‘Let it Snow’ Movie Review and ‘Jaws’ Book Review

Let Go Of Let it Snow  

Wednesday afternoon, I grabbed a blanket and settled into my couch to watch Let it Snow, the newly movie adapted version of the book Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances written by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle. I was excited to watch this new Netflix movie, I knew it was going to be cheesy and had 75% Rotten Tomatoes rate but I thought maybe it had some promise.

Within the first thirty minutes I was let down. Not only were the characters stale, but the stories were overworked cliches with drama that seemed drawn out and overblown. I waited an hour and thirty-three minutes, hoping and praying that maybe the cliche tales would be wrapped up uniquely, in a way that would separate Let it Snow from the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas romances, but how I was wrong.

There are three stories that are happening over the course of this movie and they are stitched together to create a Frankenstein-esque monstrosity. In the first tale, Tobin, played here by Mitchell Hope, has to find a way to tell his best friend the Duke, played by Kiernan Shipka, that he is in love with her, but several setbacks stop him from doing so. During one portion of this movie they sing a tacky and out of place duet of “Whole of the Moon” originally sung by the Waterboys. 

Liv Hewson’s character, Dorrie, must confront a visiting cheerleader girl named Tegan, played by Anna Akana, who she likes on why she won’t acknowledge her. Their romance is refreshing in one sense as they are LGBTQ+ characters in love, but dull in that there is little to no characterization or originality in their storyline.

Julie, Isabela Merced’s character, is a girl struggling to face the real world and decide between going to college and staying to take care of her sick mother. She is about to leave on a train where she meets the new rising popstar Stuart Bale, she is annoyed by his presence and continues on her way. Minutes later she learns that the train is stuck because of snow on the tracks and gets off the train to go home where she is followed by Stuart. They are only walking for a minute when Julie says, “I got into Columbia (University). In New York. Also my mom is sick,”(Let it Snow). Are we supposed to believe that people just tell strangers about their innermost dilemmas within seconds of meeting? Julie jumps from being annoyed with Stuart for his fame to being a giggly schoolgirl over him within seconds.

Sure everyone gets their happy ending but it leaves the viewer with several questions: Will Julie go to college? How will she take care of her mother? How did Stuart get away from his publicist to see Julie? Why was Duke hanging out with JP instead of talking to Tobin? Why did that one lady wear tinfoil? Did Keon ever get to meet the Tempest? Why did I think this movie would be any good?

The rating of 5.8 out of 10 rating left on IMDb is absolutely valid as this movie lacked in not only fresh characters but also original stories and fails to draw viewers in past the first thirty minutes. While looking for a good Christmas movie to watch this year, settle for something besides Let it Snow.

– Anna Principato

What Came First; the Movie or the Book? (And Which Is Better?)

Most of us have scene the 1975 movie Jaws directed by Stephen Spielberg, the classic summer horror film that sparked a newly revived fear of sharks, but many have never read the book that came first. By the same title, Jaws, this book written by Peter Benchley came out in 1974 and became an instant sensation. 

The setting is a little town called Amityville where a young woman recently washed up on the beach, dead and torso severed, supposedly killed by a shark.  The book follows the chaos that unfolds from the now multiple shark attacks. The town thrives on its summer business of attracting tourists to the beaches, but this new threat of a killer shark threatens this coastal paradise’s welfare. We watch as Brody, the police chief, struggles between what he knows is right, shutting down the beaches, and what the mayor is pressuring him to do, keeping the beaches open for tourism money.

The book opens with a chapter dedicated to the shark’s point of view, allowing the reader to build a connection with the shark which is unique in the horror book genre. But Jaws isn’t all about sharks, guts and gore, it also dives into the personal lives of several other Amityville residents. The story circles mainly around Brody but also branches out to Brody’s wife, Ellen, and her crisis about her relationship with Brody, “This depiction of human frailty hints at Benchley’s main triumph over Spielberg”(Independent). Of course, it doesn’t bore you with the human relationships too much as there is always the lurking shark to focus on. 

The movie version of Jaws, while a classic, makes the story more about how terrifying the shark is while the book is more focused with the shark’s impact on the people of the town. The book is better than the movie because in the movie you don’t know why Hooper, the ichthyologist specializing in sharks, is so annoying and hated by Brody but the book explains their issues with one another much clearer. The movie hides these reasons and turns Hooper into an annoying, pompous know-it-all golden boy. In the book there is much more reasoning on why Hooper is the way he is. For these reasons, the original version of the story Jaws created in 1974 is much better than the movie version created in 1975. With a fast paced plot and intense scenes, Jaws is the book you need for a quick and easy read.

– Anna Principato