Tuesday, December 1, 2009

30 Days of Christmas: Scrooged...

In 1988...well, I was too young to see any adaptation of A Christmas Carol that didn't feature cartoon mice...but that was the year in which arguably the best and most original such version of a classic tale was released. Scrooged (starring Bill Murray and directed by Richard Donner) followed a rich, successful, and powerful television executive who only got to where he was in life by being ruthless, rude, and crude. In typical Christmas Carol fashion, he fires a needy employee on Christmas Eve and then gets taken on a journey to show him how he became the man he is today and what will happen if he doesn't change. It was years later, and on home video no less, that I finally got to see this film, but its pop culture references (such as countless Ghostbusters allegories) and basis in the television industry are what ultimately won me over and made this a must see for every Christmas season.

Of course, nothing about the classic tale should work on a "modern" businessman such as Frank Cross (Scrooged's Scrooge). As a man who continuously chose his work over his personal life, even way back as a teenager with his first job in the television station, he shouldn't care that his brother is living in poverty and the woman he once loved will grow to be as uncaring as he (after all, that is pretty normal these days: a woman scorned hardens herself to others to avoid getting hurt again). However, since Scrooge-- err, I mean Cross is also at risk, of dying alone-- a horrible death in which he actually feels the flames of cremation and then has no one come to his funeral-- he straightens his ways. At least for Christmas Day.

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