Scrooged (1988)

As it turns out, Bill Murray is afraid of ghosts after all

A cynically selfish TV executive gets haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve. Now where have I heard that basic plot before?

Despite the all too familiar plot that we know very well, the different take upon the traditional story is a welcome change that works, leaving only the basic plot outline from the original tale.

Bill Murray is perfectly cast as Frank Cross, the ruthless executive who plays the Scrooge archetype of a character. Pretty much all of the comedy comes from Murray, delivered as you'd expect and it often works well. Frank's relationship with Claire, played by Karen Allen, is dealt in a believable manner, purely thanks to the great chemistry shared between the two leads.

I felt like the film tried much too hard to make us care for Grace, the assistant, making her the Bob Crachit of this story, but by showing us her downtrodden family and putting most of the emphasis upon her mute son who's this adaptation's version of Tiny Tim, it felt more like a plot point to help change Frank's character ala Scrooge, rather than an actual character we should be caring about.

Typical New York cabbies

Good effects are used for the ghosts. As for what I actually felt about them, I liked the Ghost of Christmas Past for how delightfully camp he was, whilst the Ghost of Christmas Present was too over the top for my liking. The Ghost of Christmas Future was effectively creepy, and the scenes showing the future were very well directed.

As is expected with adaptations of A Christmas Carol, the Scrooge character changes his ways, but the way he does this is done in such a heavy handed manner that I felt it detracted from the actual message we should've gotten.

Scrooged delivers a welcome twist upon the standard take of A Christmas Carol, delivering a number of great laughs from the perfectly cast Bill Murray and great chemistry from him and Karen Allen, but fails with characterizing many of the other film characters and ends in a very forced manner.


Matt Stewart said…
Good review Rodders!

And Merry Christmas!
Robert said…
Great review! I can't really find a flaw with this film, but I'm probably biased, I've been watching it since I was a little kid, back when I thought all movies were awesome. I did watch it Christmas day, still great!
Jeff SC said…
Doesn't look like something I would be crazy for. I like Bill Murray, but I dunno.. nice review, anyway
Tom_Film_Master said…
I rather enjoyed this film. It was funny, and Murray was great. Good review, nice to see this film reviewed.
James Rodrigues said…
@Matt Stewart I hope you had a merry christmas

@Robert well fair enough, i'm like that with a few films also

@Jeff SC Give it a shot if its on telly, you may like it more than I did

@Tom_Film_Master thanks