“Let It Snow” Review: I BELIEVE IN LOVE AND I BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS

As a Southern California Jew with a Christmas Eve birthday my feelings about Christmas are intense and specific. My location was never a Winter Wonderland, my religion kept me out of most festivities, and my birthday was always overshadowed. Theoretically I should hate it, right? Wrong. I love Christmas. And I love Christmas movies.

For me it’s not about Jesus or even Santa. It’s not about family traditions or any one specific aspect of the season. It’s about the season itself. It’s about us all taking a break from our normal lives. It’s about us sharing in joy or depression, in family or lack of family, in romance or lack of romance. It’s about pine trees with lights or palm trees with lights and how we’re all participating in the ways that we can.

This spirit has been captured time and again in movies ranging from classics to Hallmark’s yearly output. With their platitudes and charm, Christmas movies can feel as cozy as a crackling fire. They also tend to be as straight as my aunt’s holiday party.

Well, a very merry Christmas to us all! Netflix’s new holiday movie has a queer romance!

Based on John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle’s collection of the same name, Let It Snow, is a classic wintertime ensemble with a series of intersecting stories about love and friendship, family and aspirations. On Christmas Eve in a small town, a snow storm has arrived interrupting and creating drama for a group of angsty teens.

Liv Hewson plays Dorrie, an employee at the local Waffle Town who we first meet shopping for a present for her best friend Addie. As Dorrie talks about not knowing how to text a girl and Addie talks about her boyfriend ignoring her, it seems like the two friends are bound for romance. Well, I am thrilled to share this isn’t the case. While Dorrie and Addie’s friendship is central to the movie, it doesn’t fall into that tired trope. They’re allowed to just be friends! Dorrie is allowed to crush on someone who isn’t straight!

But it’s still not easy for Dorrie. Her love interest played by Anna Akana is suddenly cold around her group of popular girl straight friends. And this is after she and Dorrie spent a night together where they stayed up until 4:00am talking about Harry Potter! The ultimate betrayal.

The focus of Dorrie’s story is her learning to respect herself with girls as much as she wants her best friend to respect herself with boys. But that doesn’t mean her love story doesn’t get some magical moments. I promise you at least one steamy make out… maybe two if you really believe in the Christmas spirit.

The inclusion of a queer romance in a film like this is exciting enough on its own. But what makes it all the more exciting is both Hewson and Akana are queer in real life! Hewson is non-binary and gay and Akana is bisexual. They’re both so good in their roles, bringing their charm and authenticity. Most mainstream movies continue to cast straight actors in queer parts, so this casting in the most mainstream genre is pretty revolutionary.

And you won’t have to slog through bad straight romances to get to these scenes. The whole movie is a delight! Isabela Moner and Shameik Moore’s romance in particular stands out due to their performances and their chemistry and the storyline’s intense emotions. Also Kiernan Shipka plays a tomboy named The Duke who is described as one of the guys. My phone autocorrected her name to The Dyke, but I guess we can’t get greedy here.

Joan Cusack’s snow plow driver acts as the narrator and she opens with a wonderfully corny monologue. “Snow has the power to bring us together,” she says. “And sometimes, just for a moment, and especially on Christmas Eve, that’s exactly what we need.” Christmas and its movies have this power too. And what a gift that for once queer women and non-binary people are invited to the holiday party.

Drew is an LA-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is currently working on a short film about Gordo from Lizzie McGuire’s transition (it’s canon) and a million other projects. She also runs social media for I Heart Female Directors. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @draw_gregory.

Drew has written 59 articles for us.

39 Comments

    • I’m sure you, featured as an unusually tall and slender Christmas Elf with Latex trimmings, randomly putting up misteltoe and evidencing Christmas Magic is the only thing this movie is sorely lacking.
      That and probably a Tofurkey.

      • oh! uh yeah I’ve done that look before. Annnd I gotta say my new airfryer does Tofurkey right. Crispy outside, perfectly cooked inside, and so fast! like christmas magic

        ok here’s the elf pic

        “Snow: Bringing it Together since Whenever”

          • Oh you should get an air fryer! It does veggies all roasty, and frozen food perfectly. Spring rolls, veggie patties, chik nuggets, even giant blocks of tofu get cooked quickly and evenly. Strongly recommend.

            I may yet have a picture that will surprise and shock you…..

          • Perhaps you’ll be interested in seeing where my adorable elf hat ended up right after my picture was taken

            What I had to go through to get my hat back….

          • Thanks for the air fryer rec! Everyone‘s always like, „You can make an entire chicken in there!“ while I‘m along the lines of,“Uh, I actually meant to eat less meat? Not more?“ so the Vegan input was much appreciated.
            Anyhoodle, the Netflix Christmas movie featuring, Snow, the naughty elf is going to be x rated. Noted.
            I hope that picture wasn’t the shocking one, because I do hail from modern Babylon.
            The other day I was leisurely sitting outside in the sunshine and having coffee next to a couple of completely chained up pony furries and pikachu and the sailor moon crew.
            My only thoughts were „Is it Folsom again? Wasn’t that in the spring?“ and „Pikachu?“

          • Oh no, that’s not a shocking pic. Just naughty. See, I could do an R movie with lots of implied kinky stuff that isn’t explicitly shown! With Pikachu? Maybe? Not my thing personally, but I can act! Maybe.

            And hey yes less meat is great! I just cooked a couple of trader Joe’s vegan burgers in mine as I get ready to head out to a party; took 14 minutes from insertion to completion. No burning, no undercooked spots. Perfect. Roasting veggies in here is a snap, I can have caramelized carrots whenever I want with hardly any oil. Yum.

  1. Do you know of any movies where the queer girl does end up dating the ostensibly-straight best friend (or any best friend)? I get why doing something different is important to a lot of people, but having your crush and best friend be separate people never really made sense to me.

    • This will be spoiler-y, but here’s a list of movies where a queer girl falls for a “straight” girl and it actually works out.

      -Bumblefuck USA
      -A Date for Mad Mary
      -I Can’t Think Straight
      -Imagine Me & You
      -Kiss Me
      -My Days of Mercy
      -Show Me Love
      -Tig

      But honestly most of the time this trope ends in heartbreak. Just like in real life! Unless you’re Tig!

  2. I read this book as a (closeted) teen and when I learned it was going to be a movie I was so excited that they added gays to the movie! And even more excited when I learned the queer characters would be played by queer actors! So I’m so glad to hear that that movie is great! I’m going to save it for closer to Christmas instead of the beginning of November lol.

  3. Ungh, I’m about to chuck my Friday evening plans out of the window in favor of staying home, cuddling up with a hot cuppa and watching this movie.
    Maybe I’ll wait just a little longer though.
    Oooh, or maybe this will be a good friendsgiving movie choice!
    I feel like FINALLY having a queer Christmas movie demands some sort of celebration.
    I really hope this starts a trend that will lead to my mother and I harmoniously watching a dozen or so Christmas movies together over the Holidays.She loves Holiday movies and I love gay ones. #Winwin

    Btw., if you’re in the spirit already, I read some really sweet Chrsitmas ff the other day:
    https://archiveofourown.org/works/16832944/chapters/39514909
    (If you have the time, read the prequel first: https://archiveofourown.org/works/17800556)

  4. Waffle Town sounds like a cute name for someone’s naughty tidbits, dripping with syrup and a pat of coconut butter or perhaps dusted with powdered sugar or even slathered with a nice think berry compote

  5. It was super cheesy and I loved every second of it. Liv Hewson is great and I didn’t know they were gay and non binary until now so that was a happy suprise, I loved them as Abby on Santa Clarita Diet.

    Also Isabela Moner and her mom and abuelo with accents made my latinx heart happy.

  6. I’m not sure that this film necessarily translates across the Atlantic… I’m just off to watch Imagine Me & You as a bit of a palate cleanser. BUT. I am very happy for the queer storyline. More queer representation! Christmas Queerness! Falalala!

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