Review Date: November 18, 2003
Director: Terry Zwigoff
Writer: John Requa, Glenn Ficarra
Producers: Sarah Aubrey, John Cameron
Billy Bob Thornton
In fact, if you're already starting to feel a little beaten down by the whole "Christmas thing", this film will likely offer you a number of laughs, as Thornton spreads his pissed-off mood around like holiday jeer. He comes to work drunk off his ass one day and busts up the entire "Meet Santa Clause" village in front of dozens of kids and parents. Funny stuff! He's also suicidal...but in a funny way! Like I said earlier...it's dark, sick humor here, folks. The problem with the film seems to be that they had this "initial funny concept" of a "bad Santa", but didn't have enough solid material to build around it. The presence of John Ritter, Bernie Mac, Cloris Leachman and cutey-pie Lauren Graham are surprisingly wasted (Graham even keeps her bra on during a sex scene...c'man!!), and if it wasn't for the believable connection between Thornton and the lead kid, the film wouldn't have much else going for it. Thankfully, both Thornton and the boy are great in their respective roles, even more so the kid, played by Brett Kelly, who is about as sweet, na´ve and all-around innocent a kid as you can get and really had me rooting for him all the way. He's also very cute and plays the perfect patsy to Thornton's many crude outbursts. I was surprised that the film wasn't richer in character though, especially since it's director Terry Zwigoff's follow-up to the brilliant GHOST WORLD and involved the Coen brothers, but I guess everyone has their off days. Overall though, I really enjoyed the film's many rude quips and nasty behavior, absolutely adored the lead character's disdain and hatred of all things jolly and Christmas, as well as the side-kid's sweet innocence. If you hated ELF, you'll love BAD SANTA!!