In a small town on Christmas Eve, a snowstorm brings together a group of young people.
This Christmas Eve, some random teens in a random small town in Illinois will have things happen to them! (Did I sound as vague as the synopsis above?) Julie was accepted into Columbia and is struggling with the choice to leave in the face of her mom’s undisclosed illness. She bumps into Stuart, a lonely, famous music star whose perfect life only seems perfect on the surface. Addie and Dorrie are pig-obsessed best friends who must learn that you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you. Tobin and Angie are the classic unrequited-best-friend-turned-lovers pair; he’s in love with her but she doesn’t know it, so he shows it in horrible ways. Keon doesn’t get his own love interest or the famous DJ he likes to come to his party but…he’s got Billy, his coworker from Waffle Town, so that’s something, I guess. And through it all, Joan Cusack narrates and stars as a tin foil obsessed tow truck driver whose shiny outfit never gets explained.
PSA: Every actor in this movie is vastly underutilized.
Ooh, he does the voice of Miles for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse! He has to wear the ugliest of all the ugly sweaters for this movie. It’s glorious. Shameik is…very earnest in this role, and sometimes his hair reminded me of early 2000s Lenny Kravitz, which made me break out in song (IT AIN’T OVER TIL IT’S OOOOOOOVER).
It’s Dora herself! Isabela is cute as a button, but her character is tired of small-town life and needlessly snarky to Stuart’s wholesome popstar sensibilities, so overall she annoyed me. Go to a community college or state school if you want to stay home and take care of your sick mom. Not everyone needs to go to an Ivy League!
Odeya has been a hot commodity in YA movies lately, like Dumplin’ and Lady Bird. She often must play the slightly ditzy but well-meaning, should-be-too-beautiful-to-be-nice-but-actually-is best friend role, which…is exactly what she plays here. At least she gets to hold a cute pig!
Dorrie’s story is very cliché, like most of the situations these cardboard cutouts find themselves in. She likes a cheerleader who pretends she doesn’t know Dorrie in front of her friends but makes out with her in bathrooms. Her love interest spent way too long being a jerk for me to be excited or invested in their romance.
Mitchell’s from The Descendants, which I’ve never seen. He’s the unlucky winner of THE most cliché storyline of the film. He’s also helpless and annoying, as he becomes very pouty when his best friend doesn’t see him in a romantic light despite never admitting to her that he’s interested. She can do better.
I think this is the first thing I’ve ever seen Kiernan in. Huh. I think I’ll need to see her independent of this movie, because everything about her BFF situation with Tobin made me less than charitable towards her character and by extension, her. Tobin tried to call her “The Duke” all the time, which fell quite flat as far as nicknames go.
Always a best friend, never a bridesmaid leading man.
I haven’t watched Joan Cusack in anything recently. My first thought (as we hear her before we see her) is that her voice is SO recognizable. No one else sounds like Joan.
Couch-Sharing Capability: High
It’s harmless enough to watch with friends or watch alone. You may want a friend with you when you get Waffle House cravings after the movie is over. I recommend sitting at the counter; it’s like dinner and a show.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: All The (Hot) Drinks
This movie begs for some spiked hot chocolate or a hot toddy. Or maybe a mulled wine! Man, I am excited about warm alcoholic winter beverages…
Take a gulp every time Joan and her tin foil hat are on screen. Chug that sucker when Tobin and Angie do a really awkward karaoke version of “The Whole of the Moon” while Tobin plays the church organ.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Inevitable
The coolest thing in this movie, by far, are the decorations Keon and Billy supposedly make for their impromptu Christmas party at the Waffle Town. Ignore the kissing people on the left (I’d apologize for spoilers, but we all knew this would happen) and focus on the white stuff. These are ketchup cups strung together to make garland, and they’re dangling from every light in the restaurant. The effect is actually pretty darn cool! Although I had to literally LOL since this movie wants me to believe Keon made these in like an hour. You KNOW that many strands of garland would take three hours, minimum, and you’d stab yourself with a needle at least seven times.
It’s been years since I read the original three-part short story anthology, but I have a sneaking suspicion this movie doesn’t have much left in common with its novel counterpart, except perhaps its name and some basic details (Snow! Waffles!).
Let It Snow does not do the “random stories that end up tying together in some clever way” trend justice, or give us anything slightly original within these paper-thin storylines. It barely even makes sense most times (like why does it seem to take HOURS to drive across this supposedly tiny little town, and where is the actual snow if this snowstorm is so bad?), but you know you’re going to be watching it anyway. And it’s okay; it won’t be the worst YA movie you saw on Netflix. *cough* The Perfect Date. *cough*