They just dont make em like they used to and thanks to Scrooged, Bill Murrays paradigm-defining 1988 reinterpretation of A Christmas Carol, theyre making them better than they otherwise might. You dont have to look far to see the influence of Scrooged on current, big-budget comedy fare; from the oddball cameos to the commercial sendups to the contrived, feel-good monologue of a conclusion, Scrooged provided the tropes that films of its ilk have been using ever since.
And, yeah, they were almost as dumb then as they are now, but still even if a big part of it is just nostalgia for those bygone days of shoulder pads and Bill Murrays weird-ass hair, theres something special about Scrooged. Its got heart. And, of course, its got Murray himself, who carries the lead with effortless Bill Murray aplomb. (The actors recently acquired image as the arthouse portrait of restrained ennui creates the added bonus of making his manic hamming here seem almost confusing.) And if the other cultural touch-stones have gathered a little dust over the years (Lee Majors cameo, anyone?), they still retain a certain charm.
Catch Scrooged on the silver screen again tonight and tomorrow night at 10 p.m. at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Regular admission is $9.75; for tickets or more information, go to www.denverfilm.org.
Dec. 17-18, 10 p.m., 2010