Editor’s note: This review contains spoilers.
Watching "Let It Snow" was quite an on-the-spot decision one Friday night, and I didn’t have high expectations. I thought it would just be another light-hearted Netflix Christmas rom-com with cheesy Christmas songs and common clichés. Some parts were; the clichés do not go unnoticed. But there are also some original elements that took me by surprise and made this Christmas rom-com stand out from others of its kind.
Based on the 2008 novel "Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances" by authors John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, "Let It Snow" follows a group of high school seniors on Christmas Eve in a small town that gets hit by a snowstorm. They spend the day with their friends, family, strangers or crushes, at the local Waffle Town, at home, in a snow plow or in a hockey rink. Together they must confront their vulnerabilities, wants and needs and the world’s expectations of them to make some important decisions that affect their relationships, life and future.
The characters are well-developed with solid arcs as they all grow in one way or another throughout the film’s storyline. Whether they express their feelings of love or fear to their loved ones, embrace their sexuality or make room for the people who are truly worth having in their life, all the main characters step out of their comfort zone, adopting different perspectives, facing issues that we can all relate to -- their journeys suddenly become familiar.
Nevertheless, these transformations are not depicted in cheesy and unoriginal ways. On the contrary, there is something quite quirky about "Let It Snow." I believe that this quirkiness stems from the fact that the movie doesn’t try to imitate other Christmas rom-coms, but rather successfully paves its own way. While the plot is not new, involving basic storylines, the script is full of wit and warmth, which makes the characters even more likable.
The characters are all next-door people; awkward but charming, with complicated emotions and flaws; they don’t pretend to be something more than what they are, like princesses or knights in shining armor. The movie also includes a queer love story, which is quite uncommon in Hollywood Christmas movies.
The major thing that adds to the quirky vibe of "Let It Snow" and makes it stand out from other Christmas rom-coms is its unique and brilliant indie rock soundtrack. With every song played in this movie, I found myself thinking, “This song completes this scene so perfectly in a way that I would have never imagined it could.”
From “Whole of the Moon” by The Waterboys to “100 Years Ago” by The Rolling Stones and “Rock the Casbah” by The Clash, the songs blended with the storylines in such surprisingly harmonious, felicitous and satisfactory ways.
Directed by Luke Snellin and written by Laura Solon, Victoria Strouse and Kay Cannon, "Let It Snow" is a fresh Christmas rom-com with its own personality and character and is proud of it. It’s quirky, witty and wholesome with funky sounds and just the right amount of Christmas spirit. If you are looking for a relaxing Christmas movie that won’t overkill the Christmas joy, consider watching Netflix’s "Let It Snow."
We’ve all been a teenager at some point going through at least one of the scenarios appearing in the movie, so don’t be surprised when you will end up relating to the characters, rooting for their young love and friendships by the end of the film. "Let It Snow" may well exceed your expectations just like it exceeded mine.
IMDb rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 75% (critic), 48% (audience)
My personal rating: 7/10
Contact contributor Myrsini Manou-Georgila at firstname.lastname@example.org.