Scrooged, a modern take on the classic A Christmas Carol tale. Well, modern as it in was made in 1988. I remember watching this film as I grew up, it’s still on the TV every single Christmas. You can’t have a festive season without a few of the classics.
Here we have Bill Murray in one of his strongest roles, as Francis Xavier Cross or Scrooge. He runs a TV network, he is heartless, cold, and cruel. He forces his assistant Grace to work long hours, so she doesn’t see her young disabled child or the rest of her family/children. When working on his Christmas gift list he sends DVD players to his work connections and just a network towel to his own little brother. Fires someone on Christmas Eve just because he annoyed him. Scheduling a live TV version of Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve. Telling people to staple antlers onto a mouse’s head. Making the dancing girls show far more than they should on stage. Violent TV adverts. Generally a complete and utter jerk, played fantastically by Murray,
Our first little problem is when Mr Cross is having drinks in his office and he is visited by his old boss, Lou. Giving him the full lecture of how he will be visited by three ghosts and nearly throwing him out of a window in a pretty awesome scene. A New York taxi driver, with just as much attitude as his next visitor showing him just how much he is missing from his own past. Putting Frank in tears at times.
Followed by a glittering pink fairy with attitude who slaps him around often, even hitting him with a toaster. In the form of the Ghost of Christmas present. Her sassy character totally transforms the role, keeping it fresh. Cutting between the ghost scenes, and Frank’s real life as they reconnect him with his lost love Claire. Show the TV network trying to replace him with a new guy, to ‘help out’. Frank seeing that his choices have reactions when he refuses to give a homeless man money to heat his blanket, and later finding him frozen to death. As well as a stunning finale where Frank has to face a gunman or the ghost of Christmas yet to come. It’s a tough choice whom is less dangerous.
This is a great film for all the family, although younger viewers may have to not be allowed to see parts of the final ghost who is rather scary. I think I was 13 before I actually found out there was ‘the cool ring wraith ghost!’. If you have survived this long without seeing this brilliantly acted movie, you have to this holiday season.
Sarah Beth James