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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Life + Arts

The Cougar Reviews: ‘Let it Snow’ a pleasant holiday movie


Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

“Let it Snow” borrows almost all of its ideas from existing clichés and tropes, but its fragmented nature and likable characters prevent it from being stale and ensure there’s a movie in it for everyone.

“Let it Snow” is five stories in one, and not one of those stories is original, but it escapes immediately feeling tired or boring by cross-cutting between them frequently, often only including a scene from each story at a time.

While none of these storylines are particularly awful, the duller moments never dredge on for too long, resulting in a movie that has all of the elements of a middling holiday rom-com, but elevated to something that’s consistently enjoyable.

Unfortunately, this has the secondary effect of making the film feel a little hollow.

Each character really only has one or two conflicts, and their characterization tends to be an extension of that conflict. Because of this, the characterization often ends up feeling one-note.

Julie (Isabel Moner) is a hard worker who wants to get away from her town.

The Duke (Kiernan Shipka) is the tomboy.

Tobin (Mitchell Hope) is the guy who is scared of talking to his lifelong crush.

Addie (Odeya Rush) is the girl who cares deeply about what the people around her think of her.

Stuart (Shameik Moore) is the famous guy who just wants to get away from it all.

Dorrie (Liv Hewson) is the confident out lesbian who is going after the closeted popular girl.

Keon (Jacob Batalon) is the DJ who wants to make it big.

I wish I could say there was more to these characters than these single-sentence descriptions, but there’s not.

The way these characters interact with each other is interesting and is enough to sustain their own storylines, but it makes the resolutions feel premature, like the movie’s ending interrupted the movie.

Of course, this isn’t a problem so much as it is a necessary evil. To make the movie consistently enjoyable and fun, “Let it Snow” forgoes a significant connection with its characters.

Despite this disappointing characterization, the talented cast of “Let it Snow” is the heart and soul of the movie.

Apart from Addie and Keon, the characters feel alive and interesting, and really seem to occupy space in a familiar suburban world. The actors really pinpoint on what makes their characters tick and play off of that very well. There are, by no means, any groundbreaking performances from any of the actors, but they take what they’re given and make something that’s eminently watchable.

While “Let it Snow” is nothing new, it improves on many of its influences and manages to be breezy and fun. It’s unmemorable, however, owing to its lack of multidimensional characters, but it’s a pleasant holiday movie that rises above plenty of the others in its genre.

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