Scrooged

Scrooged_film_posterYear: 1988

Synopsis: TV network president Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is mounting an elaborate adaption of A Christmas Carol, and is thrown into a journey that teaches him to stop scrooging himself.

Pros:
• Bill Murray elevated the overly familiar plot with his genuine comedic and dramatic talent.
• The film’s journey, within the construct of the well known plot, was much more inventive than it might seem at first.
• The quieter elements of the film has aged incredibly well, particularly the now publicly known open secrets of how some males in power questionably treated those below them, particularly women. This film arguably attacked such questionable behavior through humor in its quiet way.
• Ultimately a serviceable discussion of how treating others not only affects them, but also ourselves.

Cons:
• Though it all directly stemmed from A Christmas Carol, the film can almost simultaneously come off as too harsh and too sentimental.
• The singalong at the end might have solidified a viewers dislike of the film if they were not convinced by the plot’s implementation. At the same time, it can feel almost forced even for those that enjoyed the overall journey.

Discussion:
A Christmas Carol is a story practically in the DNA of western society, yet continues to be relevant today. It was always all about what happens when we let ourselves loose that sense of magic for the sake of status and otherwise meaningless things. Like Scrooge, Frank Cross had trouble finding reasons to be good to others, and eventually gave up caring once truly alone. The result of that was already damaging the people around him in ways he could no longer see. He was Scrooge, while was too lost in his miserable self to even realize it consciously. Maybe this was all too sentimental in the end, but the message of needing to realize how our choices matter for others can be a positive one.


Rotten Tomatoes — 70%

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