Saturday, December 20, 2008
It's hard to compete with nostalgic classics like A Christmas Story and pure childish fun like Elf. Many have failed.
Fred Claus. Well, Fred nearly pulls it off. Enough for me to purchase the movie and make it a must watch at least once during the Christmas season. Vince Vaughn plays a sarcastic screw-up, and fans of his or sarcastic screw-ups are sure to find Fred Claus appealing.
Of course there are the sappy and yeah-right moments that make the movie a warm, fuzzy family movie. Cheesiness happens, but really, in the North Pole you gotta expect some sugar and/or cheese. There are a few off-color comments and/or double entendres but it is pretty clean overall.
The most amusing theme is the sibling rivalry. Nicholas (Giamatti) is a saint of course, and Fred, well, he's the older and forgotten brother, which requires a few laugh-out-loud counseling sessions. Several "cameo" appearances make the movie fun for adults and will likely keep them engaged if Vaughn isn't enough to do so. The kids will love the whole North Pole fun and frivolity.