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Heartbreak Films The Santa Con Movie Review and Analysis on Disney+

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Blog and Video Description: In this episode of the Mattacritic, I will be reviewing and analyzing the movie that is called the Santa Con that is done by Heartbreak Films that is currently on Disney+. The movie stars Barry Watson as Nick Demarco who was sentenced in prison as a con artist. If Barry Watson sounds familiar to you, it should; he played Matt Camden in 7th Heaven; the oldest son in the Camden family. He gets out on parole thanks to his warden who is played by John Ratzenberger. The warden plays poker with his inmates such as Nick Demarco and Paul Greenberg who is played by Jaleel White. The warden wrote a letter to the parole board telling them that Nick Demarco deserved advance release and a chance to make it right. Nick Demarco convinces them, and he gets out. He gets picked up by his sister Rose Demarco who is played by Melissa Joan Hart. Rose Demarco is doubtful her brother can change. She gets him a job as a shopping mall Santa. On the first day of the job, he promises a little boy that he can get his mother and father back together at Christmas. Rose tells him, "Do you know what you did?” Rose is furious with Nick, and Nick must figure out how to get this boy’s parents back together. The name of the boy is Billy Guthrie, and his parents are Carol Guthrie and John Guthrie. Nick has his work cut out for him as they are estranged, and the dad John Guthrie who is an alcoholic. Nick will meet a pastor whose name is Ruth, and she tells him that you must figure this out. It may be hard, but you can do it. I will give you my rating at the end of this review. I hope this episode will inspire you to read, watch, and learn.



Hello everyone, welcome the Mattacritic. This is Matthew Hemenway. In this episode of the Mattacritic, I will be reviewing and analyzing the movie that is called the Santa Con that is done by Heartbreak Films that is currently on Disney+. The movie stars Barry Watson as Nick Demarco who was sentenced in prison as a con artist. If Barry Watson sounds familiar to you, it should; he played Matt Camden in 7th Heaven; the oldest son in the Camden family. He gets out on parole thanks to his warden who is played by John Ratzenberger. The warden plays poker with his inmates such as Nick Demarco and Paul Greenberg who is played by Jaleel White. The warden wrote a letter to the parole board telling them that Nick Demarco deserved advance release and a chance to make it right. Nick Demarco convinces them and he gets out. He gets picked up by his sister Rose Demarco who is played by Melissa Joan Hart. Rose Demarco is doubtful her brother can change. She gets him a job as a shopping mall Santa. On the first day of the job, he promises a little boy that he can get his mother and father back together at Christmas. Rose tells him, "Do you know what you did?” Rose is furious with Nick, and Nick must figure out how to get this boy’s parents back together. The name of the boy is Billy Guthrie, and his parents are Carol Guthrie and John Guthrie. Nick has his work cut out for him as they are estranged, and the dad John Guthrie who is an alcoholic. Nick will meet a pastor whose name is Ruth, and she tells him that you must figure this out. It may be hard, but you can do it. I will give you my rating at the end of this review. I hope this episode will inspire you to read, watch, and learn.

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As was mentioned before, Nick Demarco was a con artist that got out on parole. He promised to get 7-year-old Billy’s parents John Guthrie and Carol Guthrie back together while working as a shopping mall Santa. Nick Demarco ends up being left in the parking lot by his sister Rose Demarco who is played by Melissa Joan Hart which I mentioned in the last review of Feliz Navidad that she is well known for playing Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She is frustrated at her brother for not thinking about the consequences. He walks in the rain for a while with his bag in his hand because she left him out of the house after he made that promise. He finds a church and while entering in the church; he meets Pastor Ruth. Ruth tells him about the alien in the man’s stomach, and she tells him what he was feeling about the guilt of that promise to 7-year-old Billy. She uses that as an analogy and tells him you must be like Sigourney Weaver and kill that alien and force the alien out of the ship. You must figure this out. Nick Demarco tells Pastor Ruth, how am I supposed to do this? He also tells Pastor Ruth that he does not believe in God. Pastor Ruth tells Nick Demarco that God can take it, he is a grown up. This is true, God can take it. People want God to be in this small box, but if God is infinite as is said about God, then God can take it, and can he not do the things that is said about him. Pastor Ruth asks Nick, “what did you get in prison for?” He tells her, “Rifting.” Pastor Ruth lets him know that is your answer. Using that skill to help this family is what she is telling Nick Demarco.

Nick Demarco realizes what he must do. He goes back to his sister Rose Demarco and tells her that he must figure out how to get Billy Guthrie’s parents John Guthrie and Carol Guthrie back together. Carol Guthrie kicked her husband John Guthrie out of the house because he would not give up his drinking. John Guthrie is an alcoholic. This means they have a tough time stopping drinking. They usually need to get help from groups like AA which means Alcoholics Anonymous. They usually meet in churches, and they also meet in hospitals.

Nick Demarco gets help from his sister Rose Demarco, and she tells him about the $5,800, if I correctly remember the amount that he got from the sale of his mother’s estate. This was his share of the estate. Nick Demarco finds out where Billy Guthrie lives, and he watches the construction crew that is sorry. They have not gotten a 2-week project done. It has taken them 4 weeks and they are only halfway done. Nick Demarco will cause the foundation to go down, but that would have been easy since they have not finished. Nick Demarco will tell Carol Guthrie that his name is Nick Kessington and that he has worked on construction projects for the governor and that he is working on a project for Derek Jeter. He has Kessington Construction Company on the truck, and it looks like a professional construction company and the truck looks like that as well.

Nick Demarco will develop a good relationship with Billy Guthrie, the 7-year-old boy that he promised to help get his estranged parents of Carol Guthrie and John Guthrie back together. Nick Demarco will get his friend Paul Greenberg out of prison who is played by Jaleel White. If Jaleel White sounds familiar, he should, his most well-known role is playing Steve Urkel in Family Matters. He was the annoying neighbor of the Win-slows who was extremely smart. Paul Greenberg went to prison for hacking the Pentagon and he is using that skill to help his friend Nick Demarco. Nick asks his friend to pretend to be him as the shopping mall Santa. This will help him be able to be at Guthrie’s house as Nick Kessington. Nick knows that his work is not done. Billy Guthrie will recognize Nick Kessington and wonder where he seen him before. Nick Kessington tells him, I must have one of those faces and voices.

The relationship that Nick and Billy Guthrie develop is a good strong bond and Nick Demarco helped Billy Guthrie to learn the musical cords to the piano. Nick will also meet John Guthrie at the Naughty Tavern and try to convince him to get the help he needs so that John Guthrie can get better. John Guthrie claims he does not need his help, he is more interested in drinking. That is what happens when a person is addicted to a substance like alcohol. It will become that individual’s life and that person will want that substance more than they want their life. It is easy to believe what does it matter if I am doing this to myself, who does it hurt? It hurts no one, but that is not true. It hurts a lot of people, and suddenly you are alone because of it. To say no one needs no one, that is a lie at best.

Nick Demarco is considering running when he feels that he is failing. He feels he cannot get them back together. He is on a bus to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Nick Demarco will run into Pastor Ruth, and she tells him that she is going to where she is needed. Nick Demarco tells her that it is hard because not only does he not feel he cannot succeed at this, but he has also fallen in love with Carol Guthrie. She tells him, so what, you must figure this out. You may not be able to get them back together, but you can give it all you have. You must do it until there is no gas in the tank. Nick Demarco tells Pastor Ruth that he does not believe in God. Pastor Ruth tells him, it does matter, God believes in you even if you do not believe in yourself.

Nick Demarco realizes what he must do. He gets John Guthrie out of jail. He helps John Guthrie with what he must do. Are you willing to get the help you need? John Guthrie tells him; he does not know if he does. Nick Demarco wants to figure things out.

Nick Demarco is with Carol Guthrie after he and Paul Greenberg hacked into the advertising company’s computer and found out that Nick Guthrie’s partner Steve Rapperton stole intellectual property from John Guthrie and claimed that it was his own. Steve Rapperton got a promotion based off that. Paul Greenberg forwarded it to the owner of the advertising company that Steve Rapperton stole this information and used it for his gain to get that promotion. Steve Rapperton gets fired and this will cause him to seek vengeance. Carol Guthrie says that she is glad, but John, her husband, needs to prove that he will get help and that he will not be the person he used to be.

Nick Demarco takes that to her husband and plays the recorder that Carol Guthrie plays to help with her ideas when she is working on designing websites. She can mostly work from home, which is nice. This allows her to be with her son and help to raise him when he still needed his mother at the crucial age of 7. John Guthrie asks him; how did you get that. Nick tells John Guthrie; it does not matter. What are you going to do about it? John tells Nick that he is sorry about what happened to his wife and his son. Nick tells him that is not enough John, it is the deed. That is true; it is not who we are that matters, but what we do that matters. This is a call to action for John Guthrie.

As not to be revealed, nothing more will be revealed here. It does bring the viewer to the climax of this story that this movie is telling.

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I will give you, my rating. I give the Santa Con a 10 out of 10. It was fun but it tells an immensely powerful story. The story hits on several themes. It helps the viewer to understand the importance of family and how addictions such to substances like alcohol have deleterious effects and how it can destroy families if a person makes that substance more important than their families. It happens more often than any decent person would like to see. Getting help if you need it, is not weakness; it is a sign of strength. It is important to realize that no person is not an island to him or herself. Each person needs someone else. We all share our story with others. Each person might think that their story is their own, but it is not. Any person that encounters another person shares their story with others. That is a hard lesson to learn. I can attest to it from personal experience. Nick Demarco realizes that he can make up for what he did in the past, and he gets challenged to use his skills of being con artist to help others instead of hurting others. He grows in this movie, and when a character grows in a movie; that is a sign of good storytelling.

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Music: A Day to Remember from Microsoft's Clipchamp Video Editor

Reference: Heartbreak’s The Santa Con movie and picture: https://www.disneyplus.com/movies/the-santa-con/7Owlm6tqMjIC

Reference: Images from The Santa Con Trailer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn3ryoyds7Y

My YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/@mattacritic

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