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Case Number 22876: Small Claims Court

Buy Dear Santa at Amazon

Dear Santa

Image Entertainment // 2011 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 6th, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson's letters to Santa always came back stamped "Return to Sender."

The Charge

Love is the greatest Christmas gift of all.

The Case

Crystal (Amy Acker, Angel) is a rich, entitled, spoiled brat whose reckless spending has led to a diabolical ultimatum from her mother:If she doesn't get her act together and find a man, she'll be cut off.

(Wait, what?)

As Crystal walks down the sidewalk in a huff, she happens across a letter to Santa that had fallen out of a mailman's bag. Instead of tossing it back into the mailbox or chasing down the mail carrier, she takes it home and reads it.


Turns out a small girl named Olivia (Emma Duke) is asking Santa for a nice woman to come and marry her nice father (David Haydn-Jones, The Last Kiss). Crystal decides this is exactly what she needs, shows up at the soup kitchen where Olvia's dad works, and begins a romance that will most assuredly hit a snag when everyone discovers how creepy she is.

On the surface, Dear Santa is a perfectly mediocre, inoffensive, made-for-television holiday romcom. You've got a precocious kid, a handsome father, an attractive woman in need of a life lesson, and lots of homeless people. One problem: these are not real people. They don't make decisions or implement actions that would make any sense at all in our plane of existence. For example, we have…

Obviously crazy. Why is she stealing a kid's letter to Santa? What kind of lunatic infiltrates a homeless shelter to score a date? And why does she hold onto the letter? Doesn't she know it will inevitably be discovered by her new boyfriend?

Derek, the father
Nice guy. Solid, chiseled chin. Likes helping poor people. But he's oblivious, and an absolute doormat when it comes to his ex-girlfriend (Gina Holden, Saw III). For such a sensitive guy, he should wise up to the fact that the woman is pure evil.

Jilian, the ex-girlfriend
Cartoonish in her villainy, she's the main obstacle to Derek and Crystal's romance. She doesn't care about little Olivia and goes so far as to get into a whipped cream fight with Crystal. Then again, Derek's obviously an idiot, so what has she got to lose?

Dear Santa's DVD presentation is no-frills: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 2.0 stereo, no extras.

The Verdict

If you want to see a schmaltzy Christmas love story starring pod people, here you go. Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: Image Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Christmas
• Comedy
• Romance
• Romantic Comedies
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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