Mrs. Claus's Miracle in Manhattan
Have you watched the wonderful Christmas movie "Mrs. Miracle" with Doris Roberts, if so "Mistletoe Over Manhattan" is going to end up feeling a little familiar. We may have a storyline which sees Mrs. Claus heading to New York to try and find some Christmas spirit for her stressed out husband but what occurs is Mrs. Claus acting as a nanny to a troubled family and ending up bringing them together again. It is fun with an entertainment level which is suitable for families with young teens but "Mistletoe Over Manhattan" is also very obvious trading on plenty of Christmas charm and a feel good atmosphere to keep you entertained.
It's Christmas and Mrs. Claus (Tedde Moore) is worried about Santa (Mairtin O'Carrigan) as he is over worked and stressed to the point he is ready to call it a day as he struggles to keep up with modern ways. So in order to make Santa happy again Mrs. Claus heads to New York where they spent a romantic Christmas in 1932 looking to bring back some Christmas spirit. She meets New York cop Joe (Greg Bryk), a decent young man who is in need of some Christmas joy himself as whilst he is still in love with his wife Lucy (Tricia Helfer) their commitment to their careers have lead to them splitting up. Agreeing to act as nanny and calling herself Mrs. Clausberger, Mrs. Claus sets about mending the broken family as she looks after their children Bailey (Olivia Scriven) and Travis (Peter DaCunha).
"Mistletoe Over Manhattan" feels like a Christmas movie which tries to include everything going from stress at the North Pole to a modern family which is going through a painful split. We have nervous head elves, Christmas trees, mistletoe and also plenty of romance which all combine to make a packed but in the end simple Christmas romantic comedy. I say simple because what all this boils down to is Mrs. Claus trying to get Joe and Lucy back together because she knows that in truth they still love each other but work has got in the way.
Now whilst we have this element of a modern fractured family where we have a young son and a teen daughter suffering from the fall out as well as a boyfriend for the mother who is not interested in the children there is no real depth to this. Instead "Mistletoe Over Manhattan" is a movie which trades on fun and charm as we gets scenes of Mrs. Claus preparing wonderful meals for the family, decorating the house and tree whilst less than subtly hiding the truth of who she is. It is all low level stuff, the sort of family friendly fun ideal for young children and young teens but in a cute sometimes cheesy way it works and the warmth of the Christmas spirit is pleasant.
Now I've already mentioned that "Mistletoe Over Manhattan" is a bit like "Mrs. Miracle" as we have Mrs. Claus magically intervening and making everything alright. But unfortunately Tedde Moore is no Doris Roberts and whilst her performance is enthusiastic it doesn't always have that maternal warmth which Roberts delivered. Of course they are different people but in the end very similar characters and so you can't help comparing.
What this all boils down to is that "Mistletoe Over Manhattan" is a fun, feel good Christmas movie for the family with nothing offensive about it. But it is very obvious and to be frank generic so if you have watched the magical "Mrs. Miracle" you are going to likely end up comparing this to that.