If one’s ever read fanfiction, much of the plot of “Let It Snow” is incredibly familiar. The Christmas rom-com, loosely based off the novel with the same name co-authored by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson, follows the individual stories of a group of teenagers during a snowstorm.
The movie begins with a voiceover foreshadowing that “snow has the power to bring us all together.” With a pan over an artist in a recording studio, a girl opening an acceptance letter from Columbia University and a boy and girl shopping for records at a music store, it certainly seems difficult to see how all of these storylines eventually weave together.
The first plotline introduced is of a smaller scale, following Keon (Jacob Batalon). He calls himself “DJ K Star Pow Money,” and he and his friend Tobin (Mitchell Hope) carry two large cases of alcohol and as they prepare for a party they’re greeted by Keon’s parents’ unexpected return. Keon spends the remainder of the movie bringing together his dream party, and his ends up being a smaller, yet necessary, tale.
A bigger plotline of the movie follows Tobin and his childhood best friend Angie (Kiernan Shipka). Unbeknownst to Angie, Tobin is secretly in love with her and spends much of the film pining for her, while she appears to lack the same feelings. The pair get stranded at a church while buying a keg for Keon’s party, only to end up in an argument due to Tobin’s jealousy of Angie’s competing love interest, JP (Matthew Noszka). Tobin’s awkward nature adds comedy and sincerity to the movie.
While on a train, another teenager, Julie (Isabela Merced), meets celebrity Stuart (Shameik Moore). Because of the snowstorm, the train is stopped, so the duo hops off and head to Waffle Town, the central location of the movie.
The movie’s remainder follows the beginning of their love story and Julie’s battle between attending Columbia or staying home to care for her ailing mother. While the story isn’t an altogether original one — as the plot of randomly meeting a celebrity and falling in love is a common theme in fanfiction — the two characters share a real sense of chemistry.
Next is the tale of Dorrie (Liv Hewson), who unexpectedly runs into past flame Kerry (Anna Akana) while working at Waffle Town. Dorrie deals with Kerry’s inability to admit to her feelings for Dorrie to her friends, and Dorrie eventually discovers that this is because Kerry had lied previously about being out as a lesbian.
Dorrie also struggles with her relationship with her best friend, Addie (Odeya Rush), who chooses to worry about people who don’t care about her, such as her boyfriend, rather than spending time with Dorrie.
Addie’s story doesn’t add much to the film, but it does add a valuable message to young people when Addie realizes the importance of friendship over boys. Addie and Dorrie’s mended companionship shows an important point that love over the holidays doesn’t always have to come in the form of a significant other.
Of course, typical of feel-good movies, each of the characters ends up with a happy ending, and there are some plot holes throughout the movie, most obviously in Julie and Stuart’s plotline. However, the movie still offers a creative and fun twist on the typical Christmas rom-com. The charisma of the actors is easy to enjoy, and where the plot may have some clichés, the multi-faceted nature of the movie and the acting makes up for it.
The smooth transitions from one story to the next and clever tie-ins between them successfully weaves the complex nature of the movie together. The overall confined feel of the plotlines also eases confusion, creating a movie that’s both easy to follow while remaining entertaining.
“Let It Snow” may not take a spot amongst other Christmas classics, but it’s a fun, enjoyable movie to get anyone into the festive spirit.
Contact Paige Pettry at email@example.com For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.