31 Days of Christmas Movies Marathon: Day 24 – The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t (AKA Il Natale che quasi non fu)

Welcome to my 31 Days of Christmas movie marathon.  This is a feature where I watch a different Christmas movie every day from now until Christmas.  The rules are simple: The movie has to be something I haven’t already seen and I must watch at least one Christmas-themed movie a day from now until December 25th.  They’ll be some bad ones and hopefully a lot of great ones.  Why put myself through this?  Because it’s a good way to catch up on a lot of Christmas movies and a good way to satisfy my OCD.

On the 24th day of Christmas my true love gave to me… The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

The best part about The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t, or as I like to call it, ‘Prunes Hate Gay People, And Santa Is The Gayest’ are its esthetics.    Before you attack me as being a slanderous homophobe for my use of the word “gay”, know that I am using that word the same way the movie does, which is to mean one filled with an ecstatic happiness.  Moving on.  Most all the acting is atrocious, and the gaping vast plot holes seem like dimples when compared to the poorly written characters.  Yet, I loved it!

In fact, some of my favorite mid-60s family entertainment films are loaded with these features; Batman: The Movie (1966), Santa Clause Conquers The Martians (1964), and Help! (1965).  These films are generally received as either guilty pleasuring joyous pieces of entertainment or complete wastes of time.  For the same reason that some people are attracted to ill-fitting and ugly clothes that to them seem wonderous (i.e., my girlfriend’s hideous Christmas sweater), so too am I attracted to the look of these mid-60’s cornball comedies.  The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t easily falls into the category of a guilty pleasuring joyous piece of entertainment camp, and boy is it campy.

The plot develops in the most silliest of ways; through randomly unexplained character entrances and songs.  Having just decorated the town’s Christmas tree while singing about how Christmas should be celebrated as a gay day all year round, local attorney, and very gay Sam Whipple runs into a plain clothes gloomy looking bearded man and immediately profiles him as being the one and only Santa Clause.  Turns out, he’s right.  The reason for Santa’s long face?  He’s being evicted from his house in the North Pole by the new landlord, the evil Phineas T. Prune, who also happens to live in the same town as Mr. Whipple – what a coinkidink.  If Santa, who has no job and has been occupying the land rent-free as a gift from the friendly Eskimos, can’t come up with rent money by Christmas then Mr. Prune will take all the presents meant for boys and girls the world over.  Oh no!

What follows is an onslaught of nonsensical songs with little to no dancing, some midgets, or short people, or whatever the politically correct term is nowadays, a catchy opening and closing song complete with an animated rooftop chase sequence, and 94 minutes of one hell of a gay time.

Christmas has never been gayer!

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