyday) has no problem working over the holidays and dragging her loyal assistant, Donna, along with her. Her consulting business is on fire as is her highly scheduled relationship. When her father has a heart attack, business is on hold. A trip to Polaris, Alaska in early December is Mary’s new priority.
Draped in wool and down, Mary and Donna have Mary’s hometown ex (Rekindled Romance in the cards?) dogsled them through a cavern, and they appear in a village plagued with elves. Is Mary’s dad…Santa?
Santa’s focused on recovery, so Mary takes over “The Christmas Drill,” using her business savvy to drive innovation and efficiencies in the North Pole. No more reading aloud letters to Santa—instead, she hires an IT guy to automate the requests and the Naughty/Nice list. And hand-built toys are no match for the blueprints of Mary’s machine. What’s good for business takes a toll on Mary’s already strained relationship with her father. And having her city boyfriend (and soon-to-be Evil Fiancé) show up unannounced doesn’t help.
We both agree it’s a cute premise. Modernity comes to the North Pole? Sign us up! But it’s tactical approach to Christmas is all toys and no joy(s).
The main issue is the elves. Oh, the annoying, oafish, idiotic, offensive elves. Their high-pitched voices and screwball comedic elements are unneeded and ruin every scene they’re in. Jess also had a big problem with George Wendt at Santa. He has a bitter take on Santa and is a bit entitled. That isn’t the warm and jovial man-in-red we love.
The highlight is the brief blossoming romance between assistant Donna and new IT Guy, Bob. You go get it, Donna.
It is a classic in the genre, so if you haven’t seen it, give it a go. But we’ve warned you about the elves.
Rob’s Final Take: Merry
There’s a lot to dislike, especially the elves’ stupid slapstick. But Jenny McCarthy (?!) brings an edge that this genre desperately needs. Give it a shot.
Jess’s Final Take: Not Very Merry
I get forced to watch this movie every year and still hate it. Santa isn’t jolly, Christmas isn’t important, and the elves are the worst.