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Fred Claus (2007)

Saving Christmas and Building Bridges.

It does exactly what it says on the Xmas Movie Tin. Poorly received by the critics and equally unsupported by the internet hordes, Fred Claus may be guilty of sentimentality, but for those in need of a pick me up during yuletide then it delivers the requisite smiles to faces.

Vince Vaughn is Fred, brother of Santa (Paul Giamatti), who has grown up resenting his elder brother. When Fred is in desperate need of cash he gets in touch with Santa to ask for a big loan, Santa will oblige if Fred comes up to the North Pole to work for it. Anger, mirth and bonding does follow as Fred causes mayhem among the elves and finds himself pitched in the middle of a nefarious plan being hatched by Clyde Archibald Northcutt (Kevin Spacey).

Not all the gags work but there are some genuinely funny moments, while the romantic threads are a touch too twee. Yet this wears its Xmas movie heart firmly on its red clothed sleeve, and there's nothing wrong with that. 7/10

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