Bad Santa (2003)
USA / English
"He's very naughty . . . and not very nice. [DVD] "A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
If only all Horrorday-season films could be like this...
If the insipid, family-friendly, Christians-über-alles propaganda that
is unleashed every holiday season has you dreading the end of every
year, do not despair. Relief is at hand, and it is a supreme irony that
it should come from mainstream media sources that normally drown us in
the garbage I just spoke of. Columbia Pictures woke up and realized
that there are people who don't fit into the Nuclear Family, 2.3
children mold that MoneyMas is normally marketed to. That's what Bad
Santa is all about.
Our story focuses on a failure who fritters away his years by working
stores as a Santa. As the film opens, we learn why he bothers with the
Santa routine. His midget sidekick sneaks into the store he is casing,
then disables the alarm, and together, the team loots the store for all
they can get. Our main hero, however, wastes away everything he makes
from this endeavor. As a result, he is there casing a store the next
year, but things don't go quite as smoothly as he plans during the year
depicted in this film.
First, he meets a rather attractive bartender. Played by Lauren Graham
of Whingemore Girls fame, her turn in this film could not be more far
removed from what she is known for. It is almost as if she wanted to
take a big dump on people's expectations of her. In this endeavor,
Lauren's character is a foul-mouthed nymph with a Santa fetish.
Speaking of foul-mouthed, it takes some real nerve to make a MoneyMas
film that, at 243 profanities, sets the record for MoneyMas films.
Before Bad Santa, I doubt there even was a record of this type for
Two major names were signed onto this film, but had to drop out due to
other commitments. These being Bill Murray and Jack Nicholson. It is
just as well that they did, because the casting here is perfect. Who
else but Billy Bob Thornton could deliver lines about what his female
costars aren't going to do right for a week with such conviction? Billy
Bob says that he was actually drunk during filming. Which adds a whole
new dimension to the film - trying to determine which scenes were
filmed drunk or sober.
There are going to be people crying that this film is offensive, or not
in the "true spirit of MoneyMas" (whatever that means). Quite honestly,
with the saccharine feel of MoneyMas, we need *more* films like Bad
Santa, not less. The holiday suicide rate would be reduced if people
who saw this time for what it was, a time of worshiping the bigger
wallet, had greater access to material like this.
I gave Bad Santa a ten out of ten. There is no film on Earth that has
been marketed to tie in with MoneyMas, not Santa With Muscles or even
the Star Wars Holiday Special, that I have enjoyed this much. See it
once, see it twice, see it as many times as you need to get through the
so-called Holiday Season.
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