Okay, we know there are people out there who are scratching their heads at the suggestion that Jingle All the Way is an essential Christmas movie. But those people need to get a life and stop watching too much late-night television.

Sure, Jingle All the Way isn’t exactly Miracle on 34th Street, but it’s a damn fine family film, especially for the younger crowd. For those of us who remember it coming out more than ten years ago, it represented a potential flop for star Arnold Schwarzenegger and it introduced the world to the wooden Anakin-to-be Jake Lloyd.

Still, that didn’t stop the movie from being a lot of fun. Fat Guy Kevin Carr remembers the shopping craze of the Cabbage Patch Dolls, which helped make the film that much more realistic. And anyone who has stepped into a retial store during the holiday season for the past few years can relate to what it’s like trying to track down a last-minute iPod or Nintendo Wii. Shoppers are just plain bonkers in this country, and Jingle All the Way captures it perfectly.

Schwarzenegger plays a workaholic father who neglects to buy a Turbo-Man action figure, which is the toy of the year. To please his son, he goes on a frantic Christmas Eve quest to get the doll, which has sold out of store around the country. Co-starring in this film is Sinbad in a somewhat forgotten but nonetheless hilarious performance as a rival father trying to get his own Turbo-Man figure.

Much maligned by pop culture, with a charge led by Conan O’Brien, Jingle All the Way has earned a reputation as a bad film, but with a worldwide box office intake of $130 million, it was actually a hit. Sure, it carries an 18% rotten rating on RottenTomatoes.com, but do we really care that what Emmauel Levy says?

If you have kids, or if you just like a goofy slapstick family movie, give Jingle All the Way another try this holiday season. It’s not a waste of time.

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