It's hard to find the right Christmas film nowadays that balance the charm and sweetness of the season as well as the laughs that make us feel all festive and joyful. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Die Hard and Home Alone are just some of the most beloved films of the holiday. Then there are the other type of #Christmas films.
When I say other, I mean the ones that simply suck all the life and joy out of your festivities. You'll end up burning your Christmas tree, chucking all your chocolate in the trash and then buying a microwave meal for your Christmas dinner if you subject yourself to just some of these terrible December duds. Consider this article a warning, a big red flag that yells at you not to watch these following five:
5. 'Four Christmases'
Great cast, bad execution and a bad script. Plus, a bad pace that makes this film's mere runtime of 85 minutes feel like hours. How can a film that stars the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Katy Mixon, Mary Steenburgen, Jon Favreau, Robert DuVall and countless other stars be such a dull experience? It has a few scattered laughs, mostly well-timed slapstick and a bunch of rowdy fighting brothers, but the laughs really are far and few between. It's almost a mission to laugh at some of the gags. I'd be wary with this one.
4. 'Fred Claus'
What did Paul Giamatti do to deserve this? Vince Vaughn overdoes it once again with his hot-headed act, blabbing nonsensical dialogue for sentence after sentence. The cloying sentimentality, embarrassing attempts at slapstick and a feeling of staleness go hand in hand, leaving this a thankless career lowlight for Giamatti and yet another vehicle for Vaughn to do his usual shtick.
3. 'Christmas With The Kranks'
A most charming and likable cast flops spectacularly in this laugh-free festive feature. Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen are game (clearly) for anything, but the bland directing and lack of style means no structure or base to set up the laughs. When jokes are set-up, either in the form of witty dialogue or slapstick, the jokes fizzle out and the cringe is beyond painful. Take the supermarket scene where Jamie Lee Curtis's character desperately tries to get her hands on some honey ham, the joke is prolonged when it wasn't funny in this first place. Put it simply, that's what this film does constantly: Outstays its welcome.
2. 'Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas'
The only positive I can mention about this preachy film is this poster. It looks cool, almost mimicking that of the poster for Arnold Schwarzenegger's Last Action Hero. With awful musical moments, painfully dull performances and the most preachy and obvious message and themes that attempt to make us viewers put back the "Christ in Christmas." The last thing we want to have to do watching a Christmas film is learn and be educated by force, we want to sit back and relax with a good drink and food and enjoy ourselves. Avoid this one.
1. 'Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?'
Well, out of kind spirit I decided to watch this with my much younger cousins, as it was about the only appropriate film to watch with them at their age. My word, I've never felt such pain just watching a film. Imagine having the most throbbing headache alongside knives in your thigh and a kick to the meat and two veg. While Catherine Tate is as lovely as ever, she can't do a thing to stop this sleigh from crashing and exploding.
With an infuriatingly annoying performance from Marc Wooton seemingly trying to impersonate someone with a mental disability, and some of the most irritating child "actors," this festive film is the polar opposite of fun, and deserves an award for worst Christmas film title.
Don't be mistaken, I'm not a #scrooge, these are just pure vacuums of fun and spirit. Have you seen these films? Would you dare play them at this time of year? If you do, tread carefully as you may just end up poisoning everyone's turkey dinner.
If you're looking for a worthwhile Christmas movie, look no further than the Arnie classic Jingle All The Way: