With the Christmas season quickly approaching (my tree and decorations are already up thanks to a snow day last week), I wanted to see what this movie had to offer. I read the book years ago (so I don’t remember it incredibly well at all) and I was ready to see how it compared to other Christmas movies.
This movie follows 8 different teenagers on a snowy Christmas Eve in their tiny small town. There’s Tobin who has a crush on his best friend, Julie and Stuart who just met on a train, Dorrie whose crush just walked into the restaurant where she works, and Addie whose boyfriend appears to be cheating on her. A snowstorm brings all of them together.
This was super cute. And, from what I remember, very different from the book. I remember the book being somewhat crude and oddball (what did you expect from John Green and Maureen Johnson?) and this is definitely toned down from that. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a fair share of teenage awkwardness. It still has that in spades and it’s hilarious.
Someone on Twitter called this a teenage version of Love, Actually but with people of color and they’re not wrong. It’s basically a movie of vignettes, where we keep following these stories that at first seem to have little in common and slowly become intertwined. That is always fun to watch, trying to find those links.
There was just so much to enjoy about this. I loved all of the characters, who I felt like we got to know pretty well even with their limited screen time. I felt like a little of each of them. Tobin’s charm comes from being awkward and sensitive. Duke’s is from being strong and adventurous. Addie is anxious and Dorrie is confident and Julie is guarded and Stuart is sweet and so many other things could describe these characters. They were all really well done, from a writing and an acting standpoint.
But one of the best characters is our narrator, played by Joan Cusack who wears a literal tinfoil hat as she drives a tow truck through town. Oh. My. God. It was the thing I didn’t know I needed.
The only thing that even semi-bothered me was that because there are so many stories we’re following, they’re very simplistic. Problems are overcome very quickly because there isn’t time to dwell on them. I tend to like a little more complexity in my stories, but I understand the limitations here.
It was super cute and if you haven’t watched it yet, make sure you add it to your Christmas to-watch list. It’ll make your heart happy.