In BAD SANTA, Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie T. Soke, a hard-drinking, profane, mean-spirited, washed up man who teams up with a black midget named Gin (Bernie Mac) each Christmas to play Santa and his elf, respectively. The problem is that Willie and Gin have no real interest in entertaining children or granting their gift requests. They are con men who rob the department stores where they work, cracking the stores’ safes and stealing jewelry, furs, and purses along the way. The following Christmas they repeat the scam in a new city. And, so the cycle goes. Willie is miserable and depressed and often speaks of his abusive father, and his desire to end his own life.
One year, however, Willie meets an overweight, nerdy boy whose father is in prison and who gets bullied each day after school. Slowly, Willie edges his way into the boy’s home, where he can be an easy freeloader, and he and Gin continue with their con game. Willie even meets a beautiful girl at a bar (who has a Santa fantasy) and brings her back to the boy’s house. All seems to go well until the wimpy store manager, played by John Ritter, begins researching Willie’s past and uncovering some incriminating evidence. Eventually, Willie must decide whether he can lay down his selfishness, own up to his past history and his current responsibility, and pull from within some long-denounced character traits that could save a young boy’s future.
BAD SANTA is a raunchy, depressing, deplorable Christmas movie with over 250 mostly strong obscenities and profanities. The fact that it was even made should sadden moral audiences. The protagonist is a nasty, foul-mouthed, alcoholic con man who’s mean to children. How’s that for breaking screenwriting Rule #1? You have to LIKE the protagonist! Another screenwriting rule is that you have to believe that the love interest could really be someone who could fall for the protagonist, but in this case, it’s a real stretch. Would a gorgeous young brunette really be gaga over an alcoholic, nasty Billy Bob Thornton character? It just doesn’t work.
Willie the protagonist is such a gross, foul-mouthed guy that audiences will certainly wonder how parents could have even let their precious children audition for the hundreds of child parts in this movie. If children do happen to see this movie, and God forbid that drunk or otherwise temporarily insane parents allow it, their knowledge of profanities, sexual exploits, safe cracking, drinking, smoking, and playing con games will increase to staggering levels. Even the “moment(s) of truth” in the movie are shallow and temporal and the transformations incomplete.
At a time of year when desperate people are hungry for the knowledge of the One True God and the gift of eternal life in Christ, Hollywood offers to them such meaningless, biblically void holiday films as BAD SANTA, ELF, and BROTHER BEAR. Oh, that the Body of Christ would cry out for the lost in this industry, and oh, that God would raise up more godly filmmakers who can give audiences not only good entertainment, but the truth that will fill their empty souls!
Please address your comments to:
Bob and Harvey Weinstein
8439 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (323) 822-4100
SUMMARY: BAD SANTA stars Billy Bob Thornton, who plays a foul-mouthed, alcoholic con man who does a Santa gig every year as a front for his thievery. With a staggering amount of strong obscenities and a dark, godless world view, moral audiences will certainly be choosing alternative holiday viewing fare this Christmas.
(HHH, PaPaPa, C, LLL, V, SS, N, AA, DD, MM) Humanist, pagan worldview with worldly perspective on Christmas, void of spiritual meaning and filled with darkness, drunkenness, cursing, bitterness, and pain, with some Christian elements exemplified in mild sacrificial portrayals, some manger portrayals, and boy reads Scripture found in advent calendar; horrendous language with an estimated 250 obscenities, probably 200 of these being the “f” word and 25 being profanities; some violence with man smacking bullies around, man attempting suicide in his car, etc.; overt sex scenes with young bar maid fornicating with Thornton character in car; veiled nudity with sex scene; numerous scenes of alcohol use and abuse; smoking; and, lying, stealing, cheating, rudeness, scatological humor, suicide attempts, etc.