I’ve watched some Christmas nonsense in my time, but Finding Mrs Claus is up there with the best of them. I include Dear Secret Santa starring Tatyana Ali in that list.
Anyway so here’s the ‘plot’: Mrs Claus is fed up in her marriage to Santa, so she goes AWOL to Las Vegas and gets sloppy drunk and there’s a call girl and a bar man in a bad shirt and an Elvis impersonator and a dodgy manager and a necklace and a predatory schoolteacher and a “talent scout for the Strip” and a single mother called Noelle and a puppy and WHAT THE ACTUAL IS GOING ON IN THIS FILM?
Not for the first time, I shouted “come on!” at the television. But I persevered, for you.
Back to the top. Jessica Claus, for that is her first name, thinks Santa’s ignoring her and spending more time on the toys and wotnot, rather than her. She decides *she* wants to help people get the Christmas spirit, and lights upon a letter sent to her by a little girl called Holly, from Las Vegas, who wants a puppy (standard) and a boyfriend for her hardworking, beautiful, emotionally stunted mum (standard) Not sure how she gets to Las Vegas because I pressed a button on the remote by accident, but get there she does.
Obviously, Santa (Will Sasso) has to sort this out, so he and his elf Calvin (I am sure there is another film with an elf called Calvin in it) head for the City of Sin to find her.
Just to underline for us that this is a sinful place, Santa’s in his hotel room, when what I presume to be a “lady of the night” turns up. She tells Santa she loves toys. He says so does he, but I’m suspecting his idea of toys is rather different to what this young woman has in mind. Whoa! This is not what we expect in our Christmas movies! And fair to say, neither does Santa, who panics and puts a gold lame jacket over her and helps her out the door.
Who should he run into down in the lobby but Jessica?! She’s been propping up the bar telling unscrupulous sorts about how rubbish and self-obsessed Santa is, and that he didn’t even turn up when she was expecting him (because he’s suddenly in jail? After a brawl in a casino featuring other Santas? Nope)
Here’s the barman, Miles, who says she’s had enough:
The unscrupulous sort is a hotel manager who then tries to steal a necklace off her. What? She can’t pay her bills but then Santa turns up and it’s all OK. Very impressed with Mrs Claus for not mentioning the call girl, can’t say I’d’ve been as understanding, but it seems the chief elf is rather taken with our lady of the night and he’s not going back to the North Pole, he’s staying with her.
Mr and Mrs Claus have made up, and pop off to the Elvis wedding chapel to renew their vows. I dunno. But then before they leave, Mrs C has one last thing she needs to sort.
Our harassed hardworking emotionally-stunted single mother is rushing to try to get to her daughter Holly’s school Christmas show, but her car won’t start, but then Miles, who I’m not sure she actually fancies, is there and his car will start, and he can drive her!
I can’t work out if that was Mrs Claus making the car break, or if it was Mrs Claus making Miles be there, or both, but OK. Movie magic, they make it to the show, but Holly is too stagestruck to be able to sing ‘Let It Snow’ whilst dressed as a snowflake. So Miles goes and sings it with her, despite not really having any relationship to this child. But I actually enjoyed the singing.
As they wait in the lobby, a teacher comes up and is all, HEY MILES REMEMBER HOW WE SLEPT TOGETHER? And he seems to not be interested, because he pretends to be engaged to Noelle, and Noelle is annoyed about that. And then another woman comes up and she’s a talent scout for casinos and his singing is so. good. that he should be appearing in shows, and then Noelle’s really pleased for him.
On the way home, they have another breakdown (Mrs C?) and whilst slaving over a hot engine, Noelle and Miles have a row about her being emotionally stunted and him being a man slag. They’re about to get in the car and never be lovers, when who should show up but Santa and Mrs Claus?
They say they’ve loved being in Las Vegas but it’s time to head back to the North Pole, and they might have a present for everyone.
Back in the car, there’s a wriggly bag (PUPPY) and a not-so-wriggly bag (MONEY FOR A NEW APARTMENT APPARENTLY?) and then Noelle and Miles are giving each other a big old kiss.
Little Holly looks up as Santa’s stretch limo becomes a sleigh drawn by reindeer and zooms off to the North Pole. I thought my work here was done, but no, because now it’s one year later and we learn that Holly’s written to say that Miles and Noelle got married, yay.
Let me say that this film does have some things to recommend it. Mira Sorvino is fun as drunk Mrs Claus, she is what I imagine I would be like if I had run away from my 500-year marriage to Father Christmas. And the little girl, Holly, is actually very good, arguably the best actor in the whole thing. Plus, despite the film being set in Las Vegas, there is very realistic snow at the end.
I obviously googled this movie in order to find the images and so on for this post, and in doing so, found that huge chunks of the film did not appear in the version I watched? You might think that one was enough (pretty sure I did) But now it seems like the version I watched had been edited (badly) to make it shorter, which might explain why I was so confused. This has thrown me into a festive existential crisis, because now I’m questioning whether in actual fact every Christmas movie I’ve ever watched has been poorly edited for the UK market.
If I get out of this slump, I’ll watch another one.