I’m an unashamed Bad Santa apologist. Billy Bob Thornton’s booze-fuelled chain-smoking fat-chick banging train-wreck Santa is something I revel in seeing at Christmas if only to cut through the sickly sweetness of everything else in the season.
This isn’t always a laugh out loud funny film but the sheer lunacy of what happens on screen keeps you grinning. Drunk logic drives the plot, making it an unpredictable experience, yet it somehow all comes together. This is at some expense; Bad Santa starts to feel a little monotonous in the middle to final third.
What I value the most is the way Santa only just begins to think about changing his ways as the credits roll. Zwigoff points out that people can have a good heart yet can’t always magically sort out their lives in 90 minutes as Hollywood would have you think. It takes time, and sometimes never works out at all.
Not a great film by any means but Bad Santa never fails to strike a chord with me. Your mileage may vary.