Secret Santa (TV Movie 2003) - IMDb
6.1/10
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7 user 2 critic

Secret Santa (2003)

Newspaper reporter Rebecca Chandler, who feels she got no fair chance to prove her worth in her three years career, looks forward to a Hawaian holiday with her fiancé Ryan, but instead of a... See full summary »

Director:

Ian Barry

Writers:

Beth Polson (story), Robert Tate Miller (teleplay)
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3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennie Garth ... Rebecca Chandler
Steven Eckholdt ... John Martin Carter
Charles Robinson ... Russell (as Charlie Robinson)
Joel McKinnon Miller ... Harley
Victor Raider-Wexler ... Bob
Josh Randall ... Ryan
Kathryn Joosten ... Winifred
Sam Anderson ... Mr. Gibson
Marnette Patterson ... Callie
Cody Fleetwood Cody Fleetwood ... Scotty
Barbara Billingsley ... Miss Ruthie
Marilyn O'Connor ... Betty
Fiona Hale Fiona Hale ... Beatrice
Nick Pietropaolo Nick Pietropaolo ... The maitre'd
John A. Keim John A. Keim ... Santa Claus (as John Keim)
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Storyline

Newspaper reporter Rebecca Chandler, who feels she got no fair chance to prove her worth in her three years career, looks forward to a Hawaian holiday with her fiancé Ryan, but instead of a ring he brings her- walking orders, he found better. So she accepts again to be the bachelor on duty in the Christmas season, and write the annual romantic non-news feel good-story, once more about the elusive Secret Santa in small-town Hamden, where the Christmas spirit it said to last all year. Bad luck follows her from Indianapolis: her car breaks down, she can only get lodgings in a home for the elderly without Internet, and nobody wants to help her unmask the secret Santa. Soon she guesses it must be the only rich philanthropist, but the popular Mr. John Martin Carter doesn't grant her an interview and isn't tricked either, in fact meets her at the worst repeatedly without her knowing him, until he arranges to be presented at the mayor's Christmas party, then invites her for dinner and proves ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

christmas | See All (1) »

Taglines:

She set out to uncover Santa...and discovered the best gift to open is your heart.

Genres:

Drama | Family

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Barbara Billingsley's final acting role before her death on October 16, 2010. See more »

Goofs

Rebecca is having dinner waiting for her fiancé. She arrives at the restaurant in what looks like a black dress, but later she has changed into a different dress when she leaves the restaurant after fighting with her fiancé. See more »

Quotes

Russell: Giving, in its purest form, expects nothing in return.
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Connections

References A Christmas Story (1983) See more »

User Reviews

 
Fluffy, a moral, and pretty predictable - I love it !
25 December 2006 | by jim-1225See all my reviews

So far this TV Christmas, 'Secret Santa' really stands out. The three films I watched involving Santa's marital status were okay if somewhat implausible (!) and I liked 'A Song for the Season' (aka 'A Holiday Romance') and 'A Christmas Gift', but Jennie Garth's performance as reporter Rebecca Chandler has been easily the best treat this holiday to date. If I like a piece of music, my pleasure and appreciation grows each time I hear it. Movies work the same way for me, and this is a movie that I will enjoy every time I watch it. Apologies to all those who belong to the 'seen that' brigade, who only live for what is novel.

It's personal taste, I know, but the humour tickled, the plot interested, the schmaltz was just right (I like sugar in my tea), the events believable and the ending was full of promise and hope. In the story, Rebecca was having quite a run of bad luck, as some would see it, and I could imagine certain folks regarding some of her reactions as unrealistic. For example, her behaviour on being splashed. Rebecca is resilient, and I identify strongly with her. Having dropped a case of 10pt Times type fifty odd years ago, all I said was "Bother!" and got busy sorting the type back into the tiny compartments. If there weren't ten thousand bits, it sure seemed like it. You can't change what's happened, so why not deal with it and carry straight on living. Another attractive trait to her character is that she's no fool, and all her dealings with the despicable Ryan are most pleasing. In fact, Rebecca seems a real person - not perfect, but the sort of girl you'd be really pleased to know.

Other performances in this title are also strong. The variety of characters ranges from the normal, through the competent and fulfilled Russell and John Martin Carter, to Rebecca's autocratic editor - all of them, with the possible exception of Ryan, having a thoroughly worthwhile side to their natures. Aren't actors and actresses blessed? They get to leave a snapshot of themselves which lives on as they age, and even after they've passed on. Secret Santa will stand as a memorial to Jennie Garth. Just in case Jennie consults the IMDb, I would like to offer her the link www.PleaseAskWhy.com (the secret of life, no less?) in appreciation of her gift to the world by taking part in this movie.

Isn't it sad how the nicer things in life seem so little valued? Even the TV guide only included this in the 'Also on today' section, dismissing it as 'intensely predictable Christmas fluff'. Not having a tragic ending does not equate to predictable in this case. I would love to buy a DVD of 'Secret Santa', but none is available. This is something I find frequently, and wish the TV companies were better geared to making their family films available in this format. Perhaps I'm part of a very small market, but I'm sure it isn't an insignificant one. There must be others like me who love people, love what is good and right, know the reality of happy ever after, value fidelity, and like their films to reflect these qualities. I heartily recommend this title, if you ever get the chance to come across it.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 December 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il mistero di Hamden See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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