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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Netflix’s ‘Let It Snow’ kindles Christmas spirit

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Narrated by a woman dressed in tin foil (Joan Cusack) during a massive snow storm, three love stories converge at a bright yellow Waffle House, which lacks a ‘W’ in its neon sign, until a third of the way through the film. Unfortunately, we never find out why Cusack’s character always wears tin foil.

Luke Snellin’s Netflix adaptation of the popular trio of short Christmas stories was released Nov. 8 — 11 years after the book’s release. The novel “Let It Snow” contains three holiday romances: “The Jubilee Express” by Maureen Johnson, “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” by John Green and “The Patron Saint of Pigs” by Lauren Myracle.

Stuart (Shameik Moore) and Julie (Isabela Merced) star in “The Jubilee Express” thread of the story. Quite different from Johnson’s narrative, Stuart is a famous singer trying to fly under the radar for a day. He and Julie meet on a train. She is on the hunt for a present for her mother, and he is attempting to be ‘normal’ for just a day. Julie’s narrative becomes more complicated on the screen as she tries to reconcile her admission to Columbia’s school of journalism with her mother’s illness.

John Green’s trio of friends present in the literary version of “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” is narrowed down to just the duo of Tobin (Mitchell Hope) and The Duke (Kiernan Shipka) in the film. CJ’s character (Matthew Noszka) becomes a distant, unimportant acquaintance. Keon (Jacob Batalon) still mans his post at the Waffle House.

Myracle’s character Tegan is completely omitted from the screen-adapted version of “The Patron Saint of Pigs,” leaving the story to center around Addie (Odeya Rush) and Dorrie (Liv Newson). Rush portrays the perfect pouty friend, oblivious to problems that are larger than her own while she captures the character of Addie.

While the film’s adherence to the plot and character development of the book is mediocre at best, the changes made by screenwriters Laura Solon, Victoria Strouse and Kay Cannon adapt the novel for the better. While the book is certainly a fast and enjoyable read, the on-screen plot benefits greatly from some cleverly tweaked details. The characters’ backstories also came across well on the screen although many of them were significantly altered.

One character I missed in the film is Addie’s Christmas angel Mayzie. From her description, she just sounds like a necessary character to include in the film. Additionally, Mayzie constantly gives the spotlight to Addie’s teacup pig, which, as a result of the angel’s absence, does not get as much attention as it deserves in the film.

Set on a backdrop of bright colors and a fluid soundtrack — including  “Rock the Casbah” by the Clash and “The Whole of the Moon” by The Waterboys — these interconnected tales create the warm, fuzzy feelings that arise around Christmastime. “Let It Snow” is the perfect romantic comedy to watch when choosing which film to watch from all of the classics.