Scrooged (1988)

(Second or third viewing, On TV, December 2016) There have been countless takes on Dickens’ A Christmas Story, but Scrooged is still my favourite. A blend of cynicism and hard-won sappiness, Scrooged’s darker sense of humour, backed up with Bill Murray’s unique style, makes it a fantastic holiday viewing. Its depiction of an amoral modern age is still very much on target even twenty—no—thirty years later, while its struggle to reconcile itself with a happier view of Christmas seem more deserved than most. (On the other hand, I’m not sure that its lead protagonist will be as open-hearted two days later, but that may be part of the point.) Bill Murray anchors the picture, but there are good supporting performances by Bobcat Goldthwait and a hilarious Carol Kane as a slap-happy Ghost of Christmas Present. I get that the movie divided audiences and reviewers upon release, but you’ll never be able to convince me that it’s not a Christmas classic. If anything, I’ll bet that it plays far better in today’s ironic age than it did upon first release.

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