During childhood, Fred Claus suffered his younger brother Nick's saintliness. Jump ahead: Fred is a fast-talking, genial but self-centered guy in Chicago looking for $50,000 to open an off-track-betting shop. When one scam goes awry, he calls Nick at the North Pole for a loan: Nick will give him the money only if Fred comes up to help a few days with the Christmas rush. After his girlfriend dumps him, Fred heads north. Santa's facing an audit from an efficiency expert, and it's not pleasant. Fred's job is to review charts and determine who's naughty and who's nice. Is there any fraternal feeling left, can either learn from the other, and what about Santa getting fired?Written by
The cinematic equivalent of a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.
Painfully bad Christmas film that has an equally painfully bad performance by Vince Vaughn, who is paying his usual frat boy self but this time for a children's movie but with out the wit or charm that is in his R rated films. Vaughn seems like he's on autopilot though most of the film and he keeps running into walls with his lackluster performance. After 30 minutes into the film, you would be in touch your inner scourge and say "Bahumbag" at how unfunny this film is and after another 30 minutes, you will want to walk out over how unbearable the film has gotten during that point. Out of all the actors involved in this mess, only Paul Giamatti and Rachel Weisz brings some life to there perspective paper thin roles and that's manly because they are both way too good of actors to be in this film. Paul Giamatti brings some depth and warmth to the character of Saint Nick himself but he's forced to Vaughn's level of juvenile behavior when they are doing their sad sibling infighting. You can see in Giamatti face that he's not having fun with his role and it painfully shows in certain parts of the film. Rachel Weisz brings a sense of fun and spirit to her role but she really does not have much of a character to work with and you can see in her face that she's well aware of that, so much so that she seems irritated in certain parts of the film. Fortunately for her, she's not in the film much at all and is able to save some face, unlike Giamatti, who looks like he's about to fire his agent by the end of the movie. The direction also feels uninspiring, like there is no feeling or flow to be had and this is a supposed to be a holiday movie but it ends up feeling like you are just staring at a fancy widow display that is being torn down.
I don't know what went wrong here but with only two actors involved (Giamatti and Weisz) trying their best to at least bring something to the table with a unfunny script they had to work with, spotty direction with no feeling for the subject at hand ( and this is a Christmas movie of all things) and a actor who just does not care about his performance (Vaughn), you have a very unevenly bad film that is very painful to watch.
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