Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Graham, Lauren Tom, Bernie Mac, John Ritter, Octavia Spencer
No Christmas tradition is sacred in the presence of Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton), a seasonal Santa and full-time con man who lies, cheats, steals, drinks, and fornicates his way from one shopping mall gig to the next in this controversial contemporary classic (which is rumored to have a sequel in the works for 2013).
Each December, Willie and his partner Marcus (Tony Cox) spend their days posing as Santa and his trusty elf at a carefully chosen department store, which they'll rob when the lights go down on Christmas Eve. But a perfectly timed meeting with the unfortunately named Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), an abandoned kid who cannot see past Willie's iconic red suit, forces him to confront his sliver of a soft side.
If its trailer had been cut to the sounds of Peter Gabriel's "Solisbury Hill," one might think that The Kid's blind admiration would make Willie a changed man. But "Father Knows Best" it ain't. The unlikely kinship suggests that there are lessons to be learned from everyone we meet, with Willie owning up to his dirty deeds in the end and The Kid becoming just a little bit of a badass (the movie closes with him riding away on his bike sporting a "Shit Happens When You Party Naked" T-shirt.)