When a young girl writes a letter to Santa asking him to bring her mother someone to love for Christmas, the letter goes viral and everyone wants a date with the woman who’s known as #SantaMom in Peppermint and Postcards on GAF. A local news reporter thinks this would make some cheerful Christmas content, but in the process of filming #SantaMom trying to find a new man, he falls for her.
PEPPERMINT AND POSTCARDS: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
Opening Shot: Megan (Amelia Harrison), a 9-year-old girl, makes a family of snow people in her yard with her mom, Cara (Ella Cannon). She’s built herself, her mom, her dad, and… her dad’s new French fianceé. One big happy family.
The Gist: Cara’s a single mom, and she actually has a good relationship with her ex, Chris. She’s invited him and his new wife-to-be, Susie, to her house for Christmas. Megan sees how happy her dad is with a new partner, so she writes a letter to Santa asking him to bring her mom someone to love. The letter magically flies out the window of their house and is discovered by the owner of the local coffee shop, who posts it on the wall. From there, Susie sees it and uploads it, and the letter goes viral.
Cara becomes known as #SantaMom, and a local newsman, Chet Walters (Christopher Russell), goes to her house to reveal her identity to the world. But Cara doesn’t want this kind of attention and she resists doing an interview. Chet sees this story as his opportunity to get recognized on a national stage – he wants to level up his career and get a job in a city, and if he can do an exclusive series on #SantaMom, he’s guaranteed to get promoted to a job at Big City News (presumably located in Anytown, USA?).
Soon, Cara starts receiving sacks of mail from prospective suitors, and she agrees to film herself going on dates for Chet’s news story, but there are no sparks with anyone. The more time Cara spends with Chet… well, y’know, they start crushin’ on each other. Chet wants the big finale of his news story to include Cara being asked to the Red Falls Festive Fandango, the dance that’s held in town on Christmas Eve, and even though Chet tries to produce the perfect date for Cara at the dance, it’s clear that Cara wants to be dating him.
Chet learns that he’s getting a promotion and a new job in the city, but it hinges entirely on the #SantaMom story getting a happy ending. Cara, frustrated at being a hashtag, explains that she’s not interested in going to the dance with anyone, she’s sick of being #SantaMom. But if Chet can’t deliver a happy ending to his news story, his promotion won’t happen. Thankfully, at the dance, Megan, the little scamp who orchestrated this whole thing in the first place, comes up with a plan for Cara and Chet to be together.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of? The film definitely seems inspired by Sleepless In Seattle, with a letter to Santa subbing in for a phone call to a radio show, and a kid desperate to find a partner for their lonely parent.
A Holiday Tradition: The Red Falls Festive Fandango, the annual Christmas Eve dance in town. What, doesn’t YOUR town have a Christmas Eve dance??
Does the Title Make Any Sense?: I get that Cara receives a lot of postcards, but I’m still not sure where the peppermint comes from.
Our Take: Peppermint and Postcards is better than a lot of other holiday romances out there, but it still just peddles in “It’s fine. I’d fold my laundry to it” levels of artistry. To its credit, I wasn’t sure I’d be on board with the whole “hashtag Santa Mom” shtick and fortunately, that doesn’t get as annoying as it could have. And it’s cute when all of Cara’s loved ones start to rally around her so she’ll actually hook up with Chet. In that regard, it’s a sweet little romance, there just isn’t anything to make it truly memorable.
There’s nothing wrong with Peppermint and Postcards, there’s plenty to like about its small-town charms and cute love story. It’s decent. But when you have so many other things you could be watching that are great, and this is just okay, I feel like great should win out.
Parting Shot: Chet asks Cara, “Will you dance with me?” and she tells him, “I thought you would never ask,” and they kiss at the big Festive Fandango.
Performance Worth Watching: Christopher Russell looks like a 1980s soap opera heartthrob playing Prince Charming, but he plays Chet as a likable, vulnerable guy… once you get to know him.
Memorable Dialogue: “#GoSantaMom!” Once the community starts to rally around Cara’s love life, everyone refers to her as Santa Mom and speaks in hashtags, offering her encouragement.
Our Call: SKIP IT! Peppermint and Postcards is a decent comfort watch for the holidays, but it’s nothing to write home about.