Matchmaker Santa (2012)

We’ve seen Lacey Chabert play a baker and we’ve seen her character encounter a magical Santa, but only Matchmaker Santa gives us the best of both worlds. Okay, “best” would be overselling it. The results are less than stellar, and there are better options if you want to get your holiday Lacey fix. In this movie, she plays Melanie, the owner of a bakery who’s off to her boyfriend’s lake house for the holidays. It promises to be an exciting time, but she might not make it there.

She’s been dating Justin (Thad Luckinbill) for a year, not that it’s made much of an impression on anyone. Her best friend doesn’t remember his name and his best friend has practically become his stand-in. Melanie spends as much time with Dean (Adam Mayfield) as she does Justin, especially now that the latter has become CEO of his family’s company. When an airport pick-up goes wrong and their car breaks down, Melanie and Dean get to know each other even better. They find themselves stuck in tiny Buford Falls and at the mercy of a hippy inn owner (Florence Henderson).

The cause of their distress is Melanie’s airplane seatmate, Chris (Donovan Scott). Clearly not your average St. Nick cosplayer, he works quickly to grant everyone’s unspoken wishes. For Melanie, that means keeping her away from Justin. It also means reuniting him with his childhood friend, Blaire (Elizabeth Ann Bennett), now one of his business associates.

The movie might be cute if you’ve never seen a Hallmark or Lifetime Christmas movie. Besides magical Sandy Claws, there are a few quirky characters, like hippy inn owner’s best friend (Lin Shaye) and John Ratzenberger as a Cliff Clavin-y mechanic. I’ve seen literally hundreds though, and this one is a solid C, neither spectacular nor awful. Dean’s character is the most refreshing. He’s a bit cynical, acceptable when you’re pining over your boss’s girlfriend, but overall has an innocent, easy-going persona that I find charming. Melanie is like every other Chabert character, which is to say blandly sweet.

Released: 2012
Dir: David S. Cass Sr
Writer: Joany Kane
Cast: Lacey Chabert, Florence Henderson, John Ratzenberger, Lin Shaye, Donovan Scott, Adam Mayfield, Thad Luckinbill, Elizabeth Ann Bennett, Mary-Margaret Humes, Robert Pine
Time: 75 min
Lang: English
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Movies and Mysteries
Reviewed: 2019

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