Movie Released: November 2013 | DVD Release Date: August 22, 2016
Cindy Wegman (Taryn Manning) is a single mother with multiple kids from different fathers and has adopted the attitude that working is for suckers. She quit working as a hairdresser when her mom died and has been floundering, taking advantage of anyone who will either look the other way or fall for her charms. She’s visited by three ghosts who try to show her the error of her outlook and put her back on a positive path.
All American Christmas Carol is a take on the classic story in the desert badlands world of Cousin Eddie from the National Lampoon franchise. There’s a sub-story in which the son of Cindy and the deceased Jake Marley (played by Tristan Lake Leabu) take part in a stage version of the story, which Cindy walks to the end when she’s visited by the ghost of her dead former beau, Jake. In the midst of her ghostly visits, Cindy is visited by social services appraising her ability to retain custody of her children.
When we meet Cindy she’s horrible. We see via Christmas Past that her father (played with brilliant ferocity by Meatloaf Aday) left her mother (Beverly D’Angelo) after a raging fight which culminates in his painting a tree on the wall that she uses to the modern day. Cindy does have the support and help of her brother, Bob (played by Eddie Jemison) to the consternation of his straight-laced wife, Marge (played by the brilliantly funny Wendy Mclendon-Covey). Despite a solid effort toward a trashy and uncaring life, Cindy does care about her children and nephew, Tim who she affectionately calls “Peepers.” Ultimately, a change can only come when she sees the impact that her selfish life has on those she truly loves.
There is a true poignancy to this tale and a reality for this viewer. The outside shots of the trailer park which were clearly intended to depict a dead end life remind me of the park in which I was raised. The self-involved main character may seem extreme, but I’ve seen it time and time again and their children are trapped in a cycle of poverty and despair. To be clear, I don’t think the intent of the writer was to shine a light on poverty and depression. There is clearly a leaning toward white trash being funny in the spirit of the aforementioned Cousin Eddie and Raising Arizona. The ending, once the joke is over, is a bit too pat and easily tied up. Fluffy and feel-good is what All American Christmas Carol leans to.
All American Christmas Carol features some really good actors. The aforementioned parents played by Meatloaf Aday and Beverly D’Angelo, Rock God Constantine played by Eric Roberts, Mr. Wink played by Danny Woodburn. There’s also some solidly bad acting that plays to type. Overall All American Christmas Carol is a new spin that entertained this viewer but also made her think about some of the people from childhood left behind in little Ypsilanti, Michigan where, no matter the year, no one is wearing skimpy outfits outside at Christmas.
If you’re looking for a giggle this Christmas, pick this one up and let me know what you think.
All American Christmas Carol is available as a DVD on
|Title||All American Christmas Carol|
|Actors||Taryn Manning, Beverly D’Angelo, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Eddie Jemison, Eric Roberts|
|Length||1 hour and 28 minutes|
|DVD Release||August 22, 2016|