It's on the Naughty List
Justin Carver (Cole Sprouse/ Dylan Sprouse) is a happy enough 8 year old with loving parents, much better than his best friend Bobby (Eric Jacobs) whose parents always argue and announce they are divorcing during a family meal. But when one night young Justin hears his parents arguing over money and then he sees his mum kissing Santa, unaware that it is his father dressed up, he starts to worry that his parents are also going to divorce and his Mum will run off with Santa. So he decides that to stop this from happening he has to be naughty so that Santa won't return and goes about setting up traps in case Santa comes back.
Whilst I'm not sure who "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is made for I have to admit I like the way the story is built. There is a sort of cleverness to the way young Justin puts two and two together after hearing his parents arguing and then seeing his mum kissing Santa and so decides to stop Santa from stealing his mum he has to be bad. It is a nice lead in before the movie basically starts to go all "Home Alone" as Justin comes up with various over the top booby traps to keep Santa away. But it is the fact that the storyline naturally leads to Justin learning that Santa isn't real makes it seem a very strange movie and any attempt to then make it magical again is just a joke.
What this means is that "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is trying to be a movie for children who are getting to the point where they learn that Santa isn't real. It's also a movie which tries to touch on the subject of how a child feels when their parents divorce with the sub storyline about Justin's friend Bobby. But the whole level of this, the comedy and gags all seem low level, the sort of stuff which will amuse much younger audiences who in my opinion don't need to know that Santa isn't real.
And talking of the gags well it certainly seems to draw on "Home Alone" as Justin comes up with various ingenious ways of stopping Santa from getting to his mum. But in trying to be ingenious it goes one step too far and becomes daft. Watching Justin throwing a rope over the top of his house, remember 8 year old kid, is just wrong and is just one of many moments of daftness which doesn't come off. Even the pay off to all these ingenious booby traps isn't that amusing and the actual slapstick element of it is quite weak. But what is worse is it almost encourages children to be naughty without any real repercussions and in anyone's book that is plain wrong.
Things don't get much better and to be honest you can pretty much ignore everyone except for twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse who play Justin. The Cole twins are recognizable from various other movies and shows such as "Big Daddy" and "Friends" and what they bring is almost a continuation of what we've seen them do before. So we have Justin who is a lovely kid but then is annoying mischievous. The trouble is that they are forced to over act so when asked to look angry what we get is painful grimacing and it's laughable in a bad way. And because "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" focuses mainly on Justin it has the knock on effect of making the likes of Connie Sellecca and Corbin Bernsen who play Justin's parents and Eric Jacobs who plays best friend Bobby background noise.
What this all boils down to is that "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is a misguided movie. It's misguided because the fact it basically debunks Santa Clause means it doesn't have a target audience and those who are young enough to find the jokes funny are the ones who don't need the magic of Christmas spoilt.