Desperately Seeking Santa

Jennifer is in charge of…promotions? maybe? at a fledgling Boston mall. Her job description may be a bit vague, but at least two things are certain: 1. her boss is threatening to close the mall altogether if she doesn’t increase sales 2. she determines to do this by…hiring a sexy Santa.

The traditional mall Santa is probably not in any danger of going extinct, at least not before malls themselves do, but new and improved Santas are in fact popping up everywhere, not just in shitty Christmas movies. A mall here in Canada had a series of Fashion Santas, who proved extremely popular and had a whole new demographic lining up to sit on his lap.

Another mall here in Ottawa has what they call a Spooky Santa. If he looks a little familiar, he’s clearly a Jack Skellington rip-off (from the Nightmare Before Christmas), again meant to bring in new shoppers not normally interested in sharing lists with cis-Santa.

The sexy Santa that Jennifer has hired for he failing mall is none of these things. He’s blandly good looking in a made-for-TV-movie sort of way, I suppose, but he’s definitely nothing special. For some reason they make him learn a lot of dances. I might feel a little more forgiving if we weren’t endlessly subjected to choreography montages, and then the dances turn out to be quite underwhelming, though performed persistently with no shirt underneath the velour Santa coat. I do object.

Meanwhile, sexy Santa (or David as his family calls him), is studying to be an EMT while struggling to save his family’s Italian restaurant, which is being pushed out of its neighbourhood by a mean developer. Sexy Santa cash is going straight to the lawyers.

Spoiler alert: Jennifer’s boss is also the mean developer. And Jennifer’s boyfriend is his right-hand man. So when the love-hate relationship between Jen and David starts spitting sparks, we hardly feel bad about their imminent affair. Of course, it’s hard to care about anything at all when the script is atrocious and the film just stark raving bad.

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