I haven’t been digging the Netflix film lineup this year, so I was weary about this one. The trailer was fun, but I assumed that’s as good as it was going to get. I’m pleased to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie from beginning to end. Let It Snow is a wholesome movie with some funny, sad, and feel good stuff all wrapped up with a bow.
Let It Snow is essentially Love Actually but in high school and without being a total rip off. Luke Snellin creates a fun atmosphere on the slower side, but stays consistent. Yes, there are some cheesy moments, but calculated ones that you should have in a film like this. It isn’t a raunchy comedy chock full of terrible jokes, but it also isn’t a Lifetime movie. If anything, it is seemingly an homage to its spiritual predecessor. I know this was based on a book that has nothing to do with Love Actually, but hear me out. The beginning of Love Actually starts with a famous musical artist character in a studio recording an original holiday song. Let It Snow’s opening montage features a character singing an original holiday song in a radio studio. Another great scene at the end on the roof of the Waffle Town reminds me of a certain little scene at the end of Empire Records. There are a couple more things, but even if this is all just coincidental, it works and I dig it.
Based on the book Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson, we follow a group of high school kids and witness their lives intertwining on Christmas Eve. Yes, it follows a very cliché and predictable formula, but the thing I like most about it is that it doesn’t overdo itself. It’s just a group of kids in relatable high school situations all eventually coming together on a night that happens to be at Christmas time. Just like Love Actually, it’s down to Earth and not banking on Hollywood holiday fluffery.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
I think what really makes this film stand out to me is the characters. I like how real they felt and the strong chemistry between all of them. There is one clingy and annoying character that I didn’t care for, but the beauty of her is that there are many people who act just like that at that age, so I can’t write it off. It was just painfully accurate. I loved the entire cast. I was very excited to see familiar faces like Jacob Batalon, Joan Cusak, Kiernan Shipka, and Anna Akana.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
If not for any other reason, you should watch this movie for it’s incredible soundtrack. Not only do we get a dope single from the amazing Shamiek Moore himself, sung as his character Stuart, we get so many other bangers. They must have hit some sort of jackpot with the music licensing gods. We get a stellar mix of The Clash, illuminati hotties, Slow Club, The Rolling Stones, and so many more. The best part about the music is the film’s diegetic use of "The Whole of the Moon" by The Waterboys in one of the storylines and helps it come full circle. I have a personal love for that song, so the whole thing hit pretty personally for me.
Okay now, here is my only real gripe. The entire film seems to be shot on a wide lens and all I have to say about that is... WHY? It’s highly unnecessary in most of the shots because everything looks warped. I didn’t really notice until about five minutes in and suddenly I felt like I was trapped in a fish bowl the rest of the time. The film itself is already slightly novice (in the best way), but the cinematography really makes it seem like amateur hour. I really liked the overall design of the sets and everyone’s costumes were great, however, this camera business makes this half spilled.
As I add this to my annual holiday film watchlist, I’m also not ashamed in the slightest to admit that I’ve watched it about seven times so far. My best advice is to make some hot chocolate, cuddle up with your favorite blanket, relax, and just let it snow.