Part of the Christmas line-up, this darling film has a cute factor that’s off the charts. It borders on ridiculous but also wants to remind us that Christmas is a time to believe in miracles and happiness is a state of being.
Annie Claus is Coming to Town (2011) Hallmark TV Film Review
For generations when a Claus comes of age, they have a rite of passage they are given should they chose to take it. This year, Santa’s daughter, Annie (Maria Thayer) is thrilled to pieces to be taking her sabbatical. Fate choses where it will be and by Christmas, after seeing what is out in the world, Annie will have to choose if she will return to run the family business. A romantic, she has visions of meeting her own prince charming much the same way her mother did but her arrival in L.A. is less than what she expected… until she meets Dean (Ryan Bittle).
Falling easily under his spell, Annie becomes enchanted with him and makes friends with the hotel owner, Lucy (Vivica A. Fox) and her young daughter, Mia. But the part of her that is homesick leads her to a struggling toy shop and its owner (Sam Page). This then makes Annie’s decision more complicated.
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This isn’t an unfamiliar plot (Santa’s kids), and still I actually found myself enjoying this one. (Don’t judge me.) It has more pizzazz than similar scenarios, and a cuter leading man to boot. *wink* Plus there’s plenty of festive cheer to please anyone, and the personality of Annie is quite possibly “perfect.” Her character is enough of a naïve miss to possibly annoy any potential viewer but I found her darling. She was a pleasant mixture of innocence and smart; her spirit touched each of the people she befriended and I appreciated her attitude towards life. So often we forget that life can be what we make of it.
Sure, there’s plenty of things that happen beyond our control but we are also able to decide how that affects our outlook and though none of us are probably quite as chipper as Annie, it’s our attitude that determines most outcomes. Between Lucy (who was hilarious) and her “mini-me” daughter, Mia (what a personality!), and Annie and Ted’s scenes, the characters are what put the sparkle in this film.
Film work is pretty with strings of lights in nearly every frame. At least one error catches my eye in a reversal of events in one sequence of scenes. Beyond this, this is a festooned charmer. The script is subpar with uses of names where there needs to be none and some sappy declarations. Thrown into the mix is an “evil” plot to take over Santa’s village and some mushy romantics a surprise twist. Annie’s styling doesn’t always pair well together but I did love her pretty, vintage dresses and cozy sweaters.
Lacking in too many areas to be thought clever, this story of how Santa’s daughter found love is a keeper in my book. It has wholesome ideals and despite an attempt at an ambiguous ending, a great set of supporting characters.
Content: A character easily manipulates another. Tweens tease and belittle class mates.