This film was picked for our January entry in the film club. I have known of this movie for years and had seen a few clips from it in the past, but I had never watched the whole thing straight through. I would have gotten it from the library however when I went to get a copy, all of the copies in Chester County were on hold, and I knew I would not be able to get a copy before the film club met. Also I didn’t remember to record it off the TV until they were in the middle of showing it for the last time on Christmas Day. I did find a copy at a reasonable price, and I thought it may be a movie I would like to watch multiple times, unfortunately I was wrong.
I give the film 3 out of 5 at best, and that’s being generous. There were a couple (not many just a few) good scenes in the film, but you had to sort through a lot of garbage to get to them. Certainly not one of the best Christmas movies that I have seen, it doesn’t compare to: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the Nightmare Before Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, a Muppets Family Christmas, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales, and every other version of A Christmas Carol that has had the motion picture treatment.
My main problem with the movie is that it is too focused on Kids. I don’t like kids at all and don’t care to spend my time watching them in movies. I even had to fast forward through the scene where the mother was trying to make the younger brother eat, so gross.
The film did a good job of depicting the 50’s though, which I appreciated, and I’m glad that I didn’t grow up during then. The one saving grace of this film was the ending, which I had heard about but never saw before, when they all go to the Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner, it was actually quite touching, as all Christmas movies should be. Unfortunately it’s too little too late to bring this movie up to a 4 or 5 star rating in my opinion.
The Chinese Christmas dinner reminds me a bit of my wife and I. We have eaten Christmas Eve dinner at Chinese restaurants before. My wife, who is Vietnamese, get’s grossed out every time I order rare stake at a restaurant, but has no problem seeing the ducks hanging in the Chinese market with their heads still intact. Personally it doesn’t bother me too much either, but if find it an interesting juxtaposition.