Distributed by: Marvista Entertainment
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
It's the holiday season and every year, I try to find a new holiday movie...something I haven't seen before...to get me in that holiday spirit. I'd seen all of the ones playing on the regular channels and started looking down the list of channels for something different when I spotted something on the ION Channel - Christmas Mail.
Christmas Mail stars A.J. Buckley as Matt Sanders. By day, Matt is a disgruntled post office employee. By night, Matt is a father, raising his niece after the death of his sister and her husband in a car accident. Christmas is a particularly hectic time of the year for Matt, what with the numerous packages being sent and the letters to Santa. But just when he thinks he might break under all of the pressure, he meets Kristi North (Ashley Scott).
Kristy has been sent to Matt's Post Office by the Postmaster General to answer letters written to Santa Claus. Secretive about her personal life, Kristy is a bright spot of sunshine in the Post Office. Her cheerfulness and na´vetÚ are like a balm to the wounds of the overworked postal employees, but her secretiveness is a problem for the Post Office Manager, Mr. Fuller (Lochlyn Munro). Fuller believes that Kristy's real assignment is to spy on him and discredit him to the Postmaster General. He decides to promote Matt as his second in command, using him to spy on Kristy.
Meanwhile, Matt's niece has been writing to Santa, asking him to find a special friend for her uncle so they can have a happy family. Kristy North's responses to these letters inspire Emily to try to hook Matt up with his elderly neighbors and single mothers in the neighborhood. However, despite the role of spy, Matt realizes that he only has eyes for Kristy. If only he could break through that shy, secretive side and discover who Kristy really is. But if he does, will Fuller destroy everything for Matt?
From minute one of this film, I knew exactly who Kristy North was. I won't ruin it for you, but there are a million clues that will have you realizing exactly who she is by the first half hour. This role is a surprising departure from roles Ashley Scott has taken on in the past. Known for her gritty action roles and her dramatic presence, Scott takes on a role that is the exact opposite of her norm. Having seen Ashley Scott in Dark Angel, Birds of Prey, Walking Tall, Into the Blue and Jericho, I can honestly say that her acting has improved over the years. By taking on this new role, she has challenged herself and risen to the challenge well, making her character likable and fun, despite her naive and sometimes flighty nature.
The story itself is actually rather unique. Sure, there are dozens of romantic comedies set in the holiday season, but this one has a twist and that's Kristy's true identity. I love the reason she offers as to why she moves around every Christmas and tries not to get too close to people: kids and animals are easy to enjoy, it's the adults that are the problem. After all, they don't believe in Santa Claus! There are a number of good messages in this film, such as believing in yourself; you can't make anyone else happy until you can allow yourself some happiness; learning to trust may be difficult, but you will never learn if you walk away. And these lessons are all wrapped up in a cute romantic comedy that will leave you smiling by the time the closing credits role.
I wasn't sure what I expected from Christmas Mail, but I do know that this is one film that I will probably add to my must see list to get me in the holiday spirit for Christmases to come.