I see enough Christmas movies each year to realize that, like romantic comedies they are all nearly the exact carbon-copy of each other. This movie is one of the silliest little holiday flicks I’ve seen but at the same time, it makes me smile with such pleasure.
Christmas Mail (2010) TV Film Review
Letters to Santa mark the beginning of a magical season full of joy, twinkle lights and the people that we love most around us. For Matt (A.J. Buckley) all these letters signify is more work. As a postal worker, the holiday season means the start of a longer day. An aspiring guitarist who left his free-spirit band mates and days on the road behind in order to take custody of and care for his precocious niece Emily, Matt is determined to give his niece a stable environment to grow up in. Little does Matt know that Emily is writing Santa for something more – this year she wants only her beloved Uncle’s happiness… and someone who can make their family feel complete.
Kristi North (Ashley Scott) spends her life on “special assignment” from the USPS replying to children’s letters to Santa. She travels from place to place, year after year doing her part to bring Christmas joy to the world. This year her assignment is the post office branch that employs Matt. Relationships are not something Kristi is good at. She never learns to drive and has a heart of gold and despite all of his rules, the most unexpected thing to walk into his life draws Matt in. Now, with Christmas approaching Matt has to discover how best to raise Emily – and maybe find something he has been missing.
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This is probably the cutest Christmas flick that I’ve seen this year. It radiates a kind of magical quality that is sappy but also really endearing. It boasts stars who are in more than just low-budget films. A.J has appeared in CSI: NY and you may remember Ashley from 12 Rounds, and it tells a story that if put in different hands really had a lot of potential. Don’t get me wrong, the way that Christmas Mail turns out is cute but had it been given more time (likely it was a quick shoot), this one really has heart.
Two things annoy me. Matt spying on Kristi for his boss is a little too goofy; especially since the boss is a little… well, fruity (for laughs). That plot could be better (because its cliché). Secondly, Kristi is an adorable character; she sparkles with happiness but that cheeriness can be annoying when it carries too far. Her consistent perkiness is all for a reason (bet you can guess why!) but still, I think the character could be played a bit less… perky. Nevertheless, she’s a sweet character, and she and Matt are adorable together with so many moments together that make you want to sigh with pleasure at their engaging friendship. Still despite that, we probably could all learn something from Kristi. The opening of this movie does throw its viewer; three minutes pass with nary a word of dialogue.
Something in the tradition of Christmas Lodge, this is a movie that follows in Hallmark’s footsteps. If you are looking for something new this season to enjoy, check out this charmer. Sure, it’s full of clichés, but this is one ‘letter’ that is hard to resist.
Content: Christmas Mail hardly merits more than a TVPG-rating. Emily tries to fix her uncle up; there’s one question about how long since he’s had sex. One implication wonders if Kristi is a homosexual [she isn’t]. Someone plays a mean trick.