Hey, did you know those bullies that beat the everloving shit out of you, made you feel like you were human garbage, and were just terrific examples of mankind at its absolute lowest point of evolution were secretly just lonely people looking for a friend?
If you’ve ever actually had real bullies or spent time on the Internet just long enough to look in any comments section on a video starring a minority, woman, or a fat person, right now you’re sitting back and groaning at the unfiltered bullshit that is that first paragraph. Hollywood loves to paint bad boys as romantic heroes, not just in terms of romances (where the wife-beating, child-beating, verbally abusive dickheadedness is often glossed over because oooh he’s sexy when he hits things and gets all dark and broody, right?) but in children’s stories like The Christmas Project, it’s utter horseshit. If your child happens to be going through bullying, you’ll know it the minute you start watching this abomination of a good Christmas message and a flat-out terrible message about some people just needing pals and pity.
It’s a shame. Christmas Project gets one thing absolutely 100% right, and that’s the spirit of giving that should be the centerpiece of Christmas. In this movie, four brothers and their parents give presents each night anonymously to a family in need, dropping off the gifts without asking or hoping for recognition. That part of Christmas Project is adorable, and it’s why I’d say it’s mostly harmless if you watch it with your family.
But if you’ve got a kid in your life who’s going through bullying, you probably understand one terrible truth about the universe – some people just want to hate. Now maybe there are a few people who lash out and just need a little attention, but the kid whaling the tar out of your boy in the locker room in PE is just as likely to wind up being the douchebag who leaves comments like “nice titz fatty” on a woman’s YouTube channel. Guess what? Those tweeners and teenagers aren’t magically going to become your kid’s friend because you leave them a plate of pity cookies.
Do you want to deliver a message about bullying that actually works? How about having the kids in the class get fed up with the bully’s bullshit and all take turns berating the kid until he’s shamed out of his shitty behavior? How about someone, anyone, standing up for the kid being bullied? How about an adult stepping in and talking to the kid’s parents to tell them what’s going on? How about expulsion or literally any sort of negative consequence for the actions of a terrible human being?
“Oh, but he’s just a kid!” No. Take a look at the news and you’ll see on just about any given day the shock and horror of a town grieving for another “just a kid” who committed suicide because of bullying. The minute those douchebags start pushing other children around, someone – ANYONE – needs to step in and stand up, both to the bully and to help pick the bullied child up off the floor. Hollywood has to stop with this “pity party” bullshit for those who would beat on, abuse, and berate those who are smaller and weaker than them.
Kids deserve better than this garbage.
Anyways, yeah, Christmas Project kinda sucks and kinda doesn’t. They name their dog “Farting,” so if that strikes you as the sort of intelligent thing you want to see in your Christmas movie, by all means, give it a go.