A Diva's Christmas Carol (2000 TV Movie)
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Yep...same concept as the original by Charles Dickens of course. But I really don't know what it was about this movie that really captured my attention. I mean, I've seen A LOT of remakes of "A Christmas Carol" from "Disney's Christmas Carol" to "A Muppet's Christmas Carol" and the one with Patrick Stewart who played Ebenezer Scrooge.
Perhaps, "A Christmas Carol" is afterall a timeless classic story about a cold-hearted Englishman who gets a second chance in life. It's a touching story that kind of proves that even nasty and mean people have feelings and are surprisingly ....nice.
In this case, we have a modern-day "diva" starring song bird singing sensation Vanessa L. Williams ("Save the Best For Last", "Colors of the Wind"), playing one nasty woman. Like the original "Christmas Carol", Ebony (like Ebenezer) is wealthy, cold-hearted, and doesn't care about Christmas. Her manager is surprising named Bob Cratchett (played by Brian McNamira), and is also an ex-boyfriend of hers. Also, like the original character, Bob has a sick little boy named Tim (deleting the "tiny" part). Then of course, you have the three spirits:
Ghost of Christmas Past - played by Kathy Griffin -- who adds a bit of spark and humor in the movie and to her character.
Ghost of Christmas Present - played by former Duran Duran bassist, John Taylor -- whose version of the Ghost of Christmas Present makes his appearance the same way as the original, only the yummy Christmas food is replaced with groupies and booze. :)
Ghost of Christmas Future - which is supposedly the big surprise of the show.
So, put this all together, and here you have "A Diva's Christmas Carol". Apart from the amusement of the music bussiness and the stereotypes of female pop singers and rock stars, "A Diva's Christmas Carol" is like the original "Christmas Carol"....giving a single soul a second chance. But one things for sure, that this holiday tale still is very heartwarming....and not to mention, this modern day version of the Dicken's classic is very heartwarming.
There are emotional parts in the film (i.e. Ebony's journey with Kathy Griffin's Ghost of Christmas Past -- you'll see what I mean), a few funny and amusing parts (John Taylor's Ghost of Christmas Present and how he drags Ebony around NYC faster than a ray of light), and of course, lots of really great Christmas songs ("Heart of Christmas" and an up-beat, pop version of "Sleigh Ride").
I really enjoyed "A Diva's Christmas Carol". One of the greatest remakes of "A Christmas Carol" has been made and seen on VH1 during the holiday season!!! It may not be amusing to EVERYONE, but for those who just can't get enough of this classic holiday tale is will love it!!! :) I know I did!!! :D
This one stars Vanessa Williams as a pop diva that is just made to life her life over and turn into someone good.
Kathy Griffin does a great job as the Ghost of Christmas Past. She is so funny. John Taylor of Duran Duran is the Ghost of Christmas Present. The Ghost of Christmas Future was definitely unusual. A dramatic difference from others.
Of course, we all know how it ends, but that doesn't spoil anything. Williams was fantastic as the new Ebony.
This TV Movie re-make of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" works surprisingly well. Writer-director Richard Schenkman has some astute observations on the subject matter. Some of the realism has been left out or toned down, which is wise; the film would have been bogged down with too much emphasis on the more sordid trappings of fame and fortune. A real weakness is the successful incorporation of so much comedy into the classic Dickens story. One-liners fly during even the most dramatic situations, occasionally throwing the story off center. Still, they are funny. While the pacing between the two could have been better, this adaptation works as both a comedy and a drama. Williams and the music are terrific.
******* A Diva's Christmas Carol (12/13/00) Richard Schenkman ~ Vanessa Williams, Brian McNamara, Chilli, Kathy Griffin
1. It's a TV Movie, for crying out loud!
2. It IS NOT overacted.
3. You will recognize some incidents from the "Real Life" prototype that Williams plays.
Bet she HATES THIS!
It's NOT exaggerated
It is worth watching.
It's good to laugh at for a while, but it's so annoying and substanceless, it probably won't hold your attention for very long.
I have just finished watching "A Diva's Christmas Carol" and can honestly say that this is the WORST version I have ever seen, even worse than Bill Murray's "Scrooged".
Updating the story itself is not a bad idea; they do it every season as it is. And I suppose that putting a diva in the place of a money-lender was pretty topical.... But they ended up putting NO SPIN WHATSOEVER on the story itself, everyone seems to have a nasty, narcissistic streak (even the NON-divas) and they inserted plenty of swearing in the script for the kids. Just what Charles Dickens had in mind, I'll bet.
And let's not even get into what they were thinking when they cast Vanessa L. Williams as Ebony (Ebony-Ebeneezer...how IRONIC!!). She was alright in movies like "Soul Food", where she was actually forced to act or "Eraser", where her character generated some sympathy. But here, just acts...well, witchy. And even after her "transformation", she only acts marginally better.
At least actors like Sim, Finney, Scott and Tyson bothered to show in their acting the huge lightening in their souls by the visits of the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future. Williams - she doesn't even bother.
Nothing here is worth the bother; Williams best show here is her voice as she belts out some pretty good songs. You want to get the best out of "A Diva's Christmas Carol"? Buy the sound track.
No stars for "A Diva's Christmas Carol" - the visual equivalent of a lump of coal.
"Diva" is about a snotty diva who is a modern day Scrooge. She hates X-mas. She thinks it's only there for money. Until one day she is visited by, get this, Marli. Marli was part of Ebony's group Desire. Ebony is like Scrooge. Get it? Ebony... Ebeneezer. Nevermind. Anyway, Marli tells her that she will be visited by three spirits. But tonight isn't good for Ebony, but oh well.
The first Spirit is Kathy Griffin of the failed show "Suddenly Susan." Griffen is very funny in her role. She takes the character to a new level. Which is hard to do with a classic. These are the best scenes, the ones with Griffin. They are funny and clever.
The second Spirit is not as good. He's a party animal. He shows Ebony around to what's going on. This part was very, oh, what's the word? I don't want to say boring. How about"less exciting"? That'll do. Anyway, they aren't funny and aren't as clever.
The third Spirit scene is, however, very good. It shows a fake "Behind the Music" segment with Bryan McKnight. Then informs Ebony that she died in a horrible accident. But the accident is unclear to the audience. Unless, I missed something. This scene works because it's very clever.
The movie gets 2.9 stars from me out of 4. The reason it didn't get a 3 is because we've seen too many version of A Christmas Carol. There are many that stick to the original and there are some, like this and "Muppet Christmas Carol" that just stick to the story line. This movie is smart and funny. I'd like to say it's outdated but it's not. Just the story is. If it would have came out earlier, I would have awarded it more stars.
**Note: I have read the book by Dickens. It is clever, wry, and enchanting. Instead of watching one of the movie versions, how about curling up with the book? You'll enjoy it.