Summer at Christmas
"Help for the Holidays" is movie making by list, something which isn't unusual when it comes to made for TV Christmas movies. As such it ticks the boxes of having an attractive cast, some Santa magic, a family who have forgotten the joy of Christmas and of course a bit of romance. But not only does this make "Help for the Holidays" unbelievably familiar it also makes it unbelievably corny and whilst you expect some corny stuff this reaches the point of overkill.
Santa's helper Christine (Summer Glau - Deadly Honeymoon) has began to wonder whether there is more to life than making toys for all the good little girls and boys so when Santa (Steve Larkin) says he is going to have to send her on a mercy mission into the real world she is so excited. That mission is to become nanny for the Vancamp family after he received a letter from young Will (Mason Cook) wishing for his family to get the Christmas spirit again. But there are a couple of rules for Christine to obey; no one can know she is an elf and she can't get romantically involved with anyone whilst in the real world. The trouble is that not only do the Vancamp children begin to suspect that Christine is special but their Uncle Dave (John Brotherton) takes a shine to her.
So as I said "Help for the Holidays" is movie making by list and that means it is very obvious, from the minute Christine arrives at the Vancamp household and meets Uncle Dave it is obvious that she is going to fall for him but can't because of that second rule. At the same time it is also obvious that at some point the children, especially Will's older and more cynical sister Ally will become suspicious of who Christine is with all her nanny magic. I could go on because the storyline doesn't serve up any surprises at all and whilst the story is pleasant it makes "Help for the Holidays" an ordinary Christmas movie.
What also makes it ordinary is all the cute parts, the comedy which is often as obvious as the story. From Christine not fully understanding everything people say and what they mean in the real world to her innocence and belief in Santa it again ticks all those boxes.
And then there is the cast which for this sort of movie has to be good looking and Summer Glau as Christine is good looking, cute and all the other things you expect. At the same time John Brotherton is pleasantly handsome as Uncle Dave and does the good guy act nicely. And it is the same for the rest of the cast as none of them look out of place in the various beautiful locations and homes which Help for the Holidays" has been shot in.
What this all boils down to is that "Help for the Holidays" is your typical made for TV Christmas movie which ticks all the boxes and is pleasant enough but it isn't amazing or that memorable.