It is close enough to Christmas and I am overdue for a more legitimate movie than El Camino Christmas. Since my movie collection is all packed up, I was limited to whatever is streaming … so sadly Die Hard was out. So we went with another classic that was near the top of the list and one that we revisit every other year: The Santa Clause. So how does it hold up?
I would give it 8 “Rose Suchak Ladders” out of 10.
FOR THE UNINITIATED
Scott Calvin assumes the mantle of Santa Claus after “not” killing the former Santa and agreeing to the Santa Clause. He struggles with accepting the job and dealing with his son who everyone refuses to believe.
Directed by: John Pasquin
Written by: Leo Benvenuti and Steven Rudnick
Starring: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz, and Larry Brandenburg
Maybe I don’t watch enough recently made kid / family movies, but I am going to go with the thought that they don’t make movies like this anymore. While this is marketed more towards a younger audience, it is perfect for anyone. The humor doesn’t cater to adults with crass jokes or jokes that will go over childrens’ heads, there are one or two but it doesn’t rely on them. The writing is clever and very witty that everyone will be able to enjoy it. The entire movie is based around a clever homonym – but there are plenty more such as the Rose Suchak Ladder (arose such a clatter), the “Ball Room” at the North Pole, and when asking the doctor about the hair / weight gain he is told to dye it and diet … just to name a few. The humor definitely holds up and I cannot imagine that not being the case many years down the road.
The logic is far from sound.
Let’s start with the obvious issue: whoever finds Santa’s body and puts on the clothes becomes Santa with no issue. So a killer could put on the clothes and cancel Christmas for everyone? He suddenly gains weight (while still being in great heath), grows a beard, goes white, has boxes of pages with names on them with no return address … and no one bats an eye?
Second issue is Santa is real and only gives gifts to kids who believe and practice Christmas? If that is the case then why does he not give them what is wanted? He can give canoes to kids in a big house, a doll to a girl who is in a lower income home, and could not afford to give Neil a whistle when he was 3?
Third issue is the belief factor. Scott didn’t believe after he spent an entire night being Santa and waking up in strange underwear? If kids need to believe (and be good) to receive gifts … what gains if they don’t stop believing? Especially the kids who see him … or the people who see reindeer waking around behind a Santa lookalike … or the people who the ELFS attacked to free Santa (showing of which: does he get kidnapped with to need a dedicated SWAT team?).
It is a fun movie that is far from scientifically correct … but it didn’t need to be since magic exists. This is one of the great Christmas movies that will put you in the spirit and bring a smile to your face. It’s worth checking out if it has been a while or of you’ve never seen this clever take on Santa.
Speaking of funny and clever Christmas movies; that leads me to my recommendation of Elf. Not only is this one of my favorite Christmas movies; it is also one of my favorite Well Ferrell movies. He captures the energy and excitement I imagine an elf to have. One scene that encapsulates the essence of what I mean is when the store manager announces Santa is coming. This prompts Ferrell to freak our while screaming he knows him. Hopefully I will find it on tv at some point and have time to watch it this season.