Movie Review: Annie Claus is Coming to Town (2011)
Synopsis: After spending her full life in the North Pole helping her father, Santa, run his toy workshop, Annie is given the opportunity to take a sabbatical to randomly-chosen Los Angeles. She has until Christmas to decide if she wants to remain in California or return to the North Pole and eventually take over when her father retires. However, one of Santa's elves, who has aspirations to be the next Santa, tries to put the odds in his favor by paying an actor to steal Annie's heart.
Who's in it? The movie stars Maria Thayer, Sam Page, Ryan Bittle, Vivica A. Fox and Nay Nay Kirby.
Review: I came across this movie yesterday morning and added it to my library. Since we had a little time before bed last night, my wife and I wound up watching it and ended up enjoying it a lot more than expected.
There are a couple things that really stood out for me when watching this film. One of them had to be Annie (Thayer) herself. She was such a likable character and, while she had just enough naievty to make the plot happen, the movie made sure to portray her in a way that made it easy to respect her intelligence as much as her kindness by putting her in situations that let her use her expertise in toymaking and music to benefit those around her.
I also have to admit, the movie was less predictable than I thought it would be, especially when it came to the budding love story between her and toy store owner, Ted (Page). I had very little doubt she would choose him over the pretend suitor, Dean (Bittle) but since that romance potentially created the same result of her not returning to the North Pole and allowing the plotting Chester (Matt Winston) to take over. Since Ted was working so hard to keep his own father's business open, I also wasn't sure if he would be willing to move to the North Pole with her.
The part about her and Dean also honestly ended up being much more entertaining than I expected. At first, I thought he would wind up being a bit on the dumb side, making Annie fall in love with him seem less believable. However, while he obviously wasn't the brightest person in this movie, his performance was convincing enough to realistically be able to trick her. Plus I liked how he didn't completely fall flat on his face when Ted figured out he was lying and tried to trip him up.
Of course, that being said, I am still a little confused about why Santa (Peter Jason), who was watching his daughter the whole time, didn't figure out the deception. I mean, he supposedly knows everyone, right? He even said as much at the end. Wouldn't he know Dean wasn't really an attorney and was lying to Annie? I know I'm overthinking it a bit but it is a pretty big plot hole. Fortunately, it wasn't big enough to derail an otherwise good movie.
Final Opinion: This was a fun movie that my wife and I enjoyed watching. We'll probably be adding this to our holiday movie list going forward as a result.
My Grade: A
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