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Amy Acker is attractive but not overly so and she works perfect for the part as Crystal. (I previoulsy had not heard of her.) But the draw for me was more than looks--the facial expressions Amy Acker exhibiits and the vocal repsonses at key times are just adorable and beleivable. She sells me on how much she loves the little girl. She sells me that she is NOT changing her daily life just to compete with her rival for the fun of it. She persuades me that she is really falling for the whole life style and of course the father of the child. And when Crystal has unsure moments or embarassing moments they are acted superbly. There are a few uncomforatable moments for Crystal and you live them with her.
The father (Derek) is also portrayed well. I especially noticed the admiring glances when Derek sees his daughter Olivia genuinely interact with Amy's character(Chrystal). It as if Crystal was the MOM his daughter does not have. He is also beleivable in his moments of disgust with Crystal. There is chemistry here.
I have wathced this movie 3 times on lifetime and plan to buy it. I am almost addicted to it. I do not watch a ton of TV movies nor have I reviewed a movie.
In December 2010 I watched part of a similar TV holiday movie(The Most Womderful Time of the Year) but missed the last 1/2 hour. For one whole year I have been very curious to see the ending. This year I recorded that movie in whole, but have not even bothered to watch it because I keep watching DEAR SANTA.
Threatened to get cut off by her wealthy parents, Crystal, a 30-year-old, irresponsible, incurable shopaholic, has until Christmas to demonstrate that she's gotten her act together, that she could be productive or at least settle down with a good man. When a fortuitous gust floats a stray "Dear Santa" letter in her direction, she sees her prospects opening up. The letter is from earnest seven-year-old Olivia (Emma Duke) who asks Santa for a new wife for her widowed dad Derek (David Haydn-Jones). You have to credit Acker at this stage. A different actress could've come off as horrifyingly mercenary here. But there's a sweetness to Acker.
In ensuing segments, Crystal - and, honestly, there's no more applicable verb - stalks Derek and Olivia, and she's encouraged by what she sees. Trailing Derek into a local soup kitchen, she inadvertently bumps into him and is promptly recruited to bread duty at the food service line. She learns that not only is Derek raising a daughter by himself and running a snow plowing business, he also operates the struggling soup kitchen, the legacy of his dead wife and a project that Derek had sworn to keep solvent. You can't fault Crystal for falling for him.Read more ›
Amy Acker plays a shopaholic, aimless, daffy, young woman whose rich mother gives her the ultimatum: get responsible, i.e., find a man, find a job, or else she'll cut her off, money-wise. By magical chance, she finds a letter to Santa from a young girl who wants a wife for her dedicated and loving father(Haydn-Jones).
The remaining story involves the heroine pursuing him, competing with his not-really-meant-for-him girlfriend, learning compassion while working at a homeless shelter and bonding with the daughter.
What makes this story at all worthwhile are the character interactions; especially, the young actor(Emma Duke) who portrays the daughter. She's terrific! The comedy's mildly amusing; there's a lot of cattiness between the women which some might find entertaining(my wife thinks showing fighting over a man promotes the wrong ideas for women. Hmmm, I'll have to think about that. No, no, of course, she's right!)
It's a clean holiday, family friendly story. I'd give 3-3 1/2 stars, 4 stars for the warm, moving scenes with the daughter. For me, characterization is always more important than plot, budget, special effects, etc. Give me interesting people.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is great movie so many great meanings for christmas
giving,careing,helping those less forgenet just a great movie I loved and I bought on amazon. Read more
Perfect film for Christmas time!!! Great family film. Great for Amy Acker fans, too!Published 1 month ago by M. P.
AS SOON AS I SAW THIS MOVIE ON HALLMARK... I ABSOLUTELY FELL IN LOVE WITH IT!!! IT'S ONE OF THE CUTEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES IN A LONG TIME!!! IT'S ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE MOVIES!!! Read morePublished 1 month ago by ASHLEY
Why?!?!?! In the middle of this mostly clean and family friendly Christmas movie, why did the film company choose to blaspheme God's name in vain? Read morePublished 3 months ago by Flying Bear