When did Christmas become such a hypochondriac?
Mere moments after the newly power-fueled Halloween season ends, wreaths and bayberry candles start elbowing severed limbs off store shelves while construction begins on the increasingly elaborate Santa's workshops that anchor every commercial plaza. And it's not just the U.S.; Western European capitals have been doubling down on yuletide, with skating rinks, holiday markets and light displays that can be seen from space.
Yet every season film and television churns with the message that someone Must Save Christmas.
In Hallmark's lovely if predictable "Northpole," the task of tinsel triage falls to an elf named Clementine ("Trophy Wife's"
Which means that the elves are losing the energy required to make toys! Which in turn create holiday happiness! Something Must Be Done!
Max's concerns are a bit more domestic. He and his mom, Chelsea ("White Collar's"
Still, all is not perfect. Max can't seem to make friends, perhaps because no one at school seems to share his love of the holiday — an attempt to start a Christmas committee falls flat. More pressing, the mayor has just decided to cancel the annual tree-lighting ceremony on the grounds that no one remembered it anymore.
While Chelsea smells a story, Max's unquenchable yuletide spirit brings him to the attention of Clementine, who speeds his way to see what the two can accomplish.
You can probably guess what that is.
"Northpole," written by Gregg Rossen and Brian Sawyer and directed by Douglas Barr, is undeniably a cookie-cutter tale, but we all know that what makes a good holiday cookie are the ingredients and the decorations, both of which are of high quality here.
With the exception of a giant luminous snowflake (now available in Hallmark stores), "Northpole" is lovely to look at, and, as an added bonus, overseen by
After some initial conflict, the four come together in a sweet but not saccharine way to remind us of the importance of faith, hope, love and snowball fights. Which is, of course, almost always the best way to, and you can say it with me now, Save Christmas.