CNN: "It may be the first modern Christmas movie ever made for audiences in Turkey, a mostly Muslim country that does not celebrate Christmas. Neseli Hayat or A Cheerful Life is the story of a down-on-his-luck, working class Turk who is hired to work as a mall Santa. The trouble is he doesn't really know who Santa Claus is, and needs some very basic lessons. In one scene, a manager drills the main character, Riza, and several other hired Santas on how to give Saint Nick's hearty bellow, 'Ho-ho-ho.' In another segment, a bearded, costumed Riza enters a waiting room and extends the traditional Muslim greeting 'A salam aleyekum' to four other mall Santas, who answer back without looking up 'Aleyekum salam.'"
CNN goes on to report Yilmaz Erdogan, the film's writer, director and lead player, "says his character is a metaphorical bridge between two worlds in Turkey: Wealthier, upper class Turks who live a 'Western' lifestyle and have adopted the trappings of Christmas to celebrate the new year, and poorer Turks who have emigrated from the Anatolian heartland to the big city and are more familiar with traditionally 'Middle Eastern' customs."
No word on whether the plotline involves an angel trying to earn his wings. (Hat-tip to Joanne Harrison for the find.)