While the holidays can be the joyest of times, there are some that are true grinchs. It’s not that they hate Christmas, it’s just that they are genuine people that just bad. Often, there is a story that explains why they are they way they are. Some of them had bad childhoods and have the assumption that the world doesn’t care about them. Some may have gone through some bad times like a divorce or death, and are using the world to take out their anger. These people just can’t past their behavior to enjoy themselves or the holidays. But you can be surprised at what Christmas can do to people.
To be nasty is one thing, but to be nasty in front of children is another. I hate it when adult’s become Scrooge as soon as they see kids. I can understand not being pleased to work with children, but why do they have to take their anger out in front of them? So when I heard about the movie Bad Santa, I was sure that I would despise this movie. After all, it’s about a mall Santa that hates children and robs banks. But surprisingly, I like it.
Every year, Willie Stokes (played by Billy Bob Thornton) works the holidays as a mall Santa with his dwarf partner as his helper elf, Marcus (played by Tony Cox). He’s a boozer, looser, and a womanizer, and yet, he still gets the job done every Christmas Eve by cracking the safe and leaving before anyone notices. No matter how despicable this man is, I somehow find myself feeling sorry for him. The first twenty minutes of the movie is of him trying to go to Miami to make a better life for himself, but only finds himself in the liquor store. It’s not long before he gets a call from Marcus noting that it’s time for next years Christmas season.
Now in Phoenix, he’s back in Santa’s chair, trying to study his mall to eventually rob the place. Every child that sits in his lap means nothing to him, but bigger kid named Thurman takes an unknown reason to like him. When Mall Manager Bob (played by John Ritter) and chief of security Gin (played by Bernie Mac) start to grow suspicious of his true intentions, Willie decides to hide out at Thurman’s house. His parents are not around and only lives with his senile grandma. As the holiday season starts to approach, Willie finds himself to grow on the kid and succumbing to the holiday spirit.
Bad Santa is rude, crude, and dark, but I actually think it’s very funny. It’s not the black humor that I find charming (though it’s very funny), but it rather the fact that by becoming an odd father figure, Willie is actually becoming a better person. He may be a drinker and sleeping around with a bartender, but he starts to realize that when people start to care for him, he starts to question what he does.
I’ll give this four drunk stantas out of five. This black comedy may not be for everyone, but this makes for a fun Christmas midnight movie!