When Mackenzie Reed (Lori Loughlin) inherits her aunt’s Northern Lights Inn, she decides sell that shit because it’s old and falling apart. Also, the Inn happens to be a “power station” for Santa Claus which, along with other stations around the world, allows him to travel everywhere in one night. Because Mackenzie wants to sell his power station (which, like, hey Santa, maybe don’t put your power station in a thing that people can just sell or demolish), he sends his most irritating elf (Bailee Madison) to stop her and make her learn the true meaning of Christmas, or whatever. Along the way, Mackie-Z meets the hotel’s handyman (real actor Dermot Mulroney) and he essentially pressures her into finally making out with him.
• Apparently, this movie is the squeakquel to a movie called Northpole. I would say you don’t need to see the first one to enjoy this movie, but that implies that this movie could possibly be enjoyed by a human being.
• Also, not sure why it’s called Northpole: Open for Christmas. Like, the North Pole is never in danger of not being open for Christmas. It’s the Inn that’s in danger of not being open for Christmas. And while we’re on the subject: Northpole? Really? One word? Get the hell out of here with that.
• Hallmark is now 2/2 for me in terms of having absolutely no people of color anywhere in the entire movie.
• The guy that plays Santa gives me the creeps. He’s super weird and soft spoken and looks like Bobby Moynihan. Hallmark is also now 2/2 in terms of terrible portrayals of quite possibly the easiest character of all time to portray. Furthermore, I’m not sure if the filmmakers are familiar with what Santa Claus looks like, but it’s generally not this:
• Inn is a generous term for this place. I’d sooner go with “haunted monster pit”.
• The bellhop at the Inn remembers Mackenzie for some reason, even though she hasn’t been there since she was a tiny baby. He also mentions that the Inn hasn’t had guests in what seems to be a very long time, so, pretty much, how is he even employed?
• There are FAR too many “ice” puns. A lot of ,“I’d be so iced!” and ,“Cool down!”. It reminds me another movie. What was it? Oh yeah, this one:
• Apparently I was spoiled by my first Hallmark movie experience, because Northpole: Open for Business makes ‘Tis the Season for Love look Oscar-worthy.
• Dermot Mulroney is a person who I have seen in other things. In other things, he is not a garbage can of an actor. Why am I bringing this up? ‘Cause in this movie he’s a garbage can of an actor.
• The whole thing with this movie is that Mackenzie just wants to sell this old, terrible Inn and everybody shits all over her for it. Who gives a shit? This place sucks. Just let her sell it. I will admit she burns the nerd-ass bellhop pretty good when he goes, “You know what we have that those other hotels don’t? Charm.” and then she responds, “You know what they also have that we don’t? Guests.” Solid burn, Mac.
• For somebody who’s supposed to be an elf in disguise, Clementine sure does a terrible job of not giving it away. Every time somebody asks her something, she responds with some elf-ass answer. For example, when asked if Clementine likes to make lists, she says, “Oh, like a naughty and nice list?” She also, ya know, HAS POINTY EARS AND DRESSES LIKE A GOD DAMN ELF.
[I’d like to make it clear that I’m only making fun of the character here, and not Bailee Madison herself. I’ve actually worked with her before, and she’s an absolute sweetheart.]
• In the beginning of the movie, Santa tells Clementine that Mackenzie has to discover the Christmas spirit by herself, with no help. Later in the movie, Clem gets frustrated and just brings her straight to Northpole.
• There’s a weird subplot that starts about three quarters of the way through where Clementine is basically like a little Naughty-or-Nice narc and she starts walkie-talkie-ing the North Pole every time Dermot Mulroney’s daughter does something nice. I didn’t care for it.
• I guess the bellhop is an elf also? ‘Cause if not, he has a secret handshake with a 14 year-old girl and he needs to be sent to fucking prison.
• Mackenzie’s big emotional decision hinges around being offered a huge job to “run the london office”, so she has to decide between that and staying in her shitty Vermont town. Sound familiar? That’s cause it’s literally the same thing that happened in the last one of these god damn movies I wrote about. By the way – the thing that stops Mackenzie from wanting to sell? Clementine holds up a piece of ribbon. Like, a magic ribbon? Nope. Just a ribbon. She shows her a ribbon and Mackenzie changes her mind.
• An hour and 15 minutes in, Mackenzie and Mulroney’s daughter tap a random wall at the Inn. A magic portal opens up, and Mackenzie and the little girl slide down a magic slide through space and time, and back into the living room of the Inn. And then they start talking about something else LIKE THAT INCREDIBLE SHIT DIDN’T JUST HAPPEN.
• The power goes out before their big Christmas party (spoiler alert), so they all spend like two hours lighting candles. And once that’s done? Clementine walks in and throws some magic dust in the air that turns all the lights back on. C’MON MAN COULDN’T YOU HAVE DONE THAT BEFORE THEY SPENT ALL THAT TIME LIGHTING THE CANDLES WHAT THE HELL-
Good lord. This movie was awful. The dialogue is as close to unbearable as anything gets. It makes Revenge of the Sith sound like it was written by Aaron Sorkin. My real question is: who the hell watches these movies? I don’t get that at all. Especially this movie. Who is this even for? Kids? Probably not, because it centers on two people in their 50s falling in love. Is it for people in their 50s? Probably not, because half of it takes place in a (very poorly) CGI’d Santa’s Workshop. I don’t get it, man. I don’t get it.
Favorite Quotes, Taken Out of Context:
• “What if we cut these in half and attach them to the bottom of people’s shoes?”
• “Thanks. You really know your wrenches.”
• “One hot snow cola, coming up.”
• “Ya know, I always make my best decisions while walking.”
• “Snow em gee!” (I nearly puked.)
• “It’s no English muffin.”
• “Thank you! It’s eggnog shampoo.”
• “Raccoons with hammers. It happens.”
• “Yes, Santa. My ice is totally cracked.”
• “The thing is, I can clean shelves, but that doesn’t make magic.”
Personal Sanity Outlook:
After the movie ended, I went to the bathroom to take a shower. Then I blacked out and I woke up in Jarden, Texas at the bottom of a dried-out river with a cinder block tied to my ankle.
So, not good.