Posted: 11/20/2009

 

The Christmas Clause

(2009)

by Laura Tucker




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There isn’t a mom out there that doesn’t understand this feeling at Christmas. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, and in most instances it is, but it’s also far too easy to get caught up in all the stuff you have to do, instead of sitting back and enjoying what you have. It’s that whole “Reason for the Season” thing.

I never understood why my mom wasn’t happier in December, and I used to get a little upset with her for not letting stuff go. However, now that I’m in her shoes, I definitely get it. It’s tough to do it all. No one makes us do it all, but for some reason all us moms think we have to. There’s an unforeseen force of nature that makes us think we have to be supermom, holding down a job, being Florence Nightingale, a whole team of Merry Maids, and Martha Stewart, and let’s not forget leaving time to spend with our husband after all that is done. (Note: the whole house is asleep at 2 AM, but I’m here writing a review)

Sometimes watching movies and television shows that show our experiences so honestly aren’t that fun to watch. We live it; we don’t need to watch it. Yet, I just sat here and felt sympathy for Lea Thompson in her role as Sophie Kelly, a lawyer with three young kids under the age of 12. I watched her grimace as the kids came to wake her up, and know we shouldn’t do that, as we won’t always have that joy, but sometimes, the joy is easy to forget.

Thompson even allowed herself to be filmed unflatteringly. She didn’t look bad, and it’s not like she looked the same as her character in the past and future in Back to the Future. She just looked very harried. After spilling her coffee on her law brief, telling her young daughter she looks like a hooker in the makeup, forgetting she needs to make a few dozen cookies for something she volunteered for, and even running an event she promised to, she takes the kids to the mall and runs into an old friend who’s still single and appears to have a much better life. Sophie sits on Santa’s lap when her daughter refuses to and wishes for a different life.

This also wasn’t filled with pure fantasy. Sure, having a wish granted like that by sitting on Santa’s knee if definitely fantasy, but immediately afater she realized she’d made the switch to the different life, she wanted to go back. She never sits on her laurels thinking it’s great, then later realized it wasn’t what she wanted at all. From the moment she realizes they’re gone, she wants her kids back. She wants her husband back.

Of course, that’s the rub. Sophie keeps her job, but loses her family, and gains a luxurious lifestyle. She learns really quickly what she’s missing and is filled with regrets. She can’t get her life back, though. She looks great; the harried look is gone, but at what price?

The message is a clear one, and one I’m going to try my hardest to not forget this season. The cookies, law brief, and event don’t matter. The people in your life do.

The Christmas Clause is out now on DVD and is also sometimes known by the name The Mrs. Clause.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack, and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, and is a freelance writer providing reviews of movies and television, among other things, at Viewpoints. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at LauraBelle@realityshack.com



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