Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Xmas That Almost Wasn't

The rent is due and Santa can't seem to figure out a way to pay in this dour, tuneless, Xmas film. A mustachey villain bought the North Pole and is demanding Santa pay him rent, so Santa travels to a tinsel-strewn miniature town and recruits the worst lawyer in the world to help him. Instead of fighting back with lawyery stuff, the lawyer decides that Santa is fairly unemployable and should become the world's first department store Santa, and the lawyer becomes a janitor. They'll be able to earn the rent money by rolling around on the floor of the store playing with toys, and that sounds like a great idea if you often come up with really bad ideas. So the villainous landlord buys the department store, whips out an HR manual, and fires the two hapless fellows on the spot in the first bit of realism in this film. I may not know a lot of stuff about Xmas, but I do know there's no way I would hire Santa to do a darn thing. During the job interview with a hiring manager who oversees a department store filled with toys, Santa neglects to mention that he can create billions of toys and deliver them by magic seemingly overnight, and if I was conducting that job interview I would hire him just to instantly fire him, but then again, no one wants to watch a holiday film where Santa updates his resume or where Santa is standing by the overpass holding a cardboard sign that says, "Will Make Toys For Rent $". Anyway, The Xmas That Almost Wasn't is a dark, garland-covered, arctic wasteland of camera shadows, and when Santa's sleigh is flying over the town you can see the strings. There's a startling chimney montage, and to prove that Santa would be the worst employee ever, he manages to raise the revenue to pay his rent by panhandling in the village square, shaking down the village children for their piggybanks, and then ends up dusting the villain's home. Someone clearly cannot manage their time properly, and he's fired.

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