30 Feminist Christmas Movies, Ranked

22 of 31

Bad Santa, Image via Dimension Films/Columbia Pictures

Bad Santa

Willie and Marcus are a professional Santa/elf duo for department stores and malls. But their real motivation for the job isn’t holiday spirit; it’s to facilitate their burglaries. As Willie descends into alcoholism and sex addiction, his performance as Santa becomes less believable and more vulgar. What starts as a manipulative friendship with Thurman, a kid who believes he really is Santa, becomes a turning point for Willie. He starts to lay off the self-destruction, and even tries to help Thurman learn to fight back against his bullies. But can Willie get his act together before Gin, the security guard who is onto him, or Marcus, his resentful partner, can catch up to him?

The Good

  • It’s relatively diverse. There are two black main characters, one of whom is a little person. Marlon’s wife is Asian. So, that’s a plus.
  • In strict representation terms, there are three prominently featured women. Which is more than we can say for some of the movies on this list.

The Bad

  • The point of this movie is to be “raunchy,” which I get. But, just like any heist movie, the toxic masculinity is off the charts. It’s not necessarily represented as a positive thing, but Willie’s drinking and sex addictions play into the reason why he’s supposed to be ‘cool,’ and that’s kinda gross.
  • The few women who are in the movie are watered down and played for laughs. Cloris Leachman, who is a straight up icon, is un-credited in her role as Granny. That about sums it up.

The Ugly

  • Having Lauren Graham in your movie, but only giving her a ridiculous, one-note character. Sue is, firstly, not even really relevant to the movie. Secondly, she is reduced to a flat, one-dimensional slut stereotype. Casting the woman who brought the likes of Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman to life? It’s a good move, because Lauren Graham’s performance is the only thing that gives the character any sort of reality. It’s just so beneath her. Really, it’s a cinematic crime. This is the kind of movie that an actress like Lauren Graham has to do to make money because there are no good female roles.