Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fantasy #5 - Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Miracle on 34th Street is the one where Macy's hires a department store Santa Clause who thinks he's actually Santa. It's about fantasy and faith and trust and believing in the goodness in people's hearts and all that. It's very sweet and heartwarming. The guy who plays Santa (It's Edmund Gwenn) is really the best Santa ever, so you do root for him and believe in him, and the little girl, Tiny Natalie Wood, is charmingly adorable instead of just annoying, so that whole plot line is really interesting and engaging.

The romance subplot, however, with the mother and the lawyer/neighbor is sort of just boring and drags the whole movie on. It's definitely necessary, because that plot puts the Santa message in a more mature context, to make the movie connect more with adults, but it is not interesting. They are just not compelling charcters - I know the woman is serious and can't trust and I know the guy's...a lawyer? I can't even think of an actual personality trait that this character has. They are not little fake people that you love and connect with. They're just boring. This is a whole half of the movie that is no good - and look at how much of the poster they take up! It's disgusting!

Miracle on 34th Street is a nice Christmas movie. It's heartwarming and it fills you with joy and hope. The post office resolution doesn't really make any sense, but I think it's excusable because it's heavily implied that the judge is really giving in to the spirit of Christmas and public pressure. The religious overtones are obviously appropriate to the season. I really like the part when the little Dutch girl is absolutely delighted that Santa Clause can can understand her - I think that's really sweet. But I don't find this movie that impressive. Mostly because of the boring romance participants, but also because nothing stands out about it. It doesn't have great cinematography like Lawrence, it's not funny like Groundhog Day, it's not unique or innovative, it doesn't have any great performances or a really terrific story. It's not a great movie, but it is good. I guess.

No comments:

Post a Comment