Zeb's Christmas Karroll
Allen Karroll (Tom Everett Scott - The Love Letter) doesn't do Christmas ever since an embarrassing incident 4 years earlier, which seeing he is the message writer for a greeting cards company isn't good. But it seems Allen isn't the only Scrooge in the street as his neighbour Zeb Rosecog (Wallace Shawn - The Haunted Mansion) is an even bigger Christmas misery and it is Zeb who is due a visit from Jacob Marley (Dan Joffre) and the three ghosts of past, present and future. Except Jacob writes the number down wrong and shows up at Allen's as do the ghosts and no matter how much Allen tries to explain that they made a mistake they won't take no for an answer and show Allen the past, present and future except it is not his but Zeb's which opens his eyes to his nightmare neighbour.
So here we go with "Karroll's Christmas" yet another movie which takes on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and attempts to get creative and turn it into something fresh and funny which will be worth giving up some time for at Christmas. And to give "Karroll's Christmas" its credit it certainly spins a variation on the familiar storyline as we watch Karroll observing Zeb's life instead of his own due to a mistake and getting to not only understand why Zeb is a Scrooge but how his life is bad as well. And to also give "Karroll's Christmas" credit this is a re-imagining of "A Christmas Carol" for older teens and adults with means some humour which may lead to some awkward questions if young children end up watching it.
The trouble is that like so many recent attempts to re-imagine Dickens' beloved Christmas story "Karroll's Christmas" is really uneven with moments of humour which are fun whilst others leave you cringing, embarrassed by these attempts at humour such as the Ghost of Christmas Past talking about having sex in hell and mentioning the big Turkish guard from "Midnight Express". It almost feels like "Karroll's Christmas" is trying to cater to everyone with some extremely childish humour to some grown up comedy and the mix just doesn't blend coherently. Don't get me wrong as "Karroll's Christmas" is still a lot of fun and surprisingly charming but you know it could have been so much better by choosing who it is for and sticking with it and it would have been better to focus on grown ups as these are the best parts of the movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Karroll's Christmas" is a clever re-imagining of the familiar "A Christmas Carol" and it is frequently a lot of fun with some fresh adult humour which you don't tend to see in these movies. But at the same time whilst "Karroll's Christmas" has a grown up side it seems to also be trying to offer something for children which not only ends up out of place but unless you want your young children asking some awkward questions this isn't for them.