We’ve made it to day 7! That means you’ve watched the following movies:
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (Updated)
- A Christmas Story
- Office Christmas Party
I hope you’ve been keeping up, and if you haven’t, I hope you get to watch these movies at your leisure. I truly believe each and every movie on my list belongs on anyone’s Christmas movie list (yes, even the first one). The movie for tonight isn’t a classic by any means and some people may even scoff at it, but I thought I’d take a risk and put it on my list hoping that at least a few people who haven’t seen it, will give it a try. Welcome to day 7.
I know what your’e thinking, but stay with me. I purposefully skipped this movie when it came out. I thought it was stupid. Just another dumb comedy that somehow managed to get a few big names. I thought it was a waste of my time. One day, Anne (my fiance) and I were shopping at a used book and movie store and I came across this movie. It was a couple of bucks for a brand new Blu-ray and I thought, why not? Anne also added that she thought I would like it and that it was a good movie. So this year, I gave it a shot and you know what? I really liked it.
Let me add a brief premise to this one too since it may not be as well known as some of the others. Fred is Santa’s older brother and has always lived in his shadow. As the two were growing up, Fred would always be compared to Nicholas which planted the seed of resentment that grew into the separation between the brothers. Hundreds of years later (they’re immortal), Fred is down and out an needs help from his brother and goes to work at the North Pole. His negative attitude, and some unforseen problems, cause Christmas to be threatened and Fred must help make it all right.
This film stars Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers), Paul Giamatti (Sideways), John Michael Higgins (Best in Show), Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow), Rachel Weisz (The Mummy), Kathy Bates (Misery), Ludacris (Fast and Furious series), Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers), and the now infamous Kevin Spacey (Baby Driver).
As you can see, this movie has an impressive cast and boasts some award winning actors. It’s also directed by David Dobkin who directed a great movie called The Judge. But that’s not all this movie has going for it.
Fred Claus takes a couple tried-and-true ideas and combines them. We have the Scrooge analog in Vince Vaughn and Kevin Spacey. We have the basic premise of Christmas needing to be saved by someone other than Santa. This is a similar allegory to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We have side stories of everything from a screw up boyfriend needing to change his ways, to a invisible dork wanting to get the beautiful popular girl. Usually movies have one or two of these things but this one has it all and the best part is, it doesn’t come across as a convoluted mess. It all weaves together nicely.
There are some really great moments in this movie of some impressive acting, but the reason to put this on your list is this movie is so full of Christmas spirit, if you ate it you would poop out figgy pudding. This film has a good story set to the the backdrop of the North Pole which screams Christmas at each scene. There are also some very touching scenes and an impressively thought provoking message of there being no such thing as a naughty kid.
A lot of pieces come together to form what has now become one of my Christmas favorites. A movie that captured my attention from beginning to end. A movie that was as touching as it was silly. A movie that while it was predictable, was also quite complex in just the right places. We have a realistic story of family troubles told through the lens of a Christmas movie. Fred Claus gets a really bad rap and just like with the last movie, I truly believe that if you give this a shot you’ll enjoy it. Add Fred Claus to your list. You won’t regret it.