Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hollywood: Alcoholic Homeless People Aren't Funny Anymore

Like most of you, I was gathered around my christmas tree + tv (they're so delightfully close to each other!) tonight watching AMC's airing of "Santa Claus: The Movie," that 1985 gem starring Dudley Moore as Patch, the elf gone bad.

During a scene where Patch disappears with a sprinkling of magic dust and the drunken hobo next to him is the only one who sees, I realized something: movies don't have rummy bums as foils anymore!

A staple since the times of Charlie Chaplin, the lovable, confused homeless alcoholic arguably hit his stride as a archetype in the 1980s, where he appeared as the only witness to unbelievable events in Back to the Futures I and II, Big Business, and the aforementioned SC:TM. In addition, lovable bums (the very same ones!) appeared in Coming to America and Trading Places.

But at some point, for some reason Hollywood decided that alcoholic homeless people are NOT delightful, if not utterly undependable, bearded dudes who drink out of brown paper bags on city benches, shrugging their shoulders at the results of our foibles. Freaking liberals...because of them we'll never get to see Owen Wilson as a lovable wino who lives by a trash can.


Alexis said...

AHHH! I love Santa Claus the Movie!! The scene where Joe wistfully watches all the happy rich people eating at McDonald's, when he is cold and poor outside. He is such a loveable scamp. And John Lithgow is fucking CLASSIC in this movie. Man, I can't believe I missed it, I'm going to have to look for it on tivo now....

Anna said...

LOL, how did I know this was going to lead to Back to the Future??