Christmas Clause, The (DVD Review)1 Nov, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Stars Lea Thompson, Andrew Airlie, Laura Mennell.
Sentimental Christmas movies typically espouse the true meaning of the season and the folly of people who spend so much time and energy failing to appreciate the little things in life.
TV movie The Christmas Clause shouldn’t be confused anytime soon with Frank Capra’s 1947 holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life, but its premise isn’t that far removed.
Lea Thompson (“Caroline in the City,” Back to the Future) plays Sophie, a harried attorney and mother of three children married to a struggling freelance architect (Andrew Airle from TV’s “Reaper”) who is having trouble dealing with the added stress of the winter holidays.
“Every year Christmas feels like another sugar-coated to-do list,” Sophie says, bemoaning the added seasonal responsibilities.
While waiting to have her picture taken with the kids and an offbeat shopping mall Santa (Douglas Abrahams), Sophie eyes an old girlfriend who enjoys her “cougar” status as a carefree woman on the prowl for fun and socializing.
When Sophie wishes she could trade places with her friend, Santa obliges. And Sophie quickly comes face-to-face with the old adage: Be careful what you wish for.
Suddenly ensconced in a college-age body and living in a McMansion stocked with designer clothes, shoes and hired help, Sophie nonetheless soon misses her children, family and husband, and admonishes Santa to help her reclaim her old life.
The Christmas Clause has no dark Dorian Grey subtext or over-the-top George Bailey shouting through the streets. Instead, it allows Thompson to showcase more “Caroline” than “Mrs. McFly,” which is a gift in itself.