Moonlight and Mistletoe (2008) – reviewed by George

A Christmas movie with a Grinch is a fairly routine plot, but here the Grinch is Holly Crosby (Candace Cameron-Bure), who used to have a lot of Christmas spirit, but had it worked out of her by her single-minded father, the owner of Santaville, a Santa’s Village type of entertainment center, including stores, an inn, and lots of other touristy stuff. Also it’s open year-round. As a youngster Holly had to dress as an elf and be helpful to all. A more sympathetic parent might have helped her more, but her dad Nick Crosby (Tom Arnold), despite his love for Christmas and fondness for people he doesn’t know, kind of ignores Holly, I guess expecting her mom to get her through the strains of being an elf 24/7. When Mrs. Crosby dies Holly goes away to college, takes a job in Boston, and never comes back.
Now her dad’s lack of financial acumen (mom always handled the money) has slowly, gradually, led Santaville to the brink of ruin.
Then just as the Christmas season starts, Nick takes his girlfriend Ginny (Barbara Niven) for a sleigh ride, and after he delivers her back to her door he has an accident with the sleigh and can’t work. Holly has been ordered by her boss to take some days off (she never does), and he finally shuts the place down to force her to leave the building. Now she hears about Nick’s accident and goes “home” to help. She finds 1) he is down to three employees, Earl (Allan Nicholls) who spells him as Santa and does whatever repair work is required, Peter (Christopher Wiehl) who makes toys and things to sell, and Ginny, and 2) the bank has been extending credit for so many years that the end is coming on December 31, when Santaville will go into receivership and be sold to try the get the bank’s money back. So suddenly Holly decides she doesn’t want to lose Santaville, and begins to work on schemes to save it.
Oh, and she knows Peter from years before, but doesn’t remember, and in looking for help she finds Ben Richards (Matt Walton) and is attracted to Ben as well as to his plan to help. Trouble is Ben is a con man and wants Santaville to fail. He already has a scheme in place to sell and get a finder’s fee.
The thawing of the grinch’s heart toward Christmas and Santaville is underway! This is a cute movie, and I enjoyed it despite the fact that I could predict everything that happened.

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