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Film Review: “The Santa Clause” (1994) ★★★★


Despite the fact that there are many Christmas movies around, only some of them make it to our all-time favorites shortlist – “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Miracle on 34th Street”, “Grinch”,  “Home Alone 1 & 2”, “Christmas Carol” and, of course, “The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen. Since then, he’s become the beloved character three times. Even now, after re-watching his magically created role, it once again reminds us that holiday evenings would be incomplete without his priceless contribution to the cinematic world that he filled with joy and laughter.

Scott Calvin gets angry when his ex-wife, Laura (Wendy Crewson) and her husband, Neal (Judge Reinhold) make their 6-year-old son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), believe that Santa is not real. On Christmas, even when Scott gets a chance to spend an evening with his son, a strange thing happens when he is awakened by his son informing him about the noise coming out of the roof. The man anxiously runs outside to find to his dismay that he’s scared off the man on the roof wearing Santa’s suit, resulting in him falling to his, presumably, death. Finding instructions in which it asks to put the suit on if the man’s involved in an accident, Scott does not even realize the magical power the costume had that begins turning him into a real Santa.

Charlie believes in the existence of Santa, while his mother and step-father insist otherwise. However, there were no problems between Scott and Laura in terms of sharing the custody over their son until the moment when Scott and Charlie, accidentally, find an 8-reindeer sleigh that takes both of them straight to the North Pole. After being told that he is the one who needs to replace Santa, Charlie begins spreading the news at school, causing chaos which results in Scott losing custody over his son. But that was the least of his problems for as the weeks turn into months and the next Christmas is just weeks away, Scott begins transforming into Santa – literally.

Screenplay by Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, and directed by John Pasquin, “The Santa Clause” is one of the most family-friendly movies you will ever find. It’s funny but not too much; it has a bit of drama, but does not overload you at all; it is a simple and carefully directed film that delivers the much needed holiday mood even though you may watch it in the middle of summer. There’s something about it that lifts the viewer’s spirit to the level known to “The Santa Clause” only. As for the performance, there’s no need for delivering a master class when you feel and care about the character you’re portraying. This is why “The Santa Clause” is adorable as ever, because of its cast that delivers the magic we all need to see in actors.

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