Billy Bob Thornton and the Law

It's a Wonderful Life.jpg Bad Santa.jpg First Amendment.jpg

Okay, okay, I’m a big liar, this post has nothing to do with the law. Though Billy Bob Thornton really does factor into the post. And I’m pretty sure I’d have a First Amendment defense to any false advertising suits — my immediate admission of lying arguably negates any misleading aspects of the title. And I don’t know that any restriction on my misleading title could be sufficiently tailored toward a substantial governmental interest. (See, e.g., Greater New Orleans Broadcasting v. U.S. (citing Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Co. v. Pub. Svce. Commission)). Not to mention, doesn’t this paragraph on the First Amendment bring the law into my post, thus making my title technically true??

ANYWAY … the post REALLY is about winter holiday movies. What with the holiday season now upon us, I thought it important, nay, CRUCIAL, to pose and to ponder this pressing question: what makes for the best holiday movie double feature?

My nomination:

“It’s a Wonderful Life” + “Bad Santa”

When you think about it, both end on pretty much the same note, reflecting the fact that they’re about pretty much the same thing. Sure, “It’s a Wonderful Life” ends with all of the townspeople gathered ’round the Bailey household, toasting George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and singing “Auld Lang Syne,” as George reads a written message sent to him from heaven by the angel Clarence. “Bad Santa” ends with a little kid in a t-shirt that says “S**t happens when you party naked,” reading a letter sent to him by Willie (Billy Bob Thornton), as Willie recovers from multiple bullet wounds.

But look past those minor surface differences … each ends with an important written message to the effect that it’s our friends who give our lives meaning. Bad Santa’s just a bit, well, rougher around the edges in expressing it.

See what I mean?:

“No man is a failure who has friends.” – Clarence the Angel, writing to George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”

“Dear Kid. I hope that you got my present and that there wasn’t too much blood on it, although there was blood on the present you gave me which didn’t keep me from enjoying it, so maybe the blood doesn’t matter so much I guess.” – Willie, writing to “the kid” in “Bad Santa”

In any event, I, like Billy Bob Thornton and Jimmy Stewart before me, wish you all much love and friendship in the coming months and years!!

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