Three children and their father move from Los Angeles, California to Edmonton, Alberta. When they go shopping at West Edmonton Mall, they find counterfeit cash, inadvertently help catch crooks, and make a discovery about Santa.
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It's turning out to be a pretty rotten Christmas for the Saunders family. Having just moved to Edmonton, Alberta from Los Angeles, California, they have no friends, no money, and, with the exception of the bright-eyed Mary (Amy and Zoe Schlagel), no Christmas spirit. To make matters worse, their mother, Judy (Rachel Hayward), is stuck in Los Angeles, stranded by airline overbookings. So, the Christmas shopping duties fall on dad, Wayne (Patrick Swayze), and the gloomy kids. Things start looking a bit more like Christmas when twelve-year-old Brian (Matthew Knight) and six-year-old Mary find a satchel of money at the local mall and they launch a Yuletide shopping spree, that is, until the crooks who counterfeited the money chase them through the mall packed with holiday shoppers.Written by
A family man drags his kids unwillingly to the mall, where they find adventure and learn a lesson or two about family.
I am fully aware of the mortifying reviews most viewers have given this movie. I'm here to tell you that I found it fabulous and endearing. The themes of family and Christmas and magic are abundant, and it's an enjoyable film the whole clan can enjoy. The acting... could have been better. Patrick Swayze has definitely given better performances before, but he's such a sweet father that I managed to overlook the extreme cheesiness. Cameron Bright was a bit dull, but in all fairness, he was cast as the stereotypical "big brother who misses his life back in LA and can't stand his siblings," and I believe he played the part correctly. I have my own older brother, and he sounds just like that: a bored teenager. What more do you people expect? I found the constant switching between the actresses playing Mary a bit nauseating. Can we PLEASE pick ONE twin for the part and leave it at that? They're not Mary-Kate and Ashley; they don't look completely identical. Chris Kattan was hilarious, as always, as was Tim Curry. All in all, it was a delightful, bright comedy that teaches an important lesson about family. (For the sake of this review I won't comment on the horrid CGI North Pole fiasco. Let's just put that out of our minds, shall we? :)
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