By Marie-Renee Goulet

The season is upon us, and my team suggested we pick our favourite Christmas movie and go through why it was so meaningful to us. Like every other time this situation comes up, I smiled and nodded and stayed silent. How do I tell them? Should I tell them? I don’t have a favourite Christmas movie.

My opinion on the season is a bit personal, and the few times I told anyone, they either judged me or hugged me because they felt the same way and finally could talk to someone about it.

To honour those people, allow me to say: Fuck Christmas. Yep, I said it. I grew up in a “different” kind of family. For years, my mother scared me about strange adults, anyone offering me anything for free, or what to do if a strange man offered me candy; then she thought it would be a good idea to try and sit me on a strip mall Santa’s lap when I was 6. Don’t picture Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). I am talking 1981, yellow smoked stained beard, dead neighbourhood strip mall Santa. When the dirty bastard handed me a candy cane, I lost my freaking mind. Life being what it is, my mother died suddenly during the holidays 15 years later. Taking down the Christmas decoration as I planned her funeral was heartbreaking and forever tainted the season. Add to that the overly commercial, consumerism aspect of it, the holiday lost all meaning. Shouldn’t we give randomly and spread a little joy year-round?

So for this Christmas, may I present to you:

REVIEW: BAD SANTA (2003) ***

Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) is a miserable con man who only works once a year as a foul-mouthed mall Santa. Sitting at the bar in his suit, smoking and drinking heavily, he seems to have reached a new low. Thoroughly hungover, he is terrible to kids. We soon find out that the gig is a cover for him and his Elf partner Marcus (Tony Cox) to rob the mall after hours.

Willie is a pretty unredeemable character, and Thornton has no shame playing him. His alcoholism is out of control, and he keeps embarrassing himself. Despite this, he meets a beautiful woman with a Santa fetish (Lauren Graham). When a lonely and disturbed kid (Brett Kelly) who happens to live in a nice house with an oblivious grandmother comes into his life, he immediately takes advantage of the situation.

The scenes between John Ritter, as store manager Rob Chipeska and who passed away before the movie was released, and Berny Mac (Gin) as the head of security, who passed away a few years later, felt bittersweet. Gin figures out the scheme and, instead of stopping it, wants a cut. I am not sure why this whole cast of characters is funny, but it is. Of course, there is a happy, albeit twisted ending as the kid slowly gets to him, and he begins to care.

Strong language advisory on this one, do not watch with kids around.

If you feel depressed and lonely during the holiday season, there is help available, reach out:

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