Editors Blog

Christmas Lack of Logic in Movies

January 4, 2011

My wife and I have been spending the past few weeks watching DVDs of Christmas-themed movies. But having been hanging around an industry that focuses on refrigeration and logic for so long, I keep looking at certain aspects of the movies for how cold is factored in and how logic is factored out.

The best example of cold and lack of logic is “It’s A Wonderful Life” when George Bailey dives into an ice clogged, fast flowing, turbulent river to rescue Clarence. How he managed to rescue the angel, and do it before hypothermia sets in is the logic scratcher. (I know: Divine Intervention.)

For the movie “Christmas Vacation” the cold comes as the Griswold daughter and mother deal with near frostbite looking for the perfect Christmas tree, and the illogic comes with the family of four able to pull up a 12-foot tall tree by the roots and get into onto the back of the station wagon.

“Home Alone” has a burglar tromping through snow barefooted in an effort to break into the McAllister home. Lack of logic comes when eight-year-old Kevin is able to at least clean up the entire first floor of the house after successfully fending off the burglars - and doing so before Mom gets back home a few hours later. This involves taking down swinging paint cans, clearing broken decorations and tacks from floors, getting rid of feathers blown around in the dining room, etc.

“Holiday Inn” has parking attendants shivering in the cold outside, while Fred Astaire snares an unsuspecting dance partner and that partner seems to be able to match Astaire step by step having never danced with him before. (My wife and I took dance lessons for years and still have trouble staying in sync with even the most basic steps).

“Miracle on 34th Street’ has the drunken Santa at the beginning of the movie using alcohol to keep warm, causing the hiring of Kris Kringle, the real Santa. Only problem is, that Kris spends so much time having lunches with Alfred, dinners with Mrs. Walker, taking publicity photos with Macy and Gimbel, spending time in a sanitarium and then being on trial, that you wonder what Santa was seeing all the kiddies at Macy’s during those times. (The drunken Santa?)

But the ultimate in illogic comes in “White Christmas.” First, several hundred singers, dancers, musicians, stage crew, etc. from a Broadway show all seem to all find rooms at the Columbia Inn. (How big was that place?) But then hundreds more folks show up to watch the show on Christmas Eve, and General Waverly doesn’t seem to notice nor hear them crashing about. Isn’t this the military general that led his troops into battle after battle a few years before?  How was he able to detect the enemy approaching in those days, especially since they would be so much quieter than holiday revealers?

I blame the illogic of “White Christmas” on the lack of cold until the very end - which then leads to the final logic suspension when it had barely started snowing and a horse and sled are seen merrily rolling along.

But think not that this blog is a Bah Humbug. All these movies are fun to watch. The best? “Christmas Carol,” the one with George C. Scott from the 1980s. A visual delight with fine acting.
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