Good Story and Acting
A down and out young woman finds a new lease on life when she becomes a Secret Santa’s head elf.
Right off the bat, I did not like the male lead. I did not like the character or the actor. His dishonest and harmful brand of journalism and snotty behavior towards the fact-checker that called him out on it showed that he was not a good man. And he even looked like kind of an immature smart-aleck. Since part of the plot was his eventual rehabilitation, though, the character and the actor grew on me. I guess I’m used to the Hallmark heroes who are almost always knights in shining armor from the get-go, even though they may be disguised by grief or hurt.
On the other hand, Bruce Davison and Kari Hawker-Diaz more than made up for the initial weakness of the male lead. Oscar-nominated and New York Film Critics and Golden Globe-winning actor Bruce Davison needs no praise from me on his acting. These little TV movies are blessed that he isn’t snobby about the roles he takes. Gee, I guess he just loves to act and wants to work. About a half-hour into the movie, I realized that Kari not only reminded me of Sandra Bullock, but sounded like her too. And her character took me back to the sad, struggling, and lonely Lucy of While You Were Sleeping. So she already had a head-start with me on the likability scale.
The idea of the movie, that, a modest humble man who is a **spoiler alert*** secret millionaire,**end spoiler** roams the city looking for people who need a helping hand was a real winner. I loved the idea that he recruited “elves” to help him find worthy recipients of his bounty as well. When one of them turned out to be Francine, the fact-checker who had Will’s number it was a good surprise. “He’s always on the lookout for a future ex-girlfriend.” Of course, our hero, rightly and satisfyingly demoted due to his shoddy journalism, (in real life he probably would have gotten a raise) and trying to win back his former position, threatens to expose “Nick” and ruin his mission. There were quite a few genuinely touching moments in this warm-hearted movie as well as some humor. The romance took second stage and mostly served to provide our heroine with closure and the resolution of her challenges. I’ve seen worse though!
November 25, 2021