Project 101

Dan attempts to watch 101 movies in 12 months

Posts Tagged ‘2003’

#22 Bad Santa

Posted by Dan on January 4, 2009

bad_santa_filmThere’s something to be said about expectations in movies, especially when it comes to Christmas movies. I usually avoid them like the plague, because they’re pretty much the same story archetype. It’s nice to see one that doesn’t quite fit it as much. Well, it still fits the mould, but rather than fitting it nicely, it’s squashed and jammed in, not being before doused in booze in the hope that making it wet makes it more malleable.

Bad Santa is the story of Willie, played by Billy-Bob Thorton, who’s an alcoholic and a criminal. His scam is working as a Santa at the local mall, and with the help of his friend Marcus (Tony Cox), who plays his elf side-kick, they sneak back in after hours and rob the place. Everything is fairly routine until Willie befriends a local kid and starts dating a local barmaid (Lauren Graham) who has a kinky fetish for having sex with ‘Santa’.

There’s also a number of great supporting actors, including both the late Bernie Mac and John Ritter. This is actually John Ritter’s final acting role. He died 2 months before the release of the movie, and as such, the movie has been dedicated to his memory. Seeing them both in a scene together seems a bit odd, but both of them are fucking hilarious. The funniest bit comes from Marcus’s dialogue though. Marcus is the voice of reason and makes sure that Willie stays on track and doesn’t drink himself into too much oblivion, but every now and then he needs to give him one of Marcus’s extra special pep talks.

Sometimes I get the feeling that Billy-Bob was just playing himself in most of this. Willie is just a terrible terrible person, and only just starts to become a regular human as the movie progresses until the end, when… well, you can just go and watch it.

This is worth a watch just to finally see a movie with Santa Claus in it that has Santa not being his usual jolly self. He’s a real sad, bitter bastard … and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I give Bad Santa 4 out of five reindeers

Willie: You know, I think I’ve turned a corner.
Marcus: Yeah? You fucking petite chicks now?
Willie: No, I’m not talking about that. I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself. It was like I did something constructive with my life or something, I dunno, like I accomplished something.
Marcus: You need many years of therapy. Many, many fuckin’ years of therapy.

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