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Fred Claus Synopsis
Fred Claus (Vince Vaughn) has lived almost his entire life in his little brother's very large shadow. Fred tried, but he could never live up to the example set by the younger Nicholas (Paul Giamatti), who was just a perfect well a Saint. True to form, Nicholas grew up to be the model of giving, while Fred became the polar opposite: a repo man who then steals what he repossesses. Now Fred's dirty dealings have landed him in jail. Over Mrs. Claus's objections, Nicholas agrees to bail his big brother out on one condition: that he come to the North Pole and work off his debt making toys. The trouble is that Fred isn't exactly elf material and, with Christmas fast approaching, this one bad seed could jeopardize the jolliest holiday of the year. Has Fred finally pushed his little brother to the brink? This time, what Fred may have stolen is Christmas itself, and it is going to take more than Rudolph to set things right.
Of all the directions Vince Vaughn’s career path could have taken after his recent resurgence, I’d never have expected him to follow in the footsteps of Tim Allen. Vince, take a look at Tim’s career and tell me how this leads to continued to success.
There are a two ways to go with a project like this. One of them is the aforementioned, mediocre, unfunny, career-suicide Tim Allen route. Face it, movies like Elf happen once a decade. The other is the Bad Santa route. In other words avoid the family-friendly nature of the genre and go for something adult, funny, and hopefully rated R. There’s really no middle ground with Santa movies. Fred Claus has chosen to go with the former. Despite advertising that might lead you to believe the contrary, Fred Claus is rated PG and has therefore is destined to be family shlock.
So abandon all hope that Fred Claus may lean towards the Billy Bob Thornton direction. Sure the movie is produced and directed David Dobkin, the guy responsible for the raunch of Wedding Crashers, but Dobkin was also responsible for Shanghai Knights and is therefore no stranger to the lukewarm family friendly “aw shucks” genre. Get ready to throw up.