Dude, I just don’t like Jingle All the Way.
I didn’t grow up with this movie. In a pre-streaming era, you encounters the movies you encountered as you grew up. What did your parents buy you? What did you decide to use your rental on, on the occasion they took you to Blockbuster, or Hollywood Video? I wanted to see this when it was in theaters, and I regretted missing out on it when it arrived on home video. For a while.
But the years went on, I got older, and it stopped mattering.
I didn’t see this picture until my old roommate, Justin, insisted that I must, because I was missing out on a true childhood Christmas classic. This was around 2015, 2016. Around the time we started the podcast and I started my Exploratory Christmas Endeavor. But I’ve never cared enough about this movie to bother to write about it. Adam tells me we discussed it on the show once, but I don’t remember that.
I want a more sincere lesson in this film. The bafflingly cast Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t learn to be more available to his son, he simply wins the doll and allows his son the hollow choice to give it up. His wife literally says “everything you went through today for Jaimie really shows how much you love him.”
Shut the fuck up, movie.
Jaimie doesn’t get a more available father. He should have kept the damn doll. At least then, he’d have something to play with when his dad goes back to over-working.
Sinbad’s character is cartoonishly evil, and it is only because of Movie Logic that he isn’t shot at several points by the police. In the end, he doesn’t learn a lesson any more than his protagonist counterparts do, although we’re meant to be warmed by the fact that he does get a Turboman doll to take home to his son. Yes, great. I’m sure your kid will love coming to the police station to pick that up off you before you’re put in federal prison for the next 30 years. Cool.
It’s a lazy, cynical movie that celebrates commercialism and phones in all its moments of meaning. Phil Hartman is pretty good in it, though.
GBU Holiday-Adjusted Rating: 4/10
You can watch Jingle All the Way on Hulu or Sling’s Live TV services, or rent it from all the standard outlets like Amazon or YouTube.
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