Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fred Claus

Every year there has to be a Christmas movie. It's the law. And usually the Christmas movie sucks. I present Deck the Halls, Christmas With the Kranks, The Santa Clause 1, 2 and 3, and Jack Frost . I dare you to challenge me on that one. I've even heard that Christmas movies are where actors and actresses go to die.

Fortunately, despite some reviews by the pundits, Fred Claus is actually not that bad. It stars Vince Vaughn as Santa Claus' brother. Fred grew up the older brother of Santa, played by John Adams, I mean Paul Giamatti. Santa is the carefree, jovial kid who has good intentions, but seems to be making life miserable for his older brother Fred, who's more down to Earth.

"Why can't you be more like your brother Nick?" This is what Fred heard all his life. Fred was never as good as Nick and resented his mother for all of the attention that Santa got. So Fred skipped town, only to struggle through life with bitterness and failure. Santa, meanwhile, went on to become the bearer of gifts on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, Fred gets into a bit of a bind and needs money, which Santa agrees to give him if Fred agrees to come to the North Pole and work for it and help him get through the Christmas season. Fred agrees and the drama ensures.

To add to the fun, Kevin Spacey plays the mischievious accountant that works for the government who's inspecting the North Pole operations, which Santa must prove is in working order so that he can maintain control over this domain.

The movie is full of laughs, lots of site gags and slapstick humor. Vince Vaughn plays the best character that he knows - Vince Vaughn without the potty mouth. Fred Claus is rated PG for some mild language and some rude humor, per Netflix. It was decent enough that I didn't feel bad allowing my 6 year-old son to watch it.

The movie also stars Kathy Bates as the Claus' mother, Ludacris (who was hysterically midgetized), and Elizabeth Banks as Fred's girlfriend.

Overall I give this movie 4 stars. This is a great movie to watch with your family, which is important to do at the holidays.

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