‘Let It Snow’ (2019) Review

On Christmas Eve, in the middle of a snowstorm, a handful of teenagers experience some highs and lows before convening upon the local “Waffle Town” for a party.

Julie (Isabela Merced) is on a quest to find a figurine for her mother for Christmas. When that fails, she boards a train to head back home and inadvertently meets a pop star named Stuart Bale (Shameik Moore). The train gets stuck in the storm and Julie and Stuart jump the train to head for Waffle Town to pass the time. From there, they spend most of the day together, where Stuart learns about Julie’s acceptance into Columbia, as well as her mother’s illness which is keeping her from making the decision to attend college. Julie, on the other hand, gets to know Stuart as more than just a famous pop star, but as a young man with insecurities and troubles of his own.

Dorrie (Liv Hewson) and Addie (Odeya Rush) are best friends, both struggling with their confusing love lives. Addie is pretty sure her boyfriend is out with another girl, and Dorrie – a Waffle Town waitress – is attempting to figure out whether or not a pretty cheerleader that she hooked up with actually likes her. After a humiliating confrontation with her boyfriend at Waffle Town, Addie storms off and is picked up by the local tow truck employee only known as the Tin Foil Woman (Joan Cusack) who offers her some wisdom about youth and being dependent on other people.

Tobin (Mitchell Hope) and Duke, aka Angie (Kiernan Shipka), have been best friends their entire lives, but Tobin is determined to tell Angie that he’s in love with her. Unfortunately, a hunky, former classmate named JP (Matthew Noszka) threatens to derail Tobin’s chance at romance with his best friend.

Meanwhile, wannabe DJ Keon (Jacob Batalon) decides to throw a party at Waffle Town, where he works, in order to impress a big-time DJ. Keon happens to work with a stoner named Billy (Miles Robbins) who pops up to occasionally throw some oddball life advice at the other characters.

After the incredibly disappointing The Last Summer, I went into this new teen-based ensemble with extremely low expectations. I knew this movie was based on a novel by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson called, Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances, but I still expected the movie to be jammed packed with an abundance of storylines that would diminish character development and try to sell me insignificant teenage drama as earnest, life-changing moments.

Thankfully Let It Snow stuck to three major storylines while sprinkling in a bit of subplot for filler. I found myself somewhere in between smiling and rolling my eyes. The storyline that stuck out most to me was Tobin and Angie. Their chemistry was nice, they had some fun rapport, and I’ve always loved romances where friends become more. I appreciated the LGBT representation with Dorrie and her cheerleader crush, Kerry (Anna Akana), even if the cheerleader group themselves played to the mindless herd stereotype. Dorrie’s issues with her best friend Addie felt just as relatable, and I really enjoyed Addie’s scenes with the Tin Foil Woman. The presence of Joan Cusack really elevates even the most terrible movies, and her character was a lot of fun. I was glad that Odeya Rush got the most screentime with Cusack because out of the entire ensemble, she was one of the better actresses.

I did find myself zoning out a bit watching Julie and Stuart’s storyline. Merced and Moore had zero chemistry and at times, the acting between the two made me cringe. Stuart was a bit bland, even for a pop star, though I did enjoy it when he called out Julie for twisting his offer of financial help into some kind of offensive charity case. Julie’s behavior felt very forced and out of place and made her a bit unlikable, though I’m sure they were going for a “feisty, stubborn” persona. I just wasn’t feeling it at all.

“Snow hides a lot, it’s like the Spanx of weather.” Probably the best line in the entire film, because it’s true. Everything in this movie is covered in snow and holiday lights, making it really beautiful to look at, but it’s basically just dressing up a mediocre teen-flick. The ensemble is decent, and there are some really sweet moments between the characters and a couple of laughs, but otherwise Let It Snow doesn’t break any new ground in the genre. Then again, maybe around the holidays, all you want is some cornball cheese and fluff. In that case, Let It Snow is worth a watch!

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."