Ho Ho Hum
Fred was an only child until his baby brother Nicholas was born into the Claus family. Early on his parents noticed they were quite different. While Fred was not a bad child, Nicholas (Paul Giamatti) was so good that later in life he became St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus). Trying to live up to Santa turned out to be too much for Fred. He kept himself as far away from the North Pole as possible until he found himself needing a bit of help from his brother.
Vince Vaughan, as Fred, plays the same cynical character he plays in all of his movies but instead of being funny most of the time I found it to be annoying. As in most Christmas movies you have the obligatory character that doesn’t believe in Santa, in this, Fred takes that up a notch by spreading anti-Christmas spirit. Fred goes about spreading the word that Santa is just an attention seeking fiend and isn’t the guy people think he is. As in most movies, Fred eventually sees the error in his ways and gets himself off the naughty list. On the upside Fred shakes up the workshop a bit when he is put in charge of the Naughty and Nice list but refuses to mark any child Naughty stating they all have a reason to act badly sometimes and they all deserve a toy on Christmas. If you are big fans of “Elf” and “The Santa Clause”, like I am, then don’t set your expectations too high while watching this. While I don’t think it qualifies for the “naughty” list, it doesn’t necessarily deserve a spot on the “nice” list and isn’t one of my must see holiday movies.
Motherly Advice: I had my filters set to Medium while watching this which will spare you some language. Fred, who has a bad attitude most of the time, gets into a couple of brawls; one is between him and some Salvation Army Santa’s that he is trying to rip off and the other is between him and his brother. Santa has a helper who wears a bit of a skimpy Santa outfit that you obviously wouldn’t wear in the chilly North Pole. In Santa’s magic globe a child is caught hitting his sibling with a toy bat. Since this is a bit of a darker Christmas comedy I would say kids 8 and up.
Hannah - ClearPlay Elf on the “Nice” list. (I hope)