Bill Murray gets the Ebenezer Scrooge treatment in this 1988 Christmas Comedy. Scrooged tells the tale of Frank Cross, a power-obsessed TV executive who has chosen work over friends and family. He’s in charge of a live Christmas Eve broadcast of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the classic story of a grumpy guy who gets visited by ghosts and learns the true meaning of Christmas. Life begins to imitate art, and Frank gets visited by the ghost of his old mentor who warns him that he will be visited by three other ghosts.
Over the course of the evening and throughout his live broadcast, Frank gets visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future. He becomes increasingly jumpy and disturbed, but comes to realize the error of his ways by the end of his final visit. He celebrates by rekindling his relationship with the love of his life and leading the cast and crew in a rousing rendition of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” as the credits roll.
This is a darker version of A Christmas Carol. The humor is edgy and more cynical than other Bill Murray comedies. The Christmas Ghosts are kind of scary, especially for kids. It’s distinctly ‘80s and doesn’t hold up very well. It’s kind of dated. They have product placements for prehistoric products like VCRs. There are a lot of cameos from people who used to be famous. You probably wouldn’t like it if you saw it today for the first time. But it’s necessary holiday viewing if you grew up watching it like I did. It makes you nostalgic. It makes you remember happy memories. And isn’t that what holiday films are all about?
Critically Rated at 13/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young