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Film / Let It Snow

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"Snow has the power to bring us together. And sometimes, just for a moment, and especially on Christmas Eve, that's exactly what we need."
Tin Foil Woman, Opening Narration

A 2019 Netflix holiday Rom Com film, based on the book of the same name by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle. Directed by Luke Snellin, it features an Ensemble Cast set in the fictional town of Laurel, Illinois. First and foremost, it's a great example of the benefits of taking your typical cliche Made-for-TV Christmas film and actually taking the characters seriously, while also demonstrating that such stories don't need to be straight or white.

The film revolves around the lives of several high schoolers experiencing a Christmas-Eve blizzard in their hometown of Laurel, and the ways in which they re-examine their personal relationships.

Their stories include:

  • Julie Reyes (Isabela Merced), recently accepted to Columbia University, returns home on the train from Chicago, only to meet popstar Stuart Bale (Shameik Moore), who becomes intrigued by her disinterest in him and decides to accompany her home.
  • Tobin, a shy boy who intends to tell his best friend Angie "Duke" (Kiernan Shipka) that he is in love with her. His plans are delayed when they are invited to a college party thrown by the popular JP Lapierre (Matthew Noszka), who seems to have caught Duke's eye.
  • Dorrie (Liv Hewson), a waitress at the local Waffle Town diner, who is upset that her best friend Addie is ignoring her, and that her love interest, Kerry (Anna Akana) is still in the closet and refuses to acknowledge their possibly-burgeoning romance to her friends.
  • Addie (Odeya Rush), Dorrie's best friend, who is addicted to social media, and becomes paranoid that her boyfriend is cheating on her. The loss of her cell phone sends her into a panic.
  • Keon (Jacob Batalon), Dorie's coworker at the Waffle Town. A aspiring DJ, who plans to throw a raging party at his parents' house while they are away. Their unexpected return forces him to improvise by throwing a party at the Waffle Town.
  • The mysterious Tin Foil Woman (Joan Cusack) who drives the town snow plow/tow truck, and dispenses wisdom to those she assists along the way.

This film provide examples of:

  • The Ace: Tobin perceives JP as this. He's nice, charismatic, a feminist, and just a cool dude. Even after Tobin and the Duke get together, they clarify that they still get to hang out with him, because he's that cool.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: Both Julie and Stuart are subject to this.
    • In the book, Julie is a teenager, with healthy and married parents, who is going through relationship troubles and is implied to be a good-to-average student. In the film, Julie is a straight A student, with a grandfather and a single mom, with her mother experiencing a life threatening illness, which greatly effects Julie's life.
    • In the book, Stuart is a teenager who works at Target, and has a present middle-class family who love Christmas despite being Jewish. In the film, Stuart is a young adult music star, who is alone on Christmas and comes from a working class background.
  • Adaptational Expansion: The book only has three stories, while the film has four with a few some subplots.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Jubilee "Julie" Dougal is changed to Julie Reyes, and Stuart Weintraub is changed to Stuart Bale.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: JP is noticeably "cooler" in the film than in the book, which partly drives Tobin's jealousy of him here.
  • Adaptational Relationship Overhaul: The friendship between the Duke, Tobin, and JP is very different here. In the book, they are three best friends. In the film, the Duke and Tobin are best friends, and JP is a cool older college student who is not part of their group.
  • The Alleged Car: Tobin's car, nicknamed "Carla". He and Duke have a habit of slinging sexist slurs at it whenever it malfunctions, much to JP's discomfort.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Tobin ends up confessing his feelings for the Duke this way, after spending the entire movie in a perpetual state of Cannot Spit It Out.
  • Bad Liar: Tobin is absolutely terrible at lying to the Duke. She see's through most of them.
  • Benevolent Boss: Billy, the supervisor at the Waffle Town. He's only a year or two older than the teen employees, but is quite friendly and even consents to let Keon throw a raging party in the restaurant (provided Keon cleans up the day after, play good music, and give him a ride). He's also a bit of a Granola Guy.
  • Big Fun: Keon spends the film trying to embody it.
  • Blatant Lies: Tobin tries to pass off his bleeding nipple as a result of doing push-ups over broken glass. The Duke is not fooled for a second.
  • Born Unlucky: Both Addie and Tobin feel this way this way throughout the film, but it eventually turns around for them.
  • Caretaker Reversal: Julie and her grandfather help take care of her mother, who is battling cancer. Julie's arc involves her coming to terms with her desire to go to Columbia University while her mother is sick.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: Stuart thinks so. It's left him alone on Christmas and having difficulty forming honest relationships. He takes to Julie because she's unimpressed and a little annoyed at his fame.
  • Coming-Out Story: For Kerry, Dorrie's cheerleader crush. Part of her story revolves around coming out to her cheerleading team. They turn out to be nothing but supportive.
  • Cringe Comedy: Tobin storyline is full of it. He gets walked in on while shirtless, beat up playing broomball, embarrassed in front of his crush multiple times, and ends up dressed like a wise man at the Christmas pageant.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Julie spends the film warming up to Stuart.
  • Demand Overload: In-Universe. Julie starts the film trying to get a specific model Elf, specifically the New England Farmhand Elf Vol. 2, after she accidentally ordered the Vol. 1. The toys store proprietor laughs in her face when she tries to buy one on Christmas Eve.
  • Disappeared Dad: Julie's father left their family when she was young. Her fear of going to college and leaving her mother to endure her illness is heavily influenced by this.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Tobin is Type 2, Low-Key Yearning played completely straight. Luckily, it turns out Angie had a case of Cannot Spit It Out, so they are actually compatible. Stuart also displays a few aspects of Type 2, but it's mostly because he finds Julie interesting and he is yearning for some kind of human connection separate from his own fame.
  • Everyone Can See It: Combined with Get a Room!. Keon has no patience for Tobin and the Duke's flirtation, and reacts with annoyance after witnessing it.
    Keon: Woof. My balls just retracted into my body.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The Waffle Town doesn't even try to hide that it's supposed to be a Waffle House, and explicitly was one in the book.
  • Gender Swapped: The Tin-Foil woman is the Tin-Foil Man in the book.
  • Greasy Spoon: The Waffle Town, to the point where the "W" has fallen off, making the name sound like "Awful Town". Julie says at one point the coffee is terrible, but the waffles seem at least edible, and the staff is nice.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Dorrie, a queer woman, and Addie, her straight best friend, are this. Part of the plot is them having a falling out before reconciling.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: Tobin thinks Angie/The Duke, whom Tobin has a crush on, has a crush on JP. Ultimately, Angie assures Tobin that isn't the case with JP hooking up with Addie in the end.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: The woman sitting next to Julie on the train is offended when the conductor refers to her as "Sir". However, it's very much an Informed Flaw, in that her "Male-ness" is due to wearing a flannel shirt and minimal makeup.
  • Let's Duet: Tobin and Angie sing "The Whole of the Moon" together, and the way they sing the song clearly shows that the lyrics of the song reflect how they feel about each other.
  • Lonely at the Top: Stuart expresses this, as despite being a popular music stary, he finds himself mostly interacting with fans and his handlers in his everyday life. One of the reasons he's attracted to Julie is that she is both normal and doesn't care about his fame.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Angie, who goes by "The Duke", takes on the traditionally masculine role in her friendship with Tobin, who's a somewhat more feminine guy. She's more assertive with a tomboyish look, he's reserved and concerned with his appearance (causing a mishap while shaving his chest).
  • Overly Long Name: Keon's DJ name is pronounced "DJ K Star Pow Money" (spelled DJ K*Pow$) but is mistaken for "DJ K-Pow".
  • Party Scheduling Gambit: Keon wants nothing more than to throw a rager on Christmas Eve. When he gets caught with alcohol by his parents, he's forced to improvise by using the Waffle Town as the impromptu location. Stuart showing up ends up making it a smash success.
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: Addie embodies this at the start, and becomes more obsessive as she suspects her boyfriend is cheating on her. She's forced to detox when the Tin Foil Woman accidentally throws it off a bridge and it gets run over.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Stuart uses his fame to flirt with the mothers who took their children sledding until they agree to let him borrow a Toboggan.
    Stuart: Young moms. That's my sweet spot.
  • Race Lift: Several:
    • Julie is implied to be white in the book, but here is Hispanic.
    • Stuart is white and Jewish in the book, but black and presumably not Jewish in the movie.
    • JP is Korean American in the book, but white here.
  • Rags to Riches: Stuart grew up poor, and his recent smash success hasn't altered his perceptions as much as he'd like. It adds to his sense of alienation from the world.
  • Safe Driving Aesop: No Tobin, you should not have a car chase directly after a blizzard. It will not end well.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After being stuck on the tracks and her hometown in sight, Julie decides to hop off the train and walk it. Stuart decides to follow her.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Tobin vs JP appears to be this on the surface, but then subverted when JP turns out to be kind and empathetic. He's just more outwardly charismatic than Tobin.
  • Snowed-In: The entire town of Laurel, to the point where trains are stopped outside it. Julie ends up getting off the train in the middle of a field and walking, with Stuart deciding to follow her. The Tin Foil Woman is busy throughout plowing the roads.
  • Tin Foil Hat: The Tin Foil Woman, who is nothing but kind and generous to those stranded by the blizzard, but categorically refuses to explain why her hat and coat are lined with aluminum foil.
  • Those Two Guys: The Reston Brothers, twin imposing brothers who kick a lot of ass and who Tobin finds incredibly intimidating.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Invoked by the Tin Foil Woman, who lambasts Addie for getting in the car with her after she pulled over, citing that she shouldn't get into the car with strangers. However, she is actually friendly.