Monday, December 27, 2010

Hit Me Santa Baby One More Time

I was going to take the day off of blogging today in observation of Christmas but, instead, I've decided to dishonor Christmas and bring upon myself the ire of a billion Christians in order to talk about what I posted on Friday. Perhaps the memory of that has already been lost in the food/alcohol induced haze we adults imposed upon ourselves in order the to survive the sheer torture that is the most joyous time of the year and you have no idea that I wrote up one of my famous Liveblogs for your Christmas Eve pleasure. In this case, the poor, cinematic soul being stretched upon my metaphorical rack was Santa Baby 2 starring Jenny McCarthy. It turns out, much to my surprise, that movies, even one I don't like, are made by real people with real feelings who work very hard to entertain and are passionate about such work. That state of affairs led to an email I received from Brian Turner. One of Santa Baby 2's authors is listed as Brian Turner but I'm sure that's a coincidence and this guy's email is a spam trying to sell me an acai based antioxidant supplement that somehow got past my filter. Let's read his email, posted here with his permission.
OH MY GOD, THAT'S ME. What can I do for you?
First off, we'd like to thank you for taking the time to review our movie. A year late, but better late than never right?

Second, we'd like to congratulate you on two key points that apparently ALL the other reviewers missed!
- Teri _should_ be in charge of Christmas!
- Why is it always sunny at the North Pole?

Garrett and I had long discussions after the drawn out rewrite process resulted in a script where neither Santa nor Mary actually wanted to run Christmas and the one person who had stepped up and was doing a great job was being painted as a villain for doing nothing wrong. Further, you caught the fact that both Santa and Mary systematically mistreated the Elves, ignoring their demands and not thanking them for their hard work.

Clearly you watched the film a lot closer than any of the other reviewers!
That's true, I am amazing.
As for the lights at the North Pole, Garrett and I had a discussion early on during the writing of Santa Baby 1 about this. Here's what we concluded:
- People are uneducated and we'd literally have to explain to them why it was dark all the time
- Shooting a holiday movie that takes place entirely in the dusk would be gloomy and difficult

So, while we both concur with how little Sun would actually be there, we went the route of all the other Xmas movies and made it look pretty.
Yes, I figured it was artistic license. I was being snarky though I did keep noticing it as well as the presence of lush looking forest land and the fact that no one was dressed warmly enough to survive the North Pole in summer, much less Christmas time. If I had liked the movie better, none of this would have bothered me in the least. It can all be easily excused as an attempt to make a fairy tale that would have been much less entertaining and light-hearted had the entire cast frozen to death on a landscape that looked more like the set of The Thing than a movie about Santa Claus.
On a third count, you are also the only one who caught that Teri was an elf. When we first say that Kelly had been cast, we thought it was a DEAD GIVEAWAY. The girl is something like 4'2"! Again, you're the only reviewer that picked up on it.

So, overall, nice work!
I don't want to claim special powers but I don't ever remember thinking she wasn't supposed to be an elf. I don't remember a line of dialogue saying, "Gosh Teri, you are totally not an elf," and she was short with a high pitched voice. Oh well, the rest of the world was fooled. I feel like one of those people you want to punch who like to claim that they figured out The Sixth Sense when Bruce Willis was in the restaurant.
Oh! And you got our names in there. Along with Santa's ass, but still! Thanks.
I did? (Quick re-read later) Oh, it was in the screencap. I actually intentionally left out the names of you and your writing partner. The reason is that I hardly ever like to blame writers for what I feel is wrong with a movie. If there's something wrong with the script, it was almost certainly something that the writers were told to do by someone higher up. There are too many legendary stories of a writer being told to take a perfectly good script and completely fuck it up in order to serve the whims of people who have no idea what they're talking about. If The King's Speech had been a big budget Hollywood film instead of being an independent production, the sensitive and intelligent screenplay would have ended up being an Adam Sandler comedy. The point is that, if someone is a good enough writer to rise above a group that consists of literally thousands of other wannabe screenwriters, they're probably smart and talented enough to spot things like weak characterizations and logical inconsistencies. If a script contains those things, it's because the people who sign the writers' checks wanted them in there. The writer then buys a house and pays for his kids' braces with the money and, hopefully, is happy to be able to make a living doing something that doesn't involve digging ditches or grinding on a stripper pole.
If we could ask one favor from you/ Kelly Stables (Teri/Phoebe) is a fantastic actress and a wonderful person. We feel strongly that she did an absolutely terrific job with what could have been a thankless role. And, though she's pictured in the review, you don't mention her by name. They say there's no such thing as bad press, so if you get a chance, can you just slip her name in there?
Thanks so much,
Brian Turner
No problem there. She was easily the best actor in the movie as well as being the prettiest female in a movie that starred a woman who was once Playmate of the Year. Don't believe me? This is what Kelly Stables looks like. The scenes with Teri/Phoebe were actually a pleasure to watch. She and some of the scenes with the elves (their dialogue was often hilarious) kept the movie above the, "Who the hell thought it was a good idea to make this" level and, if I ever meet Kelly Stables, I'll tell her so. Hopefully, I won't be drooling or have a massive erection when this happens but I'm not making any promises. (That line's going to really work against me if she writes to me next.)

Thanks for your thoughts, Mr. Turner. They were very helpful and I'm glad I stuck to my policy of polishing the ass of anyone who writes to me personally.

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