Santa Games (2022 Hulu)

Santa Games

Santa Games (2022 Hulu)

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Cast: Faizon Love, B.J. Minor, Trisha Mann

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Synopsis (via Hulu)

This year, the manager of a mall where Santa Charles work decides to upgrade and replace him with forced retirement. Instead of leaving, he asks to find his appropriate replacement by putting out an online ad. When this ad goes viral, the interview process becomes a series of tasks and challenges leading to an all-out competition of Festive chaos and Christmas comedy.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie starts with a mall Santa (Santa Charles) enjoying some cookies on a break. Santa Charles runs the place and has been the mall Santa for years. (He is also from a legacy of Santas.) He tells the elves to have “fun, fun, fun.” The crowds of adoring kids and parents love a Black Santa who really does bring the fun.

At home, Santa Charles is just ordinary Charles. He and his wife Clara have taken in his nephew Clarance, who is unemployed, and drinks from the carton. 

On his way to work, Santa Charles waves to people as he drives a red convertible. He is living his best life. That is, until his money-focused boss forces him into early retirement. Denise wants to bring in a white Santa named Patrick to a Black Santa Mall!!! Santa Charles makes a deal with his boss to find his replacement and leave with dignity. As he leaves, he tells Denise that she looks like the Heat Miser. (This movie features many hilarious improvised lines from Faizon Love.)

Santa Charles recruits a young hip mall worker named Terrell to help him search for the next Santa. Terell accidentally posts the video before it is ready, and it goes viral when VanGirl21 shares it and starts an online dance challenge. This causes all the Santas to come out to the mall for the #UltimateSantaChallenge.

Many people show up, including Nephew Clarence, who doesn’t want to do it or thinks he can because of his criminal background. Santa Charles gives in an inspirational speech to his nephew, who isn’t having it and REALLY doesn’t want to be a mall Santa. 

When a kid tells Clarence he is lucky to have a Santa Uncle; Clarence has second thoughts about his life calling. He decides to enter the challenge, and Aunt Carol helps him prepare. 

Three days of competition called the Santa games begin and is live-streamed to the WORLD. (Or at least the town.) Stephany (who wants to be the first female Santa), Adam (whose family roots for him ala Tara’s House, Nick (Who has roid rage), Scott (Terrible British Accent), and Wayne enter the contest. They are interviewed for the online video feed and talk trash about one another. 

The first challenge is grabbing a costume; those who cannot snag one are eliminated. The costumes include Elves, Gingerbread, and Snowmen. The shirts are designed by Terrell. 

Next is Santa Trivia and a Blind Cookie Contest. Clarence (posing as Clyde so there is no favoritism.) makes it to the final round, as do the others who have been heavily featured. 

The final round consists of an obstacle course around the mall. A jack pops Clyde’s balloon, but everyone stops to help him and Santa cross the finish line together as a team. (Which is very sportsman-like.) 

Since no one won, Santa Charles says that he is going to keep on the mall Santa. Then Clyde reveals himself and has to capture the hat of an Elf as a tie-breaker. Santa Charles picks Clarance as the next mall Santa. He will only agree to do it if all of the team gets to be Santa as well. 

Denise and Santa Charles agree because giving is the real meaning of Christmas. 

We see everyone in the new role as Santa. They get dressed and sit on the chair and talk with Children. They are all good with the parents and kids, but no one is as charming as Clarence who has really found his calling. The legacy continues.

Santa Charles and Carol head to a tropical vacation for their retirement! The end!

Side Note

I really, really, really liked the portrayal of Terrell as a confident and smart queer black man that Santa Charles gets along with and comes to for help. B.J. Minor was outstanding in this role, and I hope to see him more! 

This movie was low budget but successful at providing a feel good story.

Minority Report: The cast is predominately Black actors

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Christmas Trees represent the Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is overall enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know if they should watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend). 

Overall rating

Christmas Feels

🎄🎄🎄🎄 (4 Christmas Trees)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine.)

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*Photo Credit: © 2022 Hulu

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