23 October 1998 | Tug-3
Completely devoid of charm.
This is the absolute bottom of the proverbial barrel. Devoid of plot, charm, humor, warmth, class, good acting, and sincerity, "It Nearly Wasn't Christmas" plods through a random series of ridiculous events to its predictable conclusion. This is a holiday special in which people do nothing but lie to each other--feel the love. Watch Charles Durning play a misanthropic, bitter Santa Claus, who decides to trek the world with the most annoying sidekick of all time--an elf who appears to have been a member of a gay biker gang. Watch for "The Love Boat"'s Ted Lange churn out an amazingly bland performance as a psychotic thief who apparently thinks he is some sort of pirate. Watch for the conclusion, in which a guy at a mall starts singing a song especially composed for this TV movie, and EVERYONE--every single person in the mall- joins in! (Have YOU ever heard the song "It Nearly Wasn't Christmas"? Not unless you've seen this movie. But every person in the entire mall knows it by heart!!) Watch for the most irritating girl in the history of precocious child heroes--the very last scene in the movie leads me to imagine her face immortalized on a box of doughnuts. Really, friends, this is the lowest of the low, and you should probably watch it just to appreciate the true holiday classics, that do not depend on stale formulae and sappy songs to drag them along.