Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Because every dead horse deserves one more flogging

I'm getting a late start on the Cheesy Christmas Movies this year, because I'm trying to branch out a little bit and find some new films. That means I actually have to watch these stinkeroos, at least enough to be able to review them a little bit.

Let's kick off with a fairly recent one: The Christmas Clause (2008). Apparently somebody in Movieland had a brilliant idea: "Hey! How about this for a premise? A person is unhappy with their lot in life and a guardian angel changes the past to give them an entirely different one! And they end up appreciating what they had so much more!"

It was magnificent in It's a Wonderful Life. It was even pretty good in The Family Man. But for heaven's sake, can we just let the horse corpse decompose in peace?

True, Lea Thompson gives a fair if not overly inspired performance. The viewer can feel the frazzlement right along with her during the first pivotal scene in the mall. (The hot chocolate incident alone would make Mother Teresa drop-kick the kid across the food court.) And I really, really hope that husband of hers turns out better in the second half of the film, because he's a bit of a useless oaf in the opening.

One thing they must have gotten right is that her new-and-improved life is much more unappealing than her old one. I'd take Jimmy Stewart's non-existence over her two-dimensional fantasy any day.

Presented for your revilement:

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