Christmas Film Advent – Fred Claus (2007)

Yeah, but all that matters is that each of the kids get a toy. That they have something that they can open when they wake up in the morning. Most importantly, they all know there’s somebody who’s thinking about them.

length: 1 Hr 56

Rating: PG

About: Of the two Claus brothers, Fred (Vince Vaughn) is the troublemaker and polar opposite of his saintly sibling, Nicholas (Paul Giamatti). When Fred’s criminal ways finally land him in big trouble, Nicholas bails him out and brings him to the North Pole to work off the debt by making toys. The headaches mount for St. Nick, who not only must deal with his troublemaking brother, but also an efficiency expert who has come to evaluate Santa’s operation.

https://youtu.be/yTCWCBU_mE4

The Naughty List

  • I felt it was a little slow to get going, but I understand it was necessary to get in the relationship between Nick and Fred.
  • There’s an obvious naughty here and that is our film’s bad guy. It’s a solid performance and Stacey’s presence doesn’t ruin the film, but it does cause a little sadness for me.
  • Think they missed a trick with Bobb’e J. Thompson as Slam; the puppy wanting orphan. There was an amazing connection between Slam and Fred and I, personally, would have loved to have seen Fred adopt him. Or, at the least, have him in the film more.

Nice List

  • This film gets right what some of Vince Vaughan’s films often don’t. Thinking of the Internship primarily, Vaughn is a perfect front for films with heart and ideal for the whole family. However the adult humour is present but not fully developed, rendering the film a 15 when an edit would see the film drop to a 12 and with an appreciative audience. Fred Claus being the example that it works and is just charming.
  • The plot is adorable and sends a really important message to children, and adults, alike. Fred’s insistence that there are no naughty children, while a little too broad a statement, the sentiment and explanation are heartwarming.
  • The chemistry between the leads, Vaughn and Paul Giamatti is fantastic and the true heart of the story.Giamatti gives a stunning performance of Santa that is neither too harsh like some of his other roles, or too sickly sweet like others may play him.
  • Vaughan’s Fred makes an almost Scrooge-like development as a character. What i love is that, much like Alistar Simm’s Ebenezer, you can really feel the reluctance towards the anger Fred presents.
  • I absolutely loved one of the film’s more oddball scenes in which Free goes to Siblings Anonymous. It did take a look on google, but the Baldwin gave the less than anonymous siblings away. It was done in the name of fun and hits the perfect tone for the film.

Final Thoughts

My only regret is that I’d never seen the film before today. It’s funny, relevant and just so charming.

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