I really like Christmas. There’s no higher strategy to finish the 12 months (particularly a 12 months that is been as emotionally draining as this 1) than filling your days with good meals, good music, the comforting presence of family and friends and, in fact, some good Christmas motion pictures.
There’s loads of good Christmas motion pictures to select from, imagine you me, however 1 is actually the bane of my existence. While I may watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Polar Express and even A Christmas Story advert nauseam, the Christmas film that’s actually onerous to take a seat by is A Christmas Carol. It would possibly even be, I’d argue, the worst Christmas film in the complete lineup of Christmas movies.
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You’re most likely a bit indignant studying this proper now as a result of, likelihood is, you might be one of many many of us on the market who has been wooed by the quaint attraction of Charles Dickens’ most well-known (and solely) vacation parable 12 months after 12 months. You’ve doubtless additionally develop into conversant in it by the numerous movie and TV variations which have surfaced since rattling close to the inception of movie and TV — there is a model for each era! But whether or not Michael Caine or Reginald Owen or Jim Carrey or George C. Scott was your first introduction to the character of Ebenezer Scrooge, whether or not you first noticed A Christmas Carol as an animated movie, in black and white, on TV or in a movie, with Muppets or (blessedly) sans Muppets, it is arduous to disclaim that many of us know the story of A Christmas Carol and have interacted with it so steadily and so early of their lives that it is a deeply nostalgic piece of tradition.
That’s my most main bone to choose with A Christmas Carol: Its saccharine, ubiquitous place in our Christmas popular culture is simply an excessive amount of. Rather than selecting up on new tales on concepts, evidently yearly, we should be inundated with the identical story about this prickly banker whose selfishness borders on psychotic curmudgeonliness and who undergoes a profound change in his character within the span of (I am guessing) eight hours thanks to a few ghosts. OK, I suppose that is fascinating? But the story’s been round since 1843; certainly one thing newer and extra related to us as a society will be produced? Oh, and do not inform me the uncommon stab at updating the story (see: Scrooged) for contemporary audiences does something to redeem it or any of the basic takes on the movie. I imply, have you ever seen Scrooged? (Don’t see Scrooged.)
We proceed to show to A Christmas Carol as if it might produce one thing new and thrilling and profound, as if it had been a Shakespearean play. However, not like the seemingly everlasting malleability of Shakespeare’s texts, repeated variations of A Christmas Carol fail to supply something new or profound in a means that deserves its continued adaptation. In brief: cease making this story so rattling ubiquitous, individuals.
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And in case you assume my angle resembles Scrooge’s, you would be forgiven. But, not like pricey outdated Ebenezer’s frankly horrific angle towards all males, ladies and kids in mid-1800s London, my annoyance with the story is considerably justified. Not solely is A Christmas Carol the Christmas story that will not die, however Ebenezer is definitely the worst.
If there’s 1 factor we have realized about wealthy white males over age 60 (I am certain you possibly can assume of some), it is that they do not change their mind-set. Well, they hardly ever change their mind-set (I am going to go away some room for these particular few). But, like each different wealthy white man over the age of 60, Scrooge shouldn’t be as pitiable a personality as each film model of A Christmas Carol would have you ever imagine. He is, truly, simply plain bonkers. Our first introduction to the character is him being ridiculously merciless to his assistant, Bob Cratchit, not shedding 1 ounce of a tear for his lifeless pal, Jacob Marley, and being absolutely the worst to his nephew, Fred, who simply needs his uncle to relax with the remainder of the household for Christmas. Literally each movie model of A Christmas Carol makes Ebenezer irredeemably horrible and but, like the unique story, it in some way redeems him. Call me Scrooge in any case, however I’ve at all times believed that when an individual, actual or fictional, exhibits you their true colours, you must imagine them. As such, I say “Humbug” to Scrooge as a result of, frankly, he sucks.
On high of Ebenezer being a dyed-in-the-wool heel, the precise actuality of A Christmas Carol is bleak as hell. Basically, we get taken on a tour of Ebenezer’s extremely unhappy life with the 1 vivid spot being his time working for Fezziwig and being a younger man in love. But what we in the end be taught from Ebenezer’s ghost tour is that he is made that saddest, cruelest decisions — for himself and for others — at practically each crossroads in his life. It’s all only a bleak, bleak reminder that this protagonist is a nasty 1 and this story prefers to trek by the unhappiness as a way to provide up a sliver of redemption. Yeah, that undoubtedly appears like a enjoyable Christmas story.
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Seriously, in order for you a Christmas film with coronary heart and soul and perhaps even one thing remotely cheerful, activate the Hallmark channel or go browse Netflix or write your personal dang Christmas film. For the love of all that’s good on this vacation season, cease giving A Christmas Carol your time and a focus, regardless of which film or TV-adapted type it takes. You’ll be doing your self a favor.