Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow Screen: The Santa Clause

Monday was a pretty good day.  Got a few packages in the mail, received some pleasant news at work and found out on the day we were going to Disneyland, they'd be screening their 1994 holiday hit, The Santa Clause, starring our favorite TV dad Tim Allen!  If that isn't destiny I don't know what is.  You might think it's weird to go to Disneyland and watch a 20 year old movie but we've hit the park hard for 3 years already; Fantasmic anniversary, Mickeys Halloween Trick or Treat, early entry, Club 33 (dinner is way better than lunch, ambiance!)...our current record stands at 5 rides in 1 hour and that included the 3 dealies at Cars Land!  So not real worried about going on Star Tours for the 20th time, which we did anyway.

The flick was playing on Main Street where Great Moments With Abraham Lincoln usually rolls.  Had no idea the place sat 485 peeps!  After a brief introduction, they hit play on the DVD player.  Clause is the story of Scott Calvin (mother BLEEP-ing) Tim Allen, a successful marketing exec at a toy company and divorced dad trying to spend Christmas Eve with his annoyingly cute yet disconnected son.  That night, Scott startles an intruder on the roof who turns out to be Santa Claus!  Spooked Santa tumbles off the roof and dies (kid's movie?!) and Scott grudgingly picks up the mantle to appease his kid.  North Pole, grumpy animatronic reindeer, children as elves, real life divorce shit, Judge Reinhold in ugly sweaters, Armand Assante and gift giving hijinks ensues.

Clause holds up remarkably well, as in it hasn't aged into a dated, schmaltzy, hollow cash grab that it could of.  The pace moves quickly, blending the fantasy Claus elements with the pseudo realistic family drama.  It might not be a Christmas classic but it serves its purpose better than recent attempts by Vince Vaughn and Allen himself in Four Christmases, Fred Claus and Christmas With the Kranks.  What's interesting is that Allen, a raunchy, opinionated, former drug dealer comedian would have a career defined by family entertainment funded by Disney.  For a week in 1994, Allen had the number one sitcom, movie and New York Times Best Seller in America.

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