As the two office Grinches, we decided to attempt the impossible: find the Christmas spirit in a single day.
So naturally, we locked ourselves in a room with three Christmas movies recommended to us by our Christmas-crazy coworkers and a bunch of what we assumed to be Christmassy decorations.
Movie one: The Santa Clause.
Mat: Tim Allen is a bad father in this movie. He is very bad. He badmouths his ex-wife's new partner, Neil, while his son is like, "Neil treats me with mutual respect and listens to me!" Tim Allen's response is just a series of guttural hooting noises.
Tahlia: This whole family set-up reaffirms my desire to (probably) never have children. You spend your life trying to bond with a little twerp and find out he only loves you when you become Santa? Ugh. No thanks.
Mat: When they witness the actual death of the most recognisable cultural figure ever, the kid is just like, "you did it! You killed him. He's dead. Put on the coat. Put on the dead man's pants." That kid is cold. Ice cold.
Thoughts on The Santa Clause:
Mat: I don't know, there was a lot of stuff in this movie that was strangely dark? Tim Allen is so unlikeable for most of the movie. I just feel bad for his kid? I'm going to give it one Santa.
Tahlia: So he just settled for a life in the North Pole like it's no big deal? That's all I got from this. I'm giving it two out of five Santas.
Movie two: The Muppet Christmas Carol.
Mat: You need to explain to me why you hate The Muppets.
Tahlia: I just find their voices and faces annoying. I mean, same, but like I don't go flaunting it in people's faces... often.
Mat: Do you think we're Scrooges? And is there a problem with that?
Tahlia: Sure, we may be seen as "Scroogey" but let's get to the benefits of it. We are less stressed around Christmas time because we DGAF and our expectations are lower so we're never actually disappointed.
Thoughts on The Muppets Christmas Carol:
Mat: We got super bored in this one. Both of us definitely stopped paying attention.
Tahlia: About 25 minutes into the movie, Mat did an uncanny Melissa George impression and I got distracted and lost the entire storyline.
Mat: Tahlia did a fist-pump into the air when "The End" appeared on the screen... I didn't think this was as bad as The Santa Clause but I did not love it. The actor that played middle-aged Scrooge was hot tho. Two out of five Santas for that alone.
Tahlia: I was like a fidgety kid by the end of this. Like "MUUUM, I'm bored, I wanna go outside!" except Mat was either a) ignoring me or b) telling me to stop calling him mum. 10/10 would not watch again... it only deserves half a Santa.
Movie three: Miracle on 34th Street.
Mat: I didn't realise Richard Attenborough was in this movie!! I'm just kind of expecting him to send Sam Neil to an island off Costa Rica where he has managed to successfully clone wild, prehistoric Santas.
Tahlia: So I don't get the relationship between Mr Bedford and Celia from Weeds. He hangs out with her child and gives Celia some suggestive eyes but I don't think they're actually together? They obvs will be by the end though.
Mat: More importantly can we talk about how dark Celia's eyebrows are?! They're so dark!!! She needs to get that shit sorted out. It's distracting!
Mat: Um. OK. The scene where Attenborough meets the young deaf girl and sings "Jingle Bells" with her in sign language... we both fell silent and had a real ~moment~.
Tahlia: "That was nice," Mat said. "That was super cute," I agreed. We both paused and instantly thought... IS THIS WHAT CHRISTMAS SPIRIT FEELS LIKE?!
Mat: Oh god, I'm not ready to grow a heart.
Thoughts on Miracle on 34th Street:
Mat: This one got me. Richard Attenborough is a great Santa, Mara Wilson is impeccably adorable and the entire cast is CHOCK-FULL of amazing cameos (ALLISON JANNEY!!!). Out of the entire day this is the one time I'd say I really saw what these movies aim to do. They make you realise that Christmas is about... being kind to each other? And that's nice... I mean, we should do it year-round but still. Four Santas from me.
Tahlia: This movie was far more enjoyable than the rest. For one, the singing muppets aren't present and Santa isn't a... well... dickhead (*cough* Tim Allen *cough*). He's super sweet and lovely and you just want the family in it to find happiness. WHICH MAKES YOU HAPPY! Four Santas also.
Mat: My favourite part was definitely when Dylan McDermott walks into the living room in a dressing gown like "I just fucked Celia from Weeds!" and Mara Wilson is like "FINALLY!!! A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!"
Tahlia: I believe now in the Christmas spirit... Santa where's my new house?!
Mat: While my heart didn't grow three sizes today, I will say I know what it means to be a Scrooge, and I've seen what the affect a Scrooge can have on other people. I don't know if I've found the Christmas spirit, but I've definitely realised no good comes from being a Grinch.
Tahlia: I don't think I'll be enthusiastically tearing open presents or willingly going along to go look at Christmas lights anytime soon, but I now know the odd Christmas movie doesn't hurt. Unless it's The Muppets. Then it hurts a little.