The Christmas Switch (2014) – Xmas Holiday Movie Review

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By Geno McGahee

I have been to New York City a bunch of times and I’ve seen those guys that do that three card monte hustle. In fact, when I was much younger, my friend got taken for 40 bucks and he was an asshole the entire way home after the loss. It’s 40 bucks. Give it a rest! Then again, he wasn’t making shit for money at the time. So it probably was a lot of money to him and the fact that he got scammed out of it was probably hard to take. He was still a whiney bitch over it. In THE CHRISTMAS SWITCH we have a conman, Eddie (Brian Krause), using this scam to take money from everyone and anyone that is stupid enough to play the game. In fact, there is one complete shithead that stands there with his son and bets all the Christmas money on this scam. His young son tries to talk him out of it, but he insists…and loses. That poor boy having such an idiot as a son.

When the cops close in, Eddie takes off and meets up with his other homeless scammers in their secret hideout. His best buddy, Manny (Keram Malicki-Sanchez), seems to have his best interests, while the other two friends of his are in it for themselves strictly. Eddie is basically blinded by the money and could care less about what he does and who he does it to. To him, the Christmas season is just a time to make a lot of money, but this is an Xmas movie and we know that this sort of attitude cannot last.

As Eddie works, Sam (Cedric Smith), an old man that worked fifty years as a store Santa, is too sickly to continue and is being taken care of by his daughter, Susan played by Natasha Henstridge, who I most remember from the SPECIES series. Fuck those haters that say it’s not a good series. SPECIES rocked! I feel bad for Susan. She is trying to become a lawyer and has to deal with her bitchy father who keeps complaining about wanting to be a Santa. Now what sort of living can a person make for a family if they work as a store Santa? They can’t make shit and if Sam spent less time worrying about that seasonal job and more time worrying about providing, he would have been able to take care of himself.

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Sam continues to bitch and bitch as Susan tries to make a better life for herself. The Toy Store that hired Sam is hurting without the old guy though and is trying to get him to return, but Susan chases them away, leading to a pretty funny moment. George Oakville (Rob Deleeuw), the president of the toy store, along with Barbara (Krista Bridges) come up with an idea to bring an animatronic Santa to replace Sam. The Santa ends up malfunctioning and punches one of the mothers in the gut after rambling about toys. It was pretty funny. This wasn’t so much a comedy, but points to them for adding a pretty funny moment to lighten it up.

Nick (George Buza) approaches Eddie and offers him a deal where he can switch bodies with Sam in exchange for redemption, but Eddie comes up with a different offer. He asks for a million dollars and Nick touches his nose and makes it appear and then makes it disappear by also touching his nose. Why is that necessary? If you are a spirit and have the power to grant wishes, why do you have to make a motion? I’ve seen it here with Nick who is listed as “Burly man” on IMDB, which is accurate. He is burly, but why the fuck is it necessary to make these motions. I’ve seen genies do it too as they cross their arms and nod. It takes away from the power. Fuck your nose motion Nick. It makes no sense. When Eddie asked for a million dollars, it should have just appeared and then he could have looked and Nick and Nick could have said “yeah bitch. That was me.” Then we know rather than this bullshit nose touching.

Eddie and Sam switch places and that has to be strange. Imagine being 35 and then all of sudden, you’re 70. It must be tough to look at a wrinkled up saggy cock even if a million dollars is hanging in the balance. The other side of this is that Sam is now young and opts to spend that time being a store Santa. Now, I know he loved the job, but if you have your youth back, why not go out there and get some chicks? I know he’d have a hard time explaining to Eddie that he’s returning the body with a few STDs, but what did he expect and with a million dollars, that’s some good treatment there.

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As Sam has the time of his life as the reborn store Santa, Sam starts to open up to Susan and starts to realize that he has never had a real Christmas and starts to looking at things differently, but his crew knows his secret and are demanding a cut. So he must stay the course and keep working for the million dollar payday.

The film has some pretty good moments with Cedric Smith and Natasha Henstridge. When they are at the ice rink and Smith does such a good job in bringing forth the idea that he is Eddie and tells the story of a young kid that was beaten by his father, basically talking about himself and Henstridge’s emotional reactions are really good. They say a lot in this scene and it actually helps the relationship between Sam and his daughter and helps Eddie start to get focus on the importance of the season.

Eddie and Sam switch back on Christmas day and the million dollars is granted and the three card monte is back, but this time, nobody can lose, including that douche bag that lost all his Christmas money in the beginning in the film. Remarkably, two cops approach with the wanted poster with Eddie’s face, and they rip it up and walk off. What right do these cops have to make that call? They are here to protect and serve and elect to let the criminal go because they think he’s a nice guy now? It didn’t make a lot of sense, but this needs a happy ending and we get it and then some by the time the film is done.

Eddie meets Susan and the two start to hit it off and maybe she can overlook his criminal background and find true love, which seems to be the case as they freeze-framed on the two in joyous embrace at the end.

THE CHRISTMAS SWITCH is a really good Christmas movie with great performances across the board. Cedric Smith, Natasha Henstridge and Brian Krause do a great job and are all very likable and easy to root for. Keram Malicki-Sanchez was also a nice addition to this film and was also a character that conflicted and interesting. This film had a nice balance of comedy and drama and sentiment to make it meet all the requirements to be a good holiday movie. I really liked this one. I highly recommend it.

Rating: 7.5/10 – Don’t switch the channel