The Santa Summit Review: A So-So Christmas Rom-Com

The Santa Summit (2023).

The holiday season often ushers in a slew of romantic comedies, each attempting to capture the magic of Christmas. In the case of The Santa Summit, directed by Jeff Beesley, the film aspires to be a delightful addition to the genre, but unfortunately, it falls short of the chimney with its half-hearted execution.

In the film, Jordin (Hunter King), facing setbacks in her life, returns to her hometown seeking solace. The story takes an intriguing turn as she attends the town’s annual Christmas celebration with her friends, where she unexpectedly bonds with Liam (Benjamin Hollingsworth), a charming stranger. However, their budding connection is cut short when they are separated in a sea of Santas, leaving Jordin with nothing but a fleeting memory and a Santa hat.

The Good:

Hunter King delivers a commendable performance as Jordin, infusing her character with vulnerability and determination. She effortlessly conveys the emotional struggles of her character, making the audience empathize with Jordin’s journey to rediscover herself amidst the holiday chaos. Benjamin Hollingsworth, playing the role of Liam, brings charm to the screen but is unfortunately limited by the underdeveloped script. Despite their efforts, the chemistry between the leads lacks the spark needed to ignite the romantic aspect of the story.

One of the film’s major strengths lies in its picturesque Christmas setting. The town’s holiday decorations, snowy landscapes, and cozy atmosphere successfully evoke the festive spirit. It provides a visually appealing backdrop for the unfolding events. Jeff Beesley’s direction captures the essence of small-town Christmas celebrations, immersing the audience in the warmth and charm of the holiday season.

The Bad:

However, the film’s downfall comes in its lackluster storytelling. The narrative fails to capitalize on the initial intrigue of the premise, opting for predictable and clichéd plot developments. The script lacks depth, offering shallow character arcs and uninspired dialogue that do little to engage the audience. The relationship between Jordin and Liam feels rushed and lacks the emotional depth necessary to make viewers invest in their romance. Instead of exploring the complexities of their connection, the film resorts to convenient coincidences and contrived situations, robbing the story of genuine authenticity.

Additionally, the supporting characters, although well-intentioned, are relegated to one-dimensional stereotypes, adding little substance to the overall narrative. Jordin’s friends, who play a significant role in her life, are reduced to mere caricatures. This misses the opportunity for meaningful exploration of friendship dynamics.

The Santa Summit also struggles with pacing issues, as certain scenes drag on unnecessarily. Additionally, pivotal moments are rushed, which is frustrating to say the least. The film’s soundtrack, although fitting, lacks originality, relying heavily on familiar Christmas tunes that fail to leave a lasting impression.

Overall:

The film benefits from a charming lead performance by Hunter King and a visually appealing holiday setting. But, its lack of originality, underdeveloped characters, and uninspired storytelling ultimately leave viewers wanting more. Despite best efforts, it fails to stand out in the crowded landscape of holiday rom-coms, making it a mediocre addition. For those seeking a heartwarming film, The Santa Summit might leave you feeling like you received a lump of coal.

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The Santa Summit Review: A So-So Christmas Rom-Com
  • Acting - 6/10
    6/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 4/10
    4/10
  • Setting/Theme - 4/10
    4/10
  • Watchability - 5.5/10
    5.5/10
  • Rewatchability - 4/10
    4/10
Overall
5/10
5/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.