1/10
A strange and depressing spin on Christmas
12 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, let me say that this is not the movie for people looking to watch something spirited and joyous for the holidays. This movie is cold, brutal, and just downright depressing. Mary Steenburgen plays a grinchy mom who is down on Christmas because her husband has lost his job, they are losing their house, can't buy Christmas presents for the kids, etc. You get the idea, happy stuff for the holidays. So along comes Harry Dean Stanton as Gideon the Christmas angel, who in his dark hat and long overcoat comes off more like a pedophile who hangs around children all day observing them. What better way to instill the spirit of Christmas in Mary Steenburgen than to kill off her family and then offer to bring them back if she believes in Christmas again. Santa Claus is a blackmailer and his Christmas workshop looks more like a haven for refugee Nazis on the lam. The movie lays everything on so thick that you don't care about the happy ending when it comes because the rest of the movie is so bitter and unbelievable. I'm sure this film wanted to be something Capra-like, but it left out the joy and sentiment on what a holiday film should be.
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