It doesn’t have too much going for it, but it has its few charms that make it a decent holiday flick.
An adaptation of esteemed YA author John Green’s novel of the same name, Let it Snow is basically a collection of individual sub-plots that all intertwine at various points. It has what you would typically expect from the YA genre: with a dash of romance, drama, and quirky comedy. The movie begins with a main group of teenagers, and then introduces us to their individual struggles and antics they become entangled in during the holiday season. In addition, Let it Snow features a rather notable cast — with actors such as Shameik Moore, Jacob Batalon, and Mitchell Hope being on board.
When a big snowstorm hits the town, things start to get crazy — and each of the teenagers end up having wildly different experiences. We see one character, Julie Reyes (Isabela Merced) form a close bond and eventually fall in love with celebrity singer Stuart Bale (Shameik Moore) who happened to drop into town. Things get even more complicated once she has to decide whether to go to the renowned university she was accepted in, or to take care of her terminally ill mother at home.
Meanwhile, Waffle Town employee Dorrie (Liv Hewson) is trying to get her crush, Kerry (Anna Akana) to notice her, while at the same time dealing with a falling-out with her best friend Addie (Odeya Rush). Dorrie winds up feeling very distraught; she wants Kerry to acknowledge her feelings for her, and she wants to repair her relationship with her friend, but neither seem to be working.
There is also Tobin, (Mitchell Hope) who spends his time gathering up the courage to tell his best friend Angie (Kiernan Shipka) that he likes her. However, Tobin feels really intimidated by their mutual college friend JP (Matthew Noszka), so he feels the need to impress Angie at every turn. The situation eventually turns sour when he finally admits his jealousy of JP to Angie, causing the two to take some time apart in order to think over their feelings towards one another.
While everything else goes on, Tobin’s DJ friend Keon (Jacob Batalon) plans a huge party for his friends. Since his initial plans of setting it up at his house were foiled by his parents, he decides to instead set it up at the local restaurant hub, Waffle Town. The party ends up so popular, that it ultimately culminates in bringing everyone together. In spite of all of the previous drama, all of the main characters eventually make amends with one another, and every couple has their happy ending. Julie ends up with Stuart and finally decides to go to university after her mom tells her to live out her dreams. Kerry comes out of the closet and decides to date Dorrie. Tobin gets together with Angie, and so forth. It was all sweet and wholesome, albeit a bit predictable.
Overall, I thought the actors did a pretty good job with what they were working with. Unfortunately though, Let it Snow’s largest fault was it’s story. The writing was average at best, and not even it’s host of well known actors could fix that. It was filled to the brim with cliche YA romance tropes, and you could pretty easily predict where the film was going to go by the end. To be honest, I was a little saddened that the movie was so forgettable, because I felt as though it could have had a little more potential if it had a more fleshed out script. On top of this, I felt as though more time could have been spent on developing certain characters like Keon and Dorrie, who get abruptly left to the side mid-way through the movie.
Even so, one of Let it Snow’s saving graces was that it offered a decently diverse cast. There are Black and Asian main characters, as well as LGBTQ+ protagonists. All of the representation in the movie felt natural too, with all of the main characters simply just being everyday teenagers that are trying to live their day-to-day lives. One example of this being that Dorrie tries getting a girlfriend, and everyone encourages her to do so/tries to help her get her date. I thought this was really refreshing! I think that if more films would make diversity more normalized it would make such a huge difference, and allow everyone to feel represented on the big screen.
Overall, I thought that Let it Snow was an alright Christmas movie. Although the story was a bit cliche and the writing subpar, it was a rather enjoyable movie if all you are looking for is an uplifting YA romance flick to kick back and watch during the holiday season!
WRITTEN BY: Jazmyn McLain. Originally published December 29, 2020