The Frozen Pop

Chris (Shia LaBeouf) has always felt like he was different from other people. He is never cold, even in the most frigid winter, and he has a strange affinity with polar bears, penguins, and reindeer. Bells tend to jingle when he walks by. He has always woken up to a white Christmas, even when he was living in Nevada.

When Chris decides to track down his biological father, he finds himself on an adventure unlike anything he expected. Although his mother (Amy Ryan) claims that she was impregnated by a sperm donor, his search for the clinic she used leads him all the way to the North Pole. Aided by a talk show host (Maury Povich, playing himself), Chris will prove to a mysterious red-suited man (Billy Bob Thornton) that they have more in common than anyone could have guessed.

Along the way, Chris meets a beautiful new friend, Holly (Vanessa Hudgens), who helps him in his quest. Although he is drawn to her, Chris finds himself wondering if Holly is keeping something from him. Her help is invaluable, but how does she always know exactly what Chris needs? Despite his mistrust, their relationship blossoms, and Holly helps Chris see the truth that has been in front of him all along.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this film tells a touching story about a man searching for his past and for his own identity. LaBeouf is a revelation as a man who must slowly come to the realization that his paternity is more fantastic than he is ready to accept. Thornton plays against type as a slightly magical stranger who grows to care about the young man who appears on his icy doorstep. His “employee,” Noel, (Verne Troyer), gives the film much-needed comic relief. Filled with dramatic visuals of the frozen north, this film is destined to be a new holiday classic for the modern family. Three stars.

By Liz Davis

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