Bad Santa (2003)

The film’s title evokes the sort of low-brow, cheap thrills, so-called comedies American Pie used to send straight to DVD not too long ago. The kind of inane movie most people watched on mute anyways. Bad Santa is better than that, while being every bit as low-brow and tasteless. The writing is better, the directing’s better, and the acting is better. Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie T. Stokes, a self-loathing, self-destructive thief. He’s flat-out disgusting for much of the film, and yet we still empathize with him thanks to moments like great scene number 42. After getting thoroughly dismantled by his eloquent partner’s verbal tirade, Stokes, in the middle of eating lunch, is interrupted by an oblivious mother and her child. He responds the way I, and I’m sure anyone who has ever worked a crummy job, wishes they could respond when a customer talks to you on your much needed break. Classic.

-Walter Howard-

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