Retro Review: Scrooged (1988)

I couldn’t let Christmas go out on such a depressing note as that last post–so I stayed up late to watch Scrooged.  Totally worth it.

It must be twenty years, maybe more, since I last watched this, and I’m honestly not sure I ever saw it all the way through. I think as a kid I never got past the dry, rotting corpse of Lew Hayward. Now, older and wiser, I think it’s a film that takes a certain maturity to appreciate (despite Bill Murray’s awesome brand of slapsticky satire).


Surely you know the story. Murray is Frank Cross, a television exec at the IBC network. His only concern is ratings, to the extent that he has alienated all the people who might have cared about him. It’s all a glitzy ’80s version of A Christmas Carol, and it’s fantastic. It’s the perfect combination of sappy feel-good schmaltz and classic Second City-style humor, with a nice Christmas sheen.


The performances are all great, the jokes still hold up, and the ending, corny as it is, makes it a perfect holiday film. And Murray was really ahead of his time, delivering jokes with a speed and stream-of-thought style that would fit in any contemporary sitcom. I love this movie, and if you’re looking for something to watch this year that isn’t Star Wars, this would be a good choice.


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