Jingoistic propaganda and heart-tugging cornball melodrama about a dog with PTSD. It’s how we are Enduring Freedom. God bless America.
So, when I attended a screening on November 14, I was already primed for *Bad Santa,* the meanest, curmudgeonliest, blackest holiday movie I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen most of ’em. It’s like, How much more black could it be? And the answer is None, none more black. I haven’t laughed at film this hard all year, and maybe not last year, either. And much of that laughter sprung from shock: I spent half the film saying to myself, ‘Holy crap, I can’t believe they did that!’ and ‘They did *not* just do that!’ It’s hard to be shocking in the era of the Farrelly Brothers, but *Bad Santa* is shocking partly because it’s so unrepentant and unapologetic. There’s no attempt to infuse the film with heart or soul or sweetness or light. *Bad Santa* unrelentingly twisted. And that’s just wonderful.