As we get closer and closer to the big day where the tree is finally so flammable due to forgetting to keep it watered that we have to finally take all the presents out from under it and remove the paper from the house so we can sleep a little easier when we put the hot lights back on, I know we’re all thinking about one thing. The brilliance of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s second greatest film, Jingle all the Way.
And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Adam, if you’re using hyperbole to make a joke, why wouldn’t you just call it his greatest film?” And the answer is simple. Nothing beats Terminator 2. Not even in a joke.
But for serious (yet still in a joking fashion), Jingle all the Way might be my favorite Christmas movie. Not only is it this weird goofy little thing that barely has any recognition, not only was it filmed primarily next door in the Twin Cities, and not only does it have the brilliant Phil Hartmann, and Darth Vader playing the son of The Terminator, but it encapsulates so well the true mania that is the Christmas season. Here we see Arnold working hard to try and provide for his family, while struggling to get out of the office in time to see his kid’s karate competition. Yeah, pretty standard guilt-trip-on-dad stuff that makes me worry that my children will all be taken away by Captain Hook and I’ll go to save them only to have a bunch of middle schoolers call me fat.
But it goes on from there to follow that dad as he works to try to follow the rules of Christmas to give his kid the greatest holiday he can, not realizing that what his kid really wants is him to be there. It’s this dad who has no clue what he’s doing, trying to do his best, and ultimately failing into success. And the more I write this, the more I realize that this is just a Christmas version of Hook, which really just means that since Hook came out first, what we’re seeing here is just some really lazy writing.
But screw it. I love Hook, and I love Jingle all the Way, so it makes a lot of sense that these two share a lot of the same heart. But Jingle all the Way, in my opinion fits together as an overall theme a whole lot better. Because by the end, we finally get to see that not only was family the really important thing all along, but also that the real issue in this whole story is the wife, who, once the credits have started rolling, asks Arnold what he got her. The kid gave the present that Arnold had been working so hard for away, he didn’t care about the gift, but that damned wife of his, she only cares about the stuff.
So, the real story here is, don’t worry about getting your kids anything. They’ll play in the dang box of whatever amazing thing you get your wife. Because she’s really the only one to focus on.
Because, she is your number one customer after all (that’s a quote from the movie for those of you who are not as familiar with this gem of a film as I am, which I’m guessing is most of you).
And boy am I starved for Christmas content to put out here, huh?