Starring: Tim Allen, Eric Lloyd, Judge Reinhold
Director: John Pasquin
Running Time: 97 mins
The Santa Clause is an American film about a man who, after accidentally making Santa Claus fall from his roof on Christmas Eve, learns that he must become the new Santa from now on.
Okay, so this movie is full of the sort of generic Christmas tropes we see year on year. However, whilst that unoriginality doesn’t play well early on, the film develops a wonderful heart as it goes along, leading up to a happy final act that, at the risk of sounding horribly cheesy, is full of Christmas spirit.
Sometimes, that’s just what I look for in a Christmas movie. Whilst it’s undeniable that this film is very formulaic throughout, it plays the formula well, and makes for an entertaining and uplifting watch. Particularly as our main character begins to embrace his role as the new Santa Claus, the film becomes a very cosy and heartwarming watch, and as we move towards the finale, it began to put a big smile on my face.
One of the main reasons for that is Tim Allen’s performance. Although the story basically plays the Scrooge tale throughout, Allen gives the film some great energy, even when it’s down in its generic first act. He’s very funny, and very likable, and gives a brilliantly convincing performance for the preposterous notion of a man taking Santa’s job, something that really helped me to enjoy the movie a lot more than I initially expected.
Director John Pasquin also does a great job here, giving the film that lovely and warm Christmas spirit, and yet avoiding making it feel too sappy or fake. The film looks wonderful from start to finish, and even though it takes place over an entire year, never loses that festive feeling, something that not only kids, but anyone who’s got a heart, will be really happy to see.
At times, it plays like a kids’ movie, and at others like a normal Hollywood comedy. There’s no need to expect great storytelling or emotional depth from this sort of film, and in doing so, you’ll be able to have a lot of fun with The Santa Clause from start to finish, no matter what age you are.
Could the film have been a little more original? Of course, and it really shows in a somewhat awkward and slow first act that doesn’t quite grab your attention or your heart as well as it should do. That said, the film does the job of a great family Christmas movie, and with pleasant directing, an entertaining lead performance and an all-round uplifting and heartwarming atmosphere, you can’t really go wrong with The Santa Clause, which is why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.