Annie Claus is Coming to Town (2011)
It's a Santa Cutie
We all know that made for TV Christmas movies trade on being sweet and cute and "Annie Claus is Coming to Town" is one of the sweetest and cutest you will ever watch. We have romance, Christmas miracles, an old toy shop, a Christmas pageant and a few other Christmas cliches wrapped up in a pretty bow and to be honest not a lot else. But if you are fan of these made for TV Christmas movies where it is all about being sweet and cute then "Annie Claus is Coming to Town" works.
With Christmas coming it is time for Annie Claus (Maria Thayer - Forgetting Sarah Marshall), the daughter of Santa and Mrs. Claus, to take a mini sabbatical and head out into the real world to discover whether her place is running the family business or leading a normal life. The thing is that if she doesn't return then Chester (Matt Winston), head of operations, will take over from Santa when he retires and so decides to hire an actor, Dean (Ryan Bittle - Backyard Wedding), to woo Annie when she reaches LA in the hope of convincing her not to return. But whilst Dean sets about romancing Annie she also meets Ted (Sam Page), the owner of a struggling toy shop and grows to like him as well.
Now whilst I haven't seen many movies about Santa's daughter what is on offer in "Annie Claus is Coming to Town" is not that much different to many made for TV Christmas movies as we have the Claus child having to find romance. This familiar cliche is switched up not only by the fact that Annie's sabbatical is to see if she should return to the North Pole but also by the devious head of operations trying to trick her in to not returning. The thing is that whilst a little different it is all very obvious, as we watch Annie fall for the smarmy Dean whilst Ted tries to restrain himself from telling Annie how he feels. You know how all of this will inevitably end but there is a nice twist to this when Ted discovers the truth about Dean really being an actor.
Alongside all this cliche romance we also have some other Christmas cliches from children who don't believe in Santa, a Christmas pageant and of course Ted's struggling Christmas store leading to him doubting miracles. Again it is all very obvious with Annie helping to turn around Ted's business whilst saving the Christmas pageant and so on and so forth but it works. I say it works but in truth all "Annie Claus is Coming to Town" is is a typical cute made for TV Christmas movie which will appeal to those who enjoy the sugar coated pleasantry and romantic Christmas magic.
As for the acting well like everything else about "Annie Claus is Coming to Town" it is all typical of the type of the movie with Ryan Bittle playing Dean as OTT smarmy whilst Sam Page is very nice as Ted. And as for Maria Thayer who is Annie, well Santa has a seriously cute daughter bubbling over with the joys of Christmas. It works for the sort of movie it is but these are the sorts of characters and performances which you forget within a day or two of watching the movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Annie Claus is Coming to Town" is your typical sweet and cute made for TV Christmas movie. If you enjoy these fun festive films which trade on being nice and simple then you will enjoy all the obvious romance and Christmas cliche on show.
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