Guttenberg's Santa Clause
You know "The Santa Clause" movies starring Tim Allen, well you remember how in the seqel "The Santa Clause 2" he has to find himself a Mrs. Claus, well that storyline is basically reworked in "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus". Here we have Steve Guttenberg playing the son of Santa who is told he needs to find himself a wife in order to take over from his father. In fairness these two movies are not the only ones which have reworked the whole Santa/ Santa Son/ Mrs Claus idea and in truth whilst at times forced "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" is some simple Christmas fun which tips its hat at some classic Christmas movies such as a scene where Santa communicates with a deaf child.
Santa (John Wheeler) is getting ready to retire and hand over the reigns to his son Nick (Steve Guttenberg - 3 Men and a Little Lady), but first Nick must get married and he hasn't got much time to find himself a Mrs. Claus. The trouble is that Nick wants to marry someone he falls for not just a name on a list of eligible candidates and so whilst he visits the candidates he really hopes to meet his Miss Right. And that is exactly what he does when he meets single mum Beth (Crystal Bernard) who asks him to help out on a TV commercial. But there is a problem as she doesn't believe in Santa and for Nick to be able to marry her she needs to believe.
So as already mentioned "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" trades on the familiar concept of Santa and marriage with here it being about Santa's son finding a Mrs. Claus in order to take over the family business. It's familiar not only because there are other Santa movies which work on the same theme but also because it is little more than various cliches pushed together to create a storyline. So whilst we have Nick needing to marry the woman he falls for happens to be a single mum who has to work very hard whilst trying to bring up her son all alone. Add to that a Christmas cliche that after a childhood experience she no longer believes in Santa which means that Nick will have to make her a believer again before times run out. Basically there is nothing overly original going on with various ideas having already been used in other movies.
But whilst familiar and to be honest at times shockingly cliche "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" is also fun and a little charming. You end up warming to Nick as he has to find a Mrs. Claus and his innocent approach of trying to date Beth is both sweet and amusing. You also warm to Beth because quite frankly she is as nice as Nick and even if you know what the outcome will be you do wish for things to work out for them. Even when it forces things with points over the use of Santa's image being used for commercial reasons and games being inappropriate for children the intention is good and sort of heart warming. And in a way that is what "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" is all about a heart warming, fun, slightly romantic Christmas movie which doesn't try to be original just tries to make what its got entertaining and for a made for TV Christmas movie it is entertaining.
Now to be honest Steve Guttenberg wouldn't be my first choice either for the son of Santa or for a romantic role but it strangely works. The childlike innocence he brings to the character is pleasant as is his awkwardness whilst trying to pluck up the courage to ask Beth out. It is a restrained Guttenberg in some ways but then at times he does go overboard with elements which turn him into almost a caricature and yes I am on about the forced "ho ho ho" laugh. Alongside Guttenberg is Crystal Bernard and she is as charming as Guttenberg delivering a cliche character but finding some way of giving her warmth.
What this all boils down to is that "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" is a pleasant made for TV Christmas movie. It is all very familiar but it strangely works even when it tries to force things with points about commercialism. Basically there are worst ways to spend an hour and a half and if you want some simple Christmas cheer you will find it right here.