Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cinematic Advent Calendar - Day 3

Bad Santa (2003) - Dir. Terry Zwigoff

By contrast, Bad Santa (2003) is a very practical Christmas movie. There is nothing magical about it except for the fact that it actually got made and was successful. This one is strictly for adults. Billy Bob Thornton stars as Willie, an inebriated, scuzzy, low-life criminal posing as Santa Claus in order to rob department stores during Christmas. At times it doesn't even seem like Thornton is acting and for a guy who voluntarily goes by Billy Bob you have to wonder if this isn't the role he was born to play. The character is quickly established in a revealing opening monologue and further re-enforced through his actions, which include: fighting, fornicating (in public), cursing, stealing, lying, and soiling himself in front of children. The movie is not without a heart and does display a faint glimpse of the Christmas spirit. As Willie fumbles his way through another anual heist he winds up taking advantage of the hospitality of a little kid whose only guardian is a mentally incompetent grandmother. It's through the kid that Willie's cycle of self-destruction is broken, not all at once, or even entirely, but enough to be uplifting and somewhat redeeming. Together Willie and the kid benefit from each other's company resulting in the greatest gift of all: friendship. By far one of the funniest Christmas movies ever made, the humor isn't for everyone. The only word to completely summarize this movie and satisfy all outlooks towards it is outrageous. 

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