Only for Believers
Christmas cheer, it's almost like beer goggles because when you are under the influence of the Christmas spirit even a movie which is poor can still be entertaining. And so with that in mind here is "Meet the Santas" the sequel to "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" which sees new Santa Nick struggling to juggle getting ready for Christmas and his marriage to Beth because unless he marries her by Christmas Eve there will be no Christmas. In all honesty "Meet the Santas" is not good, watch at any other time of the year and the temptation to mock it would be so easy but under the influence of Christmas those issues and they are numerous are forgiven as you just enjoy this good natured, obvious but still amusing tale, even if it is made for young audiences.
It's been a year since Nick (Steve Guttenberg - The Poseidon Adventure) turned Beth (Crystal Bernard) into a believer and asked her to marry him, but with Nick being busy preparing for Christmas they still haven't gotten around to tying the knot and until Beth becomes Mrs. Claus she cannot go to the North Pole to help. When Ernest (Armin Shimerman) spots a gap for them to marry on Christmas Eve it leaves them only 11 days to arrange the wedding and so Beth is forced to ask her mum, snobbish non believer Joanna (Mariette Hartley - Silence of the Heart) to help, but that just leads to more problems especially as Beth starts to wonder whether she is good enough to be Mrs. Claus.
Whilst "Meet the Santas" picks up the story of Nick and Beth the Christmas after he proposed what we get is a storyline which is all over the place. We have a bit of story about them needing to get married by Christmas Eve or else there will be no Christmas, we have Nick trying to do the job of being Mr & Mrs. Claus as Beth can't go to the North Pole till she marries him and we also get Nick meeting Beth's non believing mum. All of which is quite obvious and plays out in a typical but nice fashion as not only do they try and keep Nick's secret from Beth's non believing mum but Beth has doubts as to whether she will be good enough to be a Mrs. Claus.
Now on one hand this storyline is a bit ho-hum-drum rather than ho-ho-ho as there is little which feels original and most of it is telegraphed. It means that from an adults point of view "Meet the Santas" is a bit boring but for young children the simple humour of Nick, Beth and especially Ernest trying to hide what Nick does from Beth's mum will amuse. And so will Nick's mischievous side as he tries to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to Joanna's home as he uses his magic to make the Chritmas tree bigger and decorate the place. And when Nick's retired parents show up in their red outfits it provides more giggles for young audiences. That is the thing as "Meet the Santas" is very much a movie which targets young audiences and offers little for adults who find themselves watching.
Both Steve Guttenberg and Crystal Bernard carry on the good work they did in the first movie but unfortunately it also means we get more of the painfully forced "ho-ho-ho" from Guttenberg. But whilst we have Mariette Hartley as Beth's very snobbish mum Joanna it is Armin Shimerman as Ernest who steals many a scene. As CEO, that is Chief Elf officer, he pops up and not only does his anally retentive schedule keeping amuse but also when he turns on the charm a bit.
What this all boils down to is that "Meet the Santas" is basically the same fun which "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" was, just with a different story. It does mean that if you are not in the Christmas spirit then it is going to be cheesy and painful, but for those who are feeling some Christmas love it should entertain.