At out latest movie night me and Allie decided to move forward with our Christmas titles for the 12 days of Christmas, last night was Bad Santa. I can't believe I haven't seen this before now!!
I swore blind that I had seen this only once before, but that it was when it came out so I couldn't really remember anything about it. The first 5 minutes convinced me that I absolutely did not watch this with my family when I was 14!
Bad Santa is NOT your typical Christmas film, Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) is a conman who every year gets a job as (the worst) department store Santa where he and his partner Marcus (Tony Cox) scope out the place. In Christmas Eve when the store is closed, they rob the place and leave without a trace onto another town and another department store. Problems arise however, when Willie's drinking becomes out of control and he builds an unlikely friendship with 'The Kid' who believes he is actually Santa.
I was really surprised by this and wish I had watched it sooner, I feel like it may become a tradition to watch over Christmas every year. Although it is certainly NSFD, NSFT or NSFP (worth remembering if you're thinking of introducing your kids to a new Christmas film, don't!!) it a rally funny in places and Billy Bob Thornton is great as the miserable drunk who develops a bit of a conscience (who can forget the Advent Calendar scene!). This should maybe be on the Trivia post at the end of the month but, I read that BBT was actually drunk through most of the filming, not sure whether it was method acting or a genuine problem, either way it worked for the film.
That advent calendar! And poor old Grandma! I can't remember laughing so much at a Christmas film. Some things were just subtly hilarious and really tickled me, who can imagine Santa throwing an empty bottle of liquor at a car and smashing the windscreen?
Tony Cox is so funny throughout, his one-liners are great (and apparently many were improvised as jokes on set but were kept in because they were so funny!) and it was great to see some dearly departed actors in roles I hadn't seen them in before (John Ritter and Bernie Mac).
The mood changes rapidly in parts, Jenna and I sat and predicted how the whole thing would end, in between laughing at how awful Willie was at being Santa and being grossed out by The Kid's snotty face. We were nearly right, but there are some very dark moments in this (and horrified children!)
There is nothing PC about this movie and that is probably part of it's charm. A definite winner for the Christmas cynic and even for the lovers for something a bit different, a re-watcher for me...
I absolutely, whole heartedly loved this. Billy Bob Thornton is fantastic, and if you watched the Fargo TV show this year, he plays pretty much the exact same character, which just made it funnier for me, almost as if the events of Bad Santa existed in the same fictional universe!