"12 Days of Christmas Movies" trudges on, even though it is technically after New Years. And by technically, I mean actually. But I don't really care. I started this thing, and I don't care if it takes me until next Christmas, I'm gonna finish it. I guess I will give myself until E-Day to get the remaining 5 films posted. If you are wondering what "E-Day" is, it's the day the last batch of Egg Nog expires. As far as I'm concerned, that is the TRUE end of the holiday season. This year for Christmas I received the gift of justification. Ladies, Gentlemen and the fine people of Denmark, put a little love in your heart as I present to you the movie of Day 8:
The plot according to j.Bowman
"Bill Murray is better at acting than you are at anything. The following 90 minutes is proof of that". How that wasn't the tagline for this movie, I'll never know. Anyone who is familiar with the Charles Dickens comic book "A Christmas Carol" already knows the basic plot outline for this movie. If you don't know what the storyline of "A Christmas Carol" is, do me a favor. Go to the window, look outside, and introduce yourself to planet earth, cause you must be new here. Plot is as such: Ebeneezer Scrooge is an old man and is a total dick to everyone he meets and on Christmas eve he is visited by 3 ghosts (4 actually) that take him on a trip through all the terrible things he has done, is doing or will do in his lifetime (and a little bit after). The first time I read the story I thought to myself "You know who a great Ebeneezer Scrooge would be? Ernie Hudson. But if not him, any one of the Ghostbusters would do"
But instead of Winston we get Venkman and that turned out pretty well. Murray plays Frank Cross (which I believe is gaelic for "Ebeneezer Scrooge") a self centered, uber douche president of a TV network. He is mean to everyone which is only funny because he's not mean to us. Although at times I thought he'd break the fourth wall and tear a strip off me, but the technology for that doesn't exist yet, so I was safe from his verbal abuse.
He fires that sad sack up there on Christmas eve for what I can only assume is having the weirdest voice in the history of voices. Seriously, if you've ever heard him you know what I'm talking about. What is it like when he sings? Horrifying I'm sure. Frank is overseeing a live television version of "Scrooge" on Christmas Eve, which is a dick move. So after pretty much ruining the lives of anyone who shares the screen with him, Frank Cross is eventually visited by an old business colleague who tells him he will be visited by 3 ghosts and unless he changes his ways, he will be doomed. The movie is kinda vague on what he is doomed to, but if you read between the lines, you understand.
They should really be more descriptive when describing the plot to people. Not just for Scrooged, but for a Christmas Carol in general. Technically he is visited by 4 ghosts. The first one is essentially the "Ghost of Christmas Exposition"
Then there is the chain smoking cab driver aka "The Ghost of Christmas Past".
The physically abusive and who in my opinion, acts like that annoying girl at a rave (yeah, the ONE annoying girl), "The Ghost of Christmas Present"
And of course, the most predictable, boring ghost in this trio "The Ghost of Christmas Future"
That ghost is always death. I'm pretty damn sick of that. Why can't the ghost of Christmas future be like a dude flying a jetpack or something? Or like a version of yourself with less hair? That would be alright. It's like the first production of this spent all their money on the first two ghosts (and the mummy) and they had nothing left for the third ghost (which I could only assume was going to a guy who rides a sweet chariot, that of course, swings low) so they just got a black robe and said "Fuck it, let's just make it death and go home". Now we are doomed to get that same boring ass robed ghost with every version of this that is ever done. I supposed when you add up robes + ghost + boring we could've done a lot worse.
So while Frank Cross is going on this spiritual journey and dropping some sweet one liners along the way, he gets re-aquainted with an old girlfriend that he broke up with 15 years prior, and she is played by adorable 80s leading lady Karen Allen.
Turns out he treated her quite badly on his way to the top of the entertainment industry...but she's cool with it. She is one of the nicest characters ever, which is to her detriment. She obviously still carries a torch for this guy, you can recognize it instantly. And they haven't really spoken in 15 freaking years. I'm not super wrapped up in the person I was in love with 15 years ago. That would be unhealthy...unless you had a good plan. Which I do, so the girl who played Punky Brewster should prepare herself for some "Bowmaning". (I promise, all of you, I will NEVER use that term again. I'm sorry for using it the first time)
So Karen Allen pines after Murray and he strings her along for a bit before hitting her with some cold hard truthfacts about how you should cut others loose and not help them because they are holding you back. Even though he is being a total asshole, she just looks sad instead of telling him to go fuck himself. Also, in a truly messed up bit of Christmas moviemaking, a homeless man freezes to death in the sewers. You read that right.
So after being visited by all those ghosts, that mummy a girlfriend with selective memory, Frank Cross learns that perhaps being a prick isn't the best way to go about living his life. Sure, it got him to the top of his profession, but he would've gotten there anyway if he was all nice and lovey and cupcakes, right?
What Solidifies it's Status as a Christmas Movie?As far as I'm concerned, if a movie has any one of these things it's a Christmas movie:
2) 3 ghosts teaching valuable life lessons.
c) The airing of grievances
Key Christmas MomentThis one comes from the end of the movie. Frank Cross' awesome speech, delivered as only Bill Murray could. This is 9:18 of key Christmas moments, but I could watch it all day. Funny, heartwarming and Murray-tastic.
Key Christmas quoteFrank Cross: I want to see her nipples.
Censor Lady: But this is a CHRISTMAS show.
Frank Cross: Well, I'm sure Charles Dickens would have wanted to see her nipples.
Carpenter: You can barely see them nipples.
Frank Cross: See? And these guys are REALLY looking.
Favorite non-Christmas QuoteEarl Cross: All day long, I listen to people give me excuses why they can't work... 'My back hurts,' 'my legs ache,' 'I'm only four!' The sooner he learns life isn't handed to him on a silver platter, the better!
The Game Ball goes to....Frank Cross (Bill Murray). From start to finish, Murray friggin' DRIVES this movie. One of his all time best performances that sometimes gets overlooked because it's such a seasonal movie.
This movie wouldn't have happened if....Claire (Karen Allen) wasn't RIDICULOUSLY forgiving of how bad Frank treated her and how much of a dickbag he became. She should've cut and run. I'm not big on girls staying invested in someone when all they do is act like selfish bastards. It's established that Frank and Claire hadn't spoken in 15 years, and even though there were good times, the movie shows us TONS of examples of how during their last year or so together she remained a caring person while he treated her progressively worse and worse. She kept optimistic that he'd change his ways and even after 15 years, she is still hoping. She is too kind, too patient and too damn adorable and if she was smart, this movie wouldn't have happened. Well, I guess it still would have only she would've been married to someone else and Murray would've learned all but 1 lesson: Be nice to women who love you unless they are crazy.In that case, be reeeeeaaaaalllly nice to them.
So there you have it, the official movie of Day 8. I tell you, I love Scrooged so much it should count twice. However I don't want to exclude the other 4 movies who totally deserve to be on my must watch list every year. In 2011 though I might just write 12 different posts about how much ass Scrooged kicks. The answer: All the ass.
The List so Far:
Day 8: Scrooged
Thanks for Reading