ABC Family Channel manages to churn out mad-for-TV holiday movies like they simply fall from the sky like fresh snow. Every year they create about half a dozen new ones to add to the roster, allowing Christmas movie marathons to start earlier and earlier. Three years ago, they premiered a modern-day tale about a businesswoman who has to drop everything in her hectic, high-powered life to rush home and help her ailing father with his business. A bit timely for me now. But what made this particular tale magical was that the woman was Santa Claus' daughter, and the movie was Santa Baby.
Starring George Wendt and Jenny McCarthy as Santa and his daughter, respectively, the movie doesn't have all of the frills of a big budget blockbuster, but it holds more heart than most. McCarthy's Mary Claus returns to her roots and learns what is really important when she not only tries to make Santa's workshop more efficient but also gets reacquainted with her first love (played by Ivan Sergei). The spirit of the holiday finds her once again, humbles her of course, and sets her up for a brand new life where she no longer has to deny who she really is.
Both actors seemed unlikely in roles that come with so much cheer, but both sparkle and shine with the spirit of the season. McCarthy has always had a big personality and an even bigger laugh, and though she stands out amongst the elves for such a boisterous nature, she manages not to be too over the top with it. And that's perhaps a hard thing to do when you're fighting with reindeer and forced to convince an ex-boyfriend he's seeing things when he stumbles upon the real toy workshop in the North Pole!
A word of advice, though: skip the new sequel; it actually recast Santa! Blasphemy!