If you hate Christmas, or if you are a fan of black comedy, then let me share my favorite holiday movie with you. The movie I'm talking about is Bad Santa. The premise is: Santa & his Elf go from department store to department store robbing them each Christmas. However, they run into problems this time around because of a little kid and a mall security guard. I know, the premise sounds stupid, but it turns out to be pretty damn funny, and actually really sweet. Now, this isn't going to be a regular movie review...this is going to be an analysis of one scene, and then an extrapolation on ideas from two other scenes to hopefully learn some life lessons from this film.
- The opening scene (included above) starts with Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2. A gorgeous composition, that's beautifully performed. The piece exudes beauty, and longing. After half a minute of this piece, we hear Billy Bob Thorton's voice come in over this music talking about how rough his life is, and how horrible of a person he is. My theory is that this opening scene is providing the theme of the entire film; Underneath every person, there is beauty as well as the longing for something worthy of remembering. This beauty is underneath every human being regardless of what they've been through or how rough they are around the edges.
- The next scene I want to talk about is following Billy Bob Thorton destroying Thurman's advent calendar. Thurman opens the next day on his calendar to find a candy corn instead of the typical chocolate. He is clearly upset by this and Billy Bob's response is "They can't all be winners" ... I think that this is an important lesson to take away from this film. Not every day, not every meeting, not every plan is going to go your way. The world doesn't care what you are expecting. People will come along, ruin your expectations, ruin your plans, and move along without any consideration for how it affects you. This is just a fact of life that is inevitable. This leaves you with two options; (1) get upset about it, (2) move on. It is important that we remember this; not every day is going to be a winner.
- The last scene I want to over analyze is when Billy Bob is in the locker room with Tony Cox after beating the crap out of Thurman's bullies. He mentions that he is proud of beating up the kids. He feels like he did something good; something he could be proud of. I think that this is another important aspect of life that we need to strive for. We cannot simply go through the motions; go to work, meet up with friends, have a drink, go to sleep, repeat. I believe that in order to be truly happy, we have to try to accomplish something that we are truly proud of...something that we can brag about to people...something we can on top of a mountain and scream "LOOK WHAT I DID!"...we need to find our version of beating the shit out of a bunch of bullies.
Well I hope that you enjoyed this pretentious over analysis of Bad Santa, and I hope I pushed you to go watch this film. If you are interested, it is streaming on netflix now, and the day this review comes out (December 25th) is the perfect day to watch.