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Christmas Countdown: Jingle All the Way (1996)

Nothing bothers a film buff like an uneven film. One can tolerate many shortcomings in a film, as long as it holds to some kind of intent without too many diversions.

Of course, Jingle All the Way (1996) fails in this regard.

In general it's a story about a deadbeat dad, Arnold, trying to buy his son's affection, then seeing the err in his ways and making amends (there are probably 20 episodes of The Simpons like this). The subplot about his rivalry with another bad dad (Sinbad) fits well with this theme; it fleshes out how bad of a person the protagonist is.

The film falls on its face is when criticisms are made about the commercialization of Christmas (what else is new, Arnold?), and then later retracted. Wishy-washiness spoils the occasion. The early critiques are meant to be obviated by the amends a father makes with his unhappy son. It's a strange take on the old "Christmas Family Magic" theme that doesn't nearly work, and doesn't really fit with the rest of the film.

Regardless, the movie is fun enough, and is nearly worth seeing for just for Phil Hartman's (and to a lesser extent Sinbad's) performance(s).


TJMAC510 said…
As much as I want to or try to dislike this movie I can't. I fully understand that its a horrible movie with mediocre (save Phil Hartman) acting and a really over commercialized moral theme and stupid jokes and a total lack of care when it comes to reality and physics (that midget flew). But I find myself watching it every Christmas, like Die Hard (IT IS A CHRISTMAS MOVIE) and Gremlins (it counts) and its a bit of a guilty pleasure of a film for me.

I totally agree with this review though. I see all of the films major problems

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