WTF, I almost didn't go see Fred Claus because of the reviews. All of the them except for Carino Chocano at the LA Times
missed the mark. And passing on the show would have been a shame because it seems to me, the rest of the reviewers were too busy wanking off to Siblings Anonymous, explaining how this wasn't Elf
, and concerning themselves over the inaccuracy of immortality for family members of saints (because reality is what we look for in a solid Santa movie) to get the point.
So I was walking with my youngest who still wants to believe in Santa, but is probably just past the point of no return, when behind us we heard a parent threaten a younger child with Santa's Naughty and Nice Star Board. When a child is good, apparently, a child gets a star. When a child is bad, or so it goes in that household, a star comes off the chart.
"What a bunch of crap," I said to my daughter, in so many words. "It's not about behavior leverage. It's not about being naughty or nice. It's about having a chance to do something special for someone, and every child should get a gift." The movie took it an important step further, with Fred convincing his brother Santa that there really aren't any naughty children in the world; just little ones that never caught a break and ended up adults processing a different code of behavior.
Vince, with his stilty legs and baggy, lined eyes, was perfect in his desperation, resentment, and reluctance. Bate's zingers were coming from someone's experience. And if Vaughn had ended up with the blonde assistant, then everyone would have screamed over the predictability. Instead, he didn't get the girl. The midget did. And the guy reviewers complained, "Hunh?"
I have three more kids' movies to see. I'm beginning to think this might be my favorite. Go Vince. And way to call it Carina.