Thursday, January 6, 2011

Movie Review: Fred Claus

I don't think I ever would've decided watched this film. Comedies starring former members of Saturday Night Live or the "Frat Pack" [1] usually don't impress me. But my brother-in-law, Luke, put it on over the Christmas Break and so I witnessed it. It tells the story of Santa Claus' bitter older brother who is eventually forced to call upon St. Nick for a favor.

The movie ends with a dubious moral. After righting some of the wrongs that he'd inflicted, both on Santa Claus and on a troubled child who lived next door, Fred pronounces that "There's no naughty kids…. They're all good kids. But some of them are scared. And some of them don't feel listened to. Some of them had some pretty tough breaks too. But every kid deserves a present on Christmas."[2] That's simply untrue: there are naughty kids. And if there are no consequences for their actions, they'll continue to be that way. Now, I doubt that disappointing them on Christmas will improve their behavior, but they don't deserve presents—they deserve to be loved and they deserve to be taught to choose right over wrong. Naughty kids can be changed,  but that doesn't happen by coddling them.

My verdict: On the whole I wasn't that impressed with this movie, particularly its moral. I didn't really think it was that funny, either.[3] There are better Christmas movies out there that are more worth your while.


[1] See

[2] You can read the full script, here.

[3] There is a subtly humorous scene where Kevin Spacey, who plays Lex Luthor in Superman Returns, admits that his antagonism toward Christmas was because he didn't get a Superman cape one year for Christmas. Santa Claus then presents him with one and he starts helping instead of hindering.

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