Frankie the Other Reindeer
When Santa's reindeer guy, John Stockman (Gabriel Hogan), discovers Prancer has a cracked hoof and won't be able to fly he has to find a replacement and quickly or else there will be no delivering of presents this year and a lot of disappointed little girls and boys. With no choice John heads down to a reindeer ranch run by single mum Annie (Hilarie Burton) and her 8 year old daughter Madison (Lola Flanery) to try and buy a reindeer called Frankie. But things are complicated as businessman Reginald Buckley (Tim Matheson) wants their ranch whilst the bank won't give Annie anymore time on her loans. And for John it becomes even more complicated as he finds himself falling for Annie who doesn't believe in Santa Claus.
If you can think back to those westerns which you might have watched as a child, the ones where the stranger comes to town and helps a sweet woman who has inherited a ranch as she has to deal with a devious businessman and a corrupt bank manager who try to squeeze her out of it. Whilst doing this the stranger and the woman end up falling in love with each other. Well "Last Chance for Christmas" uses that old idea but smothers it in some magic Santa dust to make it a Christmas movie about Santa's helper falling for the woman who is having to deal with a businessman trying to squeeze her off of her land.
The thing is that "Last Chance for Christmas" is not made for those who probably recognize the story's heritage and instead is aimed at a younger audience who won't mind that there is a lot of unsubtlety going on. For example there is a scene where John sets about helping Annie out with the bank and suddenly she goes all gooey eyes when he impresses the bank manager. Of course we are talking a movie about Santa here and so lack of subtlety should not be a surprise but this is a movie with more than a touch of mugging to the camera.
What "Last Chance for Christmas" also has a lot of is the look with snow covered fir trees, plenty of Christmas decorations and of course the likeable nature of its stars Hilarie Burton and Gabriel Hogan. In a way this just seals off the typical nature of "Last Chance for Christmas" but also makes it just another, not overly memorable Christmas movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Last Chance for Christmas" is an okay Christmas movie and probably more enjoyable for a young audience. But there isn't anything really special about it and so it is just another Christmas movie.