Watched: A few weeks ago
Format: I don't remember, but I didn't pay for it
Director: Douglas Barr
This movie is a super-weird remnant from a different era of Hallmark film where they went in on special FX and name talent. Usually, like, 1 name talent per movie, and it's not Sandra Bullock. But it is Tiffani Theissen, who I think we can agree holds a special place in the hearts of us early-90's teens. (I mean, I think I've been very clear I was a Jessie Spano man, but that's a different post for a different day).
Theissen is a good actor! She could have been an interesting Lois Lane. And here she plays an investigative reporter, don't you know. But also a single mom dealing with the passing of her husband, and moved to a small-ish town. And she thinks her son is going crazy (my words, not hers) because her son is legit given a 2-way radio so he can communicate with a very real elf in the form of a spunky teen (Bailee Madison).
It's a lot of plot, as she tries to sort out what looks like corruption in town (it is not, and this plot point makes almost no sense and pitches sentiment over how things work in a functioning democracy, but whatevs). And her son is navigating trauma, the very real existence of Santa and Mrs. Claus and a whole civilization of eternal elves. And homework. There's so, so much going on. Oh, and Theissen kinda finds at least a make-out buddy in her son's teacher, which is probably going to cause the teacher HR issues.
But, like, this movie has a budget for Clementine the Elf to fly around in a sleigh, grab the kid, take him to The North Pole - which we see from an aerial view and it's pretty cool! - and then kinda elaborate sets that are the North Pole.
I'm not sure this could have been released to theaters, but for 2014, it's a big production for deep cable, and a reminder that Hallmark was not always just young actresses with bad hair and guys with two weeks of beard growth.