A Diva's Christmas Carol (2000)
A Christmas Ego
Ebony Scrooge (Vanessa Williams - The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland) is a huge pop star but behind the scenes she also has a big pop star attitude as she is a screaming diva who is over demanding and nasty to everyone she works with including her loyal assistant Bob (Brian McNamara) who puts up with her demanding nature at the cost of his relationship with his wife and his sick child. But whilst in New York for a promotional charity gig Ebony receives a spooky visitation from Marli Jacob (Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas), part of the trio which Ebony was once part of, who comes to forewarn her that unless she changes her diva ways she is going to end up unhappy in this life and the next.
I am no longer shocked when I stumble across yet another movie to use Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" as its basis because as I have said many a time it must be the most often used story when it comes to movies. Now the sad reality is that most movies which try to re-imagine "A Christmas Carol" come up short especially when they all end up getting compared to the wildly funny "Scrooged" which set the benchmark incredibly high for all re-imaginations to follow. But to my surprise "A Diva's Christmas Carol" doesn't do a half bad job of re-imagining it with Scrooge turned into a diva who behind the facade in her music videos is a miser and a bitch to all those who work for her.
As such "A Diva's Christmas Carol" has all the familiarity you expect; Ebony doesn't do Christmas and expects her staff to work over the holiday season. And she doesn't spend money either, always looking for ways to pinch the pennies. But the updates are nice starting with Ebony being paid a visit from one of the singers who she use to sing with and as we are taken through her past, present and future we have other variations. In "A Diva's Christmas Carol" Ebony's meanness comes partly from having an alcoholic and abusive father whilst we also learn that her accountant is swindling her out of her money. Occasionally it gets it wrong as some really dumb jokes crop up which are just too corny but for the most the writing impresses especially for a made for TV movie.
What also impresses is Vanessa Williams who really sells Ebony's cold hearted bitchy side and is comical in the scene where she is scared by Marli's sudden reappearance. And Williams works well with Kathy Griffin who appears as the sarcastic Ghost of Christmas Past as she also does with John Taylor from Duran Duran who shows up as the Ghost of Christmas Present. None of the acting is more than average but it works with the actors either bringing attitude or comic spark to their roles.
What this all boils down to is that "A Diva's Christmas Carol" is one of the more entertaining re-imaginings of "A Christmas Carol" and not as tacky as most of the other made for TV re-imaginings. The writing is good with some entertaining updates and Vanessa Williams plays the part of the diva quite brilliantly.
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