Every week, I add a movie rated at one star to my Netflix queue, suffering through the worst of the worst for your entertainment. In the past, I’ve taken on backyard wrestling, softcore Iraq War porn, and a ripoff of Terminator starring Luke Skywalker. But now, as the holidays approach, I’m turning my attention to Christmas films.
A Christmas Too Many (2007)
Starring: Ruta Lee as a slightly less horrifying Carol Channing.
The thing about Christmas movies is that as many of them as there are, there don’t seem to be a whole lot of mediocre ones: They’re either great (A Christmas Story,Christmas Vacation, Elf) or the worst things ever put on film (Surviving Christmas, Jingle All the Way, that one with Jenny McCarthy where she has to stop the Grinch from giving her kid a vaccination or whatever).
We’ll give you three guesses which side A Christmas Too Many ends up on.
A production of the ironically named “Damn Good Entertainment,” Too Many was allegedly “released” in 2007–though it’s probably more accurate to say that it was “delivered directly from Steven Wallis’s DVD burner to the $5 bin at Walmart”–and it stars Marla Maples, a veteran of terrible Christmas flicks thanks to her role as Mrs. Van Dough in Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish. She also bears a strong resemblance to an older, MILFier Jane Krakowski, which means that her major contribution to the film is making the whole thing seem like one of the projects Jenna Maroney was working on between The Rural Juror and The Jackie Jormp Jomp Story.
It’s the kind of movie where you can tell every scene was done in exactly one take, not because they nailed it (the best actor in the movie is Clint Howard as an amazingly terrible gay stereotype), but because of the inescapable air of “screw it” that stays on the screen for the whole 90 minutes. It centers on a family that are less characters and more one-dimensiona setups for punchlines that never come: A survivalist father, an alcolholic mother, his vegan son and busty daughter, busty daughter’s hapless boyfriend (who also shares an Executive Producer credit in yet another example of WON‘s Warning Sign #1), a vain aunt and her drug-addled football player husband, Sonny (who is undefined and, unlike the rest of the family, inexplicably Italian), and two has-been film star grandparents, who—in what might be WON’s first example of cinema verite—are actually played by two has-been film stars.
In this case, it’s the aforementioned Ruta Lee and Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney, who constantly complains about not being able to get good parts anymore (there’s a 50% chance that this was actually in the script) and looks less like a member of the family and more like a live action Cotton Hill…
…although to be fair, that’s not really the movie’s fault.
Once the cast is all assembled, the movie starts engaging in the kind of hijinx that you’d get if you described a joke to a person from a planet with no concept of what humor was supposed to be and then asked them to write a comedy. The family members, for instance, keep asking the vegan kid to eat meat. Seriously, that’s the whole joke. Just “Have a hot dog,” “I can’t,” repeat ad nauseum.
And it doesn’t get much better from there: A septugenarian quizzes her granddaughter on the size of her boyfriend’s cock, the word “fagola” is used as five times in the span of two minutes, references to Pulp Fiction are made a good 16 years after everyone and their brother beat that horse to death, and the grandmother dies, at which time the movie becomes Weekend at Bernie’s without the subtle wit or charm until she comes back to life and explains that–for no discernable reason–she was just acting.
And then Gary Coleman shows up.
After that, the movie pretty much just stops, and I don’t blame it. Where the hell can you go after you have Mickey Rooney slouch into frame and start claiming Gary Coleman’s his grandson?
|Chris Sims is a freelance comedy writer from South Carolina. He briefly attended USC before he dropped out to spend more time with Grand Theft Auto, and his career subsequently took the path that you might expect from someone who makes that sort of decision. He blogs at http://www.the-isb.com and creates comics at http://www.actionagecomics.com.|