For Thanksgiving this year, I tried to make a different turkey brining recipe than I normally do for the sake of variety. Unfortunately, I got my proportions wrong resulting in a too-salty brine and thus inedible gravy. And the turkey? Well, it was edible, but the turkey was also on the salty side. Northpole: Open For Christmas was like the Thanksgiving dinner I made – unwatchable in spots and just bad in others. The scenes with Santa, Clementine (Bailee Madison) and the other elves in the Northpole were so sickly sweet and cheery it was nauseating. It was like watching Rachel Boston on uppers.
I actually liked the premise (much like I liked my idea for a different brine) Clementine’s mission was simple – get the magical layline in Vermont back online so that Santa can fly around the world in a single night. The magical focal point is the Northern Lights Inn, recently inherited by Mackenzie (Lori Loughlin). Mackenzie is an estate appraiser, always on the road, never in one place long enough to develop an attachment to anyone or anything. When she receives the inheritance, her first thought is to sell the place sight unseen, but she changes her mind to check out the place before she sells. Once there, she remembers that her best Christmas memories occurred at this inn as a child– at least this provides a framework for why she might keep the place (unlike some Hallmark movies where the person’s character completely changes for no reason).
Clementine’s cover story was non-existent – she just showed up at the inn and started helping. Was she a guest? A new staff member? I don’t understand. [Ed. Note – I’m told that her cover story is she is the grand niece of the caretaker, but I have zero recollection of any scene telling us this.] Clementine was under orders not to share anything with Mackenzie, yet she liberally shows her magic and even takes her to the Northpole. Doesn’t that violate “not telling her anything?”
There wasn’t a lot of gravy in Northpole: Open For Christmas, which is a good thing given how salty my gravy was. There were only two scenes at the Northpole, once you get past the nausea from those scenes the movie isn’t bad other than the complete lack of [noticeable] explanation for Clementine.
32. Ice Sculpture Christmas
34. Cookie Cutter Christmas