Brotherly Love
Fred Claus
Review by Ross Anthony

Though I'm falling a little weary of Vince Vaughn's shtick, I'm still a big Paul Giamatti fan. And despite the weak previews and even worse poster, I decided to give this flick a look. To my surprise, the film not only surpassed the lame promises of its advertisements, it proved to be one of the best films I've seen all year.

Don't trust those trailers, this isn't just a slapstick comedy, it's got heart -- big Christmassy heart. I laughed, I cried. I got choked up -- a lot. It's got that rare wonderful mix of warmth, depth, and funny. And to top it off, it's beautifully produced and directed and acted. Even further, you will appreciate the angle on "family get-together." Vaughn redeems himself both as Vince and Fred.

There's so much to like about this film I really want to give it an A+. But, though it pains me to give them mention, there were two blemishes that robbed the film of perfection. The first, Vaughn's stick goes just a little long in a very early scene with his girlfriend. The second, Kevin Spacey's character's presence in the film is never really sold. And since his character has some serious import, I expected a bit more "selling." I guess they figure if they can sell us Santa and Santa's brother in the 21st century, then why would we question a mythical-character efficiency expert.

One last comment, while the final resolutions are all good, the snow globe scene is so head-and-shoulders one of the most beautiful, heart-warming, cinematic scenes in years -- I'd have extended and rolled credits on it.

That's all small potatoes, this is a good film -- go see it. I'm happy to give it a full A.

Paul Giamatti (Santa) comments, "Santa Claus's family is a regular family who just happens to live in the North Pole among hundreds of elves. Besides that – and having a really stressful job – Santa is pretty much a regular guy." He went on to say, "Comedy guys like Vince really amaze me. They have such confidence and conviction in what they're doing. It is truly impressive to watch and so much fun to worth with."

-- Book Contest --


  • Fred Claus. Copyright © 2007.
  • Starring Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Miranda Richardson, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates, Kevin Spacey, Chris Bridges, Bobb'E Thompson..
  • Directed by David Dobkin.
  • Screenplay by Dan Fogelman. Story by Dan and Jessie.
  • Produced by Dobkin, Joel Silver, Jessie Nelson at Warner Bros and Silver Pictures.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Tuesday, 06-Nov-2007 08:52:21 PST