|Current music:||Jewel - 2 Become 1|
Seeing as I've now seen three movies in theatres in the space of 5 days, it seems only right to put down a few thoughts.
Bad Santa: A lot of the humor comes out of the movie ruthlessly stomping on Christmas and all the feel good stuff that normally goes with it. Santa urinates in his costume and beats a styrofoam reindeer to pieces in the eyes of kids, and just watching the reactions to this grotesque behaviour is definitely a big part of the laughs. Some people think you have to hate Christmas to enjoy this, but I don't think so, you just need to have a morbid fascination in watching traditions get stomped on. The movie also has an odd sort of sweetness to it when all is said and done, not blissful happiness by any means but a quirky tongue-in-cheek optimism that worked for me. Pretty enjoyable.
In America: Will be in my top 5 of the year, I think. Centers around an Irish family of 4 (5, but the youngest child dies) that's just coming to New York to try to settle in the States. In the end, the movie is really all about the deceased boy, it seems to me. The mood goes up and down but ends up being about redemption, and the characters are all very engaging. I wasn't quite a fan of the very end, which was done in voice over, but when you see that the movie was written by a family who really did lose a family member named Frankie, it works better.
Mona Lisa Smile: Hopelessly formulaic. Liberal teacher comes in, and her fairly one-issue students each explore their one issue and learn important lessons about art and life. An outstanding cast puts in a great performance, but that wasn't enough to really make me feel like I cared about the characters, who were generally too flat. One person that did jump out at me was Maggie Gyllenhaal who played the bad girl of the group, and now that I've looked her up I suspect that she played the masochist secretary in, well, Secretary. I'll be officially on the look-out for her from now on. As far as this movie goes, I'm afraid I can't really recommend it. Some people may be moved by it, but not I.