A Christmas Carol ★★

I love A Christmas Carol but I dislike musicals. I was a longtime Must-See TV viewer, so I was quite familiar with the principle cast and generally liked them all well enough, so I'd hoped that I could get into the story enough to get through the musical numbers. Instead, I found that the musical numbers weren't all that bad (though they weren't spectacular, either), and that I became bored by the narrative.

The entire production felt like glorified community theater to me, from start to finish. A microcosm of where things just did not work for me: the Cratchit family dinner. Their home is spartan, but it doesn't feel lived-in. The actors are dressed in simple clothes, but they don't look tattered. And they all look, frankly, too gentrified to be as downtrodden as we know they're meant to be. These are palatable poor people, and that's entirely the wrong tone for A Christmas Carol.

The cast turned out to be fine, though only Jane Krakowski as the Ghost of Christmas Past really charmed me. That may partly be because I'd just watched the 2009 Robert Zemeckis version, where I actively disliked that film's Ghost of Christmas Past. It may also be because this is the only time I've ever seen any pole dancing in a production of A Christmas Carol (she wraps her leg and swings around the poster of Scrooge's bed during her musical number). But mostly I think it's just because she's so charismatic and likable.

I will give the production credit for having a sizable scale; there are plenty of sets, interior and exterior, and it doesn't feel as confined as some other versions. And the fact I didn't hate the musical numbers is tantamount to high praise from me, so there's that. Still, I'd be lying if I said I had any compulsion to revisit this one anytime soon.

How A Christmas Carol Entered My Flickchart

A Christmas Carol < MGM: When the Lion Roars → #1661
A Christmas Carol < Failure to Launch → #1661
A Christmas Carol > The Wizard of Oz (1933) → #1461
A Christmas Carol > Speedy Gonzales → #1357
A Christmas Carol < Mr. 3000 → #1357
A Christmas Carol < Silver Blaze → #1357
A Christmas Carol > Descendant (2003) → #1343
A Christmas Carol > Shanghai Knights → #1337
A Christmas Carol > Battle: Los Angeles → #1333
A Christmas Carol < Dragonheart → #1333

A Christmas Carol entered my Flickchart at #1333/1669