Fred Claus / Dustin Rowles
Film Reviews | November 11, 2007 | Comments ()
You’re a schmuck.
Do I ask for a lot? I mean, honestly, you big tub of goo? I apply (via your website application) for the same goddamn thing every year: One (1) decent studio Christmas film. One! And what do you give me, you jiggly bowl of SPAM gelatin? Bubkus. Let’s look at the past few years, all right? The Polar Express? Tom Hanks ruins Christmas. Christmas with the Kranks? A yuletide enema. Deck the Halls? Unmitigated shit. Santa Claus 3? Oh, you mean the one where Blitzen farts? The Family Stone? Bite me, fat man. Night at the Museum? You know where to stick that North Pole?
Seriously, Santa: You’re an asshole.
And then, this year, you actually had the gumption to tease me; you gave me a movie with very pretty packaging, lovely ribbons, and killer name tags: Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Rachel Weisz, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Spacey, and even Kathy Bates. And David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers), a serviceable director, to do the lovely gift-wrapping job. But who knew that when the ribbons were removed and the wrapping paper frantically torn away that there wouldn’t be nearly enough tissue paper in the bottom of the box to absorb all the rancid excrement inside. Fred Claus is a chunk of coal so big it wouldn’t fit up your ass, tubby. It’s like you lied in wait, watching as I stumbled drunkenly underneath the mistletoe, and then you leapt out — like Jaret Leto toward a tube of mascara — and whipped me about the head and face with a spiked-ball mace. It’s not kinky, Mr. Kringle — it fucking hurts.
I hate your mouth-breathing guts, Santa.
You couldn’t bother with a film like Elf, Home for the Holidays, or even freaking Home Alone, could you? You had to take the motor-mouth sarcasm of Vince Vaughn and dilute it, didn’t you? Rub that Santa-brand of treacle and schmaltz all over Vaughn like sweat on balls, diluting the last vestiges of his acerbic cool with quips and one-liners with all the zip of fermented Miracle Whip. You jackass. You miserable old codger. Oh, and ha ha! Brilliant premise, Santa: Your estranged brother, Fred (Vaughn) is a bitter repo man who steals from little girls and runs up massive debt, huh? And your idea is to that you, here played by the amazing Paul Giamatti, would lend a helping hand to his brother, invite him out to the North Pole and put him to work, so maybe he could earn enough money to buy himself that betting business he’s got his heart set on. Meanwhile, you’ve got Kevin Spacey playing a bastardly efficiency expert threatening to outsource the holiday to the South Pole if your brother screws up the holiday.
Well, that’s just stupid, Santa. First of all, the only surefire way to waste Giamatti’s considerable talents is to have him play someone as one-dimensional and uninteresting as you — it’s like asking Francis Bacon to do a Thomas Kinkade painting (although, I’d actually pay to see what he came up with). Second, though I do like Vaughn, it’s not like he’s a riff-the-phonebook kind of guy — he needs the right kind of dialogue to work with. Here, you’ve basically given him the shit that your little people left off of greeting cards. You know what happens when you take a wild animal out of its natural environment and place it in a motherfucking family comedy? It dies. And third: There’s no such thing as efficiency experts at the North Pole, Santa. Everyone knows that. Besides, you’ve already outsourced most of your work to elfin workers in China, who cover everything in a layer of lead paint in the hopes of retarding our youth so that one day the Commies can take over.
You’re a real bastard, Santa.
Hey, but nice touch throwing Elizabeth Banks and Rachel Weisz into the picture. They’re pretty. Pretty useless, you bearded douche. Weisz as a meter maid? And as Fred’s girlfriend? Nice casting there, Grizzly Bear. Next time, get Jessica Biel to play a lunch lady, why don’t you? It’s not like Weisz had a lot to do, anyway — hand out a couple of tickets, show up to a family intervention, and then squee like a school girl when Fred saves the day. And Elizabeth Banks as the only human-sized person at the North Pole? Like, a foreman? Fantastic. A fantastic waste, that is. What? You just wanted to an excuse to put a blonde in a short-skirt? Perv. And what was up with digitally adding John Michael Higgins’ and Ludacris’ heads onto little people? It was just creepy; you trying to scare the bejesus out of children? Is that your new shtick? I’ll give you this, though: The whole Siblings Anonymous scene with Frank Stallone, Roger Clinton, and Stephen Baldwin — that was inspired. Too bad you screwed that up, too. It was about as funny as prostate cancer.
You are king of the losers, Santa.
You know why people stop believing in you, Saint Nick? Huh? Because you fuck us. Every miserable year, you give us soured eggnog and snicker like a psychopath when we retch it up, knowing that we’ll come back the next holiday season and drop another $50 for the family to go see your yuletide leavings. Because you got the market cornered, don’t you? You and Tim Allen and Elmo and Patsy. Running the same racket, year after year. Well, I’ve had enough of it, Father Christmas. Next year, I’m hanging with Zwarte Piet. And we’re going to blow the lid off your little scam. And I hope you choke to death on a cookie — that a shard of chocolate chip punctures your lungs and you die a slow death.
Thanks for nothing, Santa.
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife and son in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.