Let it Snow is many, many things. It’s a story about Christmas, complete with more than one musical number (yeah, I’m as shocked as you are), a hell of a lot of snow, and the typical setting for these types of movies. It’s also a story about romance (all kinds of romance), about friendship, and even about finding a way to love yourself, above all things.
And yes, it features mostly teenagers – familiar teenagers, at that.
This, if nothing else, makes it atypical. Usually Christmas movies follow a script: there’s a kid, or a dog, someone bakes, someone is a grinch and then they discover the true meaning of Christmas, all while finding their happily ever after, that at some point might get threatened, but never ruined, but a sequel. And oh, yes, there’s a small town.
In that regard, at least, that movie delivers. In all other respects, it’s trying to break new ground.
By focusing on teenagers, and what it means to be young, to believe things, to love things, but to have your entire life ahead of you, but also by trying, in one single movie, to give us many, many POVs, many ways of loving, of being hurt, of being problematic, and more importantly, of learning.
Oh, and did I mention doing that with a diverse cast?
If only for that we should put this one at the top of our Christmas movie list.
Yes, the story is very generic at times (okay, most of the time), but this is a Christmas movie, and as long as your expectations aren’t that this is going to break the wheel, then you’ll probably enjoy how charming these young, mostly familiar actors are.
There are, of course, stand-out performances, Kiernan Shipka has very little to do as Duke/Angie, and her romance with Tobin only serves to remind me of her romance with Harvey on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which is probably not a good thing, as Harvey and Sabrina were always the most boring part of that show.
Isabel Merced, however, as Julie, is a revelation, with the right level of skepticism about the miracle of the holiday, and you know, life in general going well. Shameik Moore isn’t as enchanting as Stuart, but he benefits from sharing most of his scenes with Merced, and their story is a joy to watch.
So is Dorrie’s, and I’m not even saying that because seeing a non-binary character played by a non-binary person is revolutionary in its own way, but because their whole existence is treated as something absolutely normal. In fact, it’s Tegan, Dorrie’s crush, who gets to go on the journey of trying to figure out how to be herself. Dorrie already knows who they are.
In a way, this all feels like a YA dream come true, which makes sense, considering the source material. It also feels, however, like the kind of story you can only tell with teenagers, because yes, the world is changing, but for all of us who are a bit older it’s about adjusting, while for the teenagers of today no adjustment is needed. They’re already living in a much better, freer world then we are.
So, all in all, this was a delight to watch, despite the fact that the story isn’t trying to surprise you. In many ways, it’s like walking up to the counter in your favorite ice cream place and ordering a vanilla milkshake. Sure, it might not be the most original choice you could make, but when has a vanilla milkshake ever disappointed you?
Don’t answer that.
OUR ‘SO BAD IT’S GOOD’ RATING 8/10
REALISM FACTOR: 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄
DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT REALISM FACTOR: 🎄
CHEESE FACTOR: 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄
ROMANCE FACTOR: 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄
TROPEY-NESS FACTOR: 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄
Let it Snow is available to stream on Netflix now.