Recap: Becoming Santa (2015)

poster

Why the hell is Jack Frost not in this poster?

Connor is a crappy toymaker who really wants to propose to his girlfriend Holly, a very perky veterinarian. It’s their favourite time of year, Christmas, and he’s super keen to make it official…except there’s just one problem: he needs to meet her parents (for the first time) and ask her dad’s permission. Holly gets all cagey about this, protesting that Christmas is the busiest season for her parents, so a visit is out of the question. Connor (a very affable Jesse Hutch) is like, “Let’s visit them instead then!” Holly is hesitant but finally accepts.

So, what makes Connor a crappy toymaker? Well, for starters, he makes a boring wooden dog with a spring tail straight out of the 1950s and tries to market it to a bunch of techie kids who ask things like, “Does it come with an app?” His boss is unimpressed with his dog and lack of marketing skills. In fact, Connor’s inability to close means that the company Christmas party is now cancelled so everyone can come up with a new toy idea instead. This makes zero sense, but his boss also does this weird move in front of the kids, so I’m not even mad.

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Connor is disheartened by his old-fashioned toymaking ways not being accepted by the youths of today.

So, Holly (Laura Bell Bundy) evasively explains to Connor that her parents live “way, way up North” – past Nunavut, even! And yet, you’d think it was a chilly day in October when they show up at the airport to meet her Uncle Mario, who’s there to take them the rest of the way. Connor is the only reasonably-dressed person in this photo.

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Here’s where things start to get wacky. Holly has minor magical abilities, including  “enchanting” a cup of hot cocoa for Connor in the car, which essentially roofies him so he won’t realize where they’re going. Connor is going to have the worst case of whiplash for the rest of his trip.

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It’s now evening and Connor is waking up, alone in the car. Holly is really not a great girlfriend. All of a sudden, her parents Nick and Jessica Claus (not pronounced as Klaus like Connor had thought), roll up to greet him. Nick and Jessica are played by Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter, aka Steven and Elyse Keaton from Family Ties. 

So, we find out that Holly’s been keeping her I’m-Santa’s-daughter thing a total secret from her boyfriend, and Mama Claus is pretty disapproving of it. She’s surprised that Holly never ended up with Jack, who we will absolutely get to later. Meanwhile, Nick is showing Connor his reindeer in the barn (not a euphemism) when Holly races in to lie about why they own reindeer at all.

Later that night, Holly takes Connor up to see the Northern Lights and accidentally lets it slip that they are, in fact, in the North Pole. He loves it, but she still doesn’t take this time to tell him the whole truth.

The next morning, Nick and Holly are reviewing people’s Christmas wishlists over breakfast (naturally) when who should waltz his 90s hockey/squash/tennis player-looking Swedish ass into the house is Jack fuckin’ Frost. This guy is insane. Let’s just all take a real good look.

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He’s even got a strip of “frosted” blue hair down those beautiful locks. I’m obsessed. He brings the movie up several notches with his varying blue/grey outfits.

Anyway, Jack Frost (Tony Cavalero) comes in and immediately begins making advances on Holly, and how she used to be “his girl” (in like, high school). Then completely out of nowhere, he throws a snowball from out of thin air straight at Connor, who’s totally dumbfounded by this crazy-eyed dreamboat. If you’re wondering how Jack knew that Holly was even home, well that question is solved when he explains that the doves hanging around the Claus Haus are big gossipers.

Connor is working on his speech to ask for Holly’s hand, but gets bored and on Nick’s sneaky suggestion, tries “Santa’s Sherry.” Instead of drinking some sweet-ass booze by himself, well…this happens.

He finds himself in the basement: the elves workshop. This sets off an intruder alarm, so all the elves freak the fuck out and tie him up in Christmas lights. Holly and Mario run in to help him, and she’s finally forced to tell him the truth: her parents are Santa and Mrs Claus and she’s Santa’s daughter.

He.

Loves.

It.

Totally over the moon with this! His favourite time of year is Christmas, why wouldn’t he love it! Then a dawning realization: he has to ask Santa Claus for permission to marry his daughter. But it all turns out fine, naturally; Nick says yes while Holly and Jessica secretly watch.

Then he immediately fucking proposes to Holly, so he sure wasn’t waiting for any other special moment, I guess. She happily accepts, everyone’s thrilled, and the credits roll.

Except for just one minor thing that Holly once again neglected to mention: the legacy of becoming Santa passes on to the future son-in-law. Jessica reminds Holly that she had to whip Nick into shape to become a good Santa, but Holly’s worried that Connor won’t be able to cut it. Time to put him through some classic Santa tasks without him knowing! Fun!

But first, apropos of nothing, Uncle Mario shows Connor a tour of the factory, ending with a glimpse at some time/space warp contraption in which you can simply transport yourself back to your house.

Test #1: Eat a shitload of Christmas cookies

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He’s doing well, but then starts to fade pretty fast and feel sick to his stomach. The devil himself, a cowl-necked Jack Frost, shows up to speed-eat the fuck outta Jessica’s cookies (also not a euphemism) and then later, when they’re alone, get into Holly’s ear about how Connor’s not cut out for the job.

Test #2: Chimney Sliding

Jack greets him up on the roof in the world’s most unnatural pose.9

He slides down the Claus chimney with ease, but Connor gets stuck halfway down, prompting Jessica to say she needs to “melt butter” to get him out. Aren’t you guys MAGICAL?!

That night, Holly finds a despondent Connor working in vain on his old wooden dog (sadly, not a euphemism either); she tries to cheer him up by saying that sometimes, kids don’t see the potential in a toy until it’s put into their hands. You just gotta get it into their hands and they’ll take it from there.

Test #3: Being Sneaky

This just consists of Connor sneaking through the factory while the elves are on “siesta” (sleeping at their stations) to grab some random items. He totally fails this, waking every single elf up immediately.

Despite his consistent failures, Connor tells Holly he wants to marry her…on Christmas Day, which is less than a week away! Jack Frost, skulking outside, overhears this and freezes his bouquet of flowers for Holly in a weird rage.

Test #4: Test Drive the Sleigh

This one goes well until Jack Frost, creeping by again, hits the sleigh with one of his snowballs, causing it to sputter out and die before Connor can get it off the ground. Nick confides in Connor that he flunked “rooftop parallel parking” seven times before passing.

Later on, Jack Frost finds Connor alone in his room and “accidentally” reveals that Santa’s legacy passes to the son-in-law, like he’s the mean girl in a high school movie.

When Holly and her parents come home, Jack lies that Connor’s sleeping so Holly shouldn’t disturb him. They all drink hot cider, reminisce about the good old times, and sing some carols. I mean…

Obviously, Connor watches in secret and decides then and there that he’s no match for Mr. Frosted Tips. He packs his things, leaves Holly a letter, and uses that time/space warp contraption to teleport himself back home.

Holly discovers the letter (he’s all, you and the children deserve a better Santa, etc) and cries to Mario that she feels bad for ever doubting Connor at all. Meanwhile, back at the toy company, Connor throws his wooden dog out in the trash.

Jack Frost is still trying to woo Holly, shitting on Connor for bailing and then gives her a big-ass snowflake ring, telling her they’re meant for each other. But REALLY, he’s got his eyes on that sweet Santa gig.

Back at the company, Connor watches in amazement as some poor young girl picks the dog out of the trash (?!) to look at it. Lightbulb!

Holly finds Jack Frost trying on Santa’s suit and talking to himself (or rather, imagining himself telling everyone “all of you are naughty,” which is fucking hilarious). I’d like to add a point that during some scene, Nick mentions that Jack Frost is on the Nice List, which I find EXTREMELY hard to believe. She tells Jack he’s never going to become Santa, because she’s going to take over instead. I’m cheering this on when Jack starts ripping on her mom’s cookies, only for Jessica to overhear, and they all kick him out. Bye, Jack!

Let’s wrap this baby up: Connor begs his boss to get one more focus group with the kids for his dumb dog toy. Instead of trying to sell it to them, he rips a tablet out of a kid’s hands and gives them the dog. This turns into mayhem wherein all the kids are trying to play with the dog all at once. Success! The boss wants to order a bunch just in time for Christmas (this toy company has no idea how a toy company actually works, of course) and is horrified to see Connor unconsciously speed-eat a coworker’s plate of donuts. Connor realizes that he’s becoming Santa without even trying! He literally runs out, screaming Merry Christmas, and clicks his heels together before leaving his job forever. What a way to go, I guess. He calls Mario to pick him up at the airport, because I’m sure Uncle Mario has nothing better to do right before Christmas than pick him up after his rash decision of leaving!

ANYWAY, Connor shows up in the nick of time and apologizes to Holly for not simply talking to her about his lack of confidence. They decide that they’re going to share Santa’s duties. They fly off in the night with Santa, who’s grossly into watching his daughter make out with her fiance.

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He winks at us and we’re out!

THE END

4 Rating

I mean, it had Jack Frost as the most ridiculous villain. Of course it was great.

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