Santa Bootcamp Movie Review

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Written By Kristen

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An event planner gets more than she bargained for when she searches for the perfect Santa for a client's party. In the Santa Bootcamp on Lifetime, Christmas enthusiasts learn how to become the best Santa, Mrs. Claus, and elves for the holidays. Can Aiden and Emily make the cut. And, will they make Christmas magic together?

The Santa Bootcamp Story

When Emily (Emily Kinney) gets a last minute Christmas party to plan, she has to satisfy the demanding client's wish for the perfect Santa. His parties are known for having the best Santa Claus, and he will accept nothing less than perfection from Emily. So she sets off to the Santa Bootcamp to find the perfect Santa. But things don't go as planned when the the school's director, Belle (Rita Moreno) won't give Emily a Santa until she completes the 5 day class.

Emily isn't the only one forced into taking the class. Belle also insists that the camp's chef, Aiden (Justin Gaston) take the class as well. Belle is secretly playing match maker as she sees the spark between Emily and Aiden.

The Santa Bootcamp Cast

Santa Bootcamp is filled with a great cast. Of course that starts with Rita Moreno, but also includes John Shuck as her husband Chris (wink, wink). What's especially nice about Rita's role is that she is the main character. She isn't put in the movie just for name sake. Instead, she plays the spunky and mischievous Belle. It's a real treat to watch her in this movie.

Other stars in the movie include Marissa Jaret Winokur as Patti, Belle's assistant. And, the movie also includes two deaf actors, Deanne Bray and Zyra Singleton. I love when moves are inclusive and the Santa Bootcamp definitely is. I especially loved watching Zyra. She was adorable as Charlotte and although there probably aren't a lot of children watching a Lifetime Christmas movie, how inspiring it is for a deaf child to see herself represented on TV.

Santa Bootcamp Cast
Santa Bootcamp starring Rita Morena

My Review of the Santa Bootcamp

The Verdict: Fun. I have to admit that the movie started a little slowly for me. In the first 15 minutes or so I was really tempted to abort. I'm not sure what it was. I think it was Emily's original persona that rubbed me the wrong way.

I also think that the movie made some serious mistakes when it came to the subtitles for the scenes that used sign language. The font was completely wrong. Number one, subtitles should be in white or black font. Usually white provides the best contrast to the background, but black is sometimes better. Second, the font should be a standard sans-serif. This is a clean and legible font that is easy to read. Santa Bootcamp chose a color that blended in with the background. And, it was almost like a script font. Way too busy.

But as the movie went along I liked it more and more. Because it takes place in Los Angeles, it kind of had that Hollywood feel to it. Like we were actually on a movie set, with beautiful costumes, sets, and props. It was also nice to see how the camp transformed Emily and got her enjoying Christmas again. It's easy to just go through the motions sometimes, and lose sight of what the holiday is all about. It's nice to watch Emily find her love for the holiday again. And, to find an unexpected love along the way.

Santa Bootcamp Recap

The Santa Bootcamp is a fun movie to watch, despite some of it's flaws. You can't go wrong watching a movie with Rita Moreno and John Shuck. Stars that we don't get to see much on TV. And while Emily finds her Christmas spirit as she goes through the camp, that feeling is infectious and you can't help but feel a little more Christmas cheer by the end of the movie.

Related Articles:

Lifetime Christmas Schedule for 2022

Watch Santa Bootcamp on Lifetime

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