Call Me Claus

  • 2001
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Fantasy

This made-for-TV fantasy, which first aired on TNT, features Whoopi Goldberg as a modern-day Scrooge who gets some holiday spirit. In 1965, sweet little Lucy Cullins (Tinashe Kachingwe) asked St. Nick for her papa’s safe return from Vietnam. When her father dies in uniform, Lucy stops believing in Santa. As an adult, pessimistic Lucy (Whoopi Goldberg)...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This made-for-TV fantasy, which first aired on TNT, features Whoopi Goldberg as a modern-day Scrooge who gets some holiday spirit. In 1965, sweet little Lucy Cullins (Tinashe Kachingwe) asked St. Nick for her papa’s safe return from Vietnam. When her father dies in uniform, Lucy stops believing in Santa. As an adult, pessimistic Lucy (Whoopi Goldberg) lands a tailor-made job as a producer at the Shop-A-Lot Channel, where her cynicism works hand in glove with the greed of her boss. Lucy happily hawks useless novelty items, and has no time to attend her niece’s church recital or spend seasonal quality time with her family. Meanwhile, Santa Claus (Nigel Hawthorne) is approaching his mandatory retirement after 200 years in the red suit. Curiously, his short list of potential replacements includes Lucy's name — in fact, she's his favorite candidate — but because she's so down on all things Christmas Santa doesn't know how to nudge her into compliance. And, as Ralph (Taylor Negron) the elf keeps reminding him, failure to find a new Santa could result in the melting of the polar ice cap. Pressured by his North Pole constituents, Santa corners Lucy but is unable to persuade her to get in touch with the child within. So St. Nick accepts an on-air job as the Shop-A-Lot Santa, making quite a splash. As the time to name his replacement draws near, he whisks doubting Lucy off to a tour of the North Pole. But having rejected Christmas for so long, Lucy can't make the necessary leap of faith: Will Santa Claus find a way to hand over his sleigh reins to her in time? Despite the sugar-cookie sentiment writers Brian Bird, Gregory Bernstein and Sara Bernstein apply liberally to their script, this jovial holiday film 's jabs at the commercialization of Christmas produce some good laughs. And there's genuine chemistry between the sassy Goldberg and the spirited Hawthorne as they trade jibes about finding one’s inner Claus.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This made-for-TV fantasy, which first aired on TNT, features Whoopi Goldberg as a modern-day Scrooge who gets some holiday spirit. In 1965, sweet little Lucy Cullins (Tinashe Kachingwe) asked St. Nick for her papa’s safe return from Vietnam. When her fathe… (more)

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