tek's rating:

Karroll's Christmas, A&E
IMDb; TV Tango; Wikipedia

Okay, this movie pretty well rocked, IMHO. So there's this greeting card writer named Allen Karroll, who lost his Christmas spirit four years ago when he dressed up as a caribou and proposed to his girlfriend, who then dumped him. Now he can't write cards anymore, and he just lost his company's biggest account. Plus, his new girlfriend, Carey (who we like), is about to propose to him, and he's totally unaware, since he's so wrapped up in this whole "curse" that's been going on in his life every Christmas since the caribou incident, and his attitude is putting her off. Plus, his neighbor, Zeb Rosecog (an anagram of Scrooge, if you notice) is this really nasty guy who's always pissing Allen off. (Rosecog is played by Wallace Shawn, whose work is always a pleasure.) There's also a kid named Tim, who accidentally runs into Allen with his sled. Soon after that, some other kid throws a snowball at Santa, who wants to sue, but Tim is accused of throwing the snowball, and Allen, who saw what happened, doesn't defend him.

Anyway, that night, Allen is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, though he's this Rasta dude who explains that his ancestor, the original Jacob Marley, visited Jamaica at some point, or something. Like, I guess this guy is supposed to be related to Bob Marley. Anyway, it was funny how Allen said "wasn't Jacob Marley British... and white?" but didn't happen to add "fictional," as I would have. And it's obvious he was fictional, because other versions of "A Christmas Carol" are incorporated into this movie, like playing on TV or whatever. Then there are 3 more ghosts, of course. First is the ghost of Christmas Present, because Christmas Past is running late. The ghost of Christmas Present is named Jodie (played by Alanna Ubach, who we've always liked). She's an intern, new at the job, overly eager, a bit too easily amused, and unwilling to admit a mistake; that being that Allen isn't actually Zeb, who the ghosts were supposed to be haunting, but they got the wrong address. Actually, I had my suspicions from the beginning that it wasn't a mistake, and of course this is questioned in the end (if not quite declared unequivocally). Anyway, she was fun.

Later the ghost of Christmas Past, whose name is Barry (played by the always amusing Larry Miller), shows up. He's an old hand at the haunting thing, and he quickly realized Allen wasn't Zeb, but he gets Allen to go along with him and help out, or something. Finally, the ghost of Christmas Future, aka Death, aka Spike (played by Verne Troyer, always entertaining) shows up. At one point Barry said Spike has a Napoleon Complex, which is especially funny to any Jack of All Trades fans.

Anyway, they each show Allen bits of past, present, and future (using a "universe remote" that affects life the way a universal remote affects TV)... some of it his own, and some of it Zeb's. So, he gets to deal with his own inner demons, as well as getting to see that Zeb used to be pretty much as jolly as old Fezziwig, and also see how he lost his spirit. Plus he used to be a card writer just like Allen. So he gets to like Zeb and want to help him. And, y'know, he does, with a little continued help from the ghosts, manage to fix both their lives.

There were some emotional moments in the movie, which could have been sappy, but instead I found them moving, because on the whole, the movie is just twisted and hilarious and cool, so I cared about the characters. I even liked how Allen and Carey say "I love you" by saying "you rock." Some people would just be annoying if they did that, but I found it genuinely cool and endearing here. What else to say? Oh, yeah, and while people during the hauntings couldn't see or hear Allen or the ghosts, Allen could still affect things, like giving a wedgie to this jerk who conducts the orchestra Carey plays in. And stuff. Oh, and all the ghosts used to be living people. Barry was a Borscht-Belt comedian. I dunno what else to say, and I don't wanna say too much, but really... this was a highly enjoyable movie in pretty much every way.


Christmas TV movies index

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