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December 14, 2011

Movie Review: Richie Rich's Christmas Wish (1998)

Welcome to Day 5 in the David Hayes 12 Days of Christmas Crap Review-a-Palooza. My cup runneth over with turd-like movies and I feel the need, this holiday season to, share it with all of you. Suckers.
On the fifth day of Christmas, the Head Cheese gave to me… five go-o-olden showers (or at least that is what watching this movie felt like).
When I was growing up my family wasn’t wealthy (I could spout off and talk about how rich in love we were, but you cynics wouldn’t believe me anyway).  We had food and a house and clothes and Christmas presents and all that stuff, but we weren’t filthy stinking rich. We understood that Christmas was a time of caring and sharing and, when all is said and done, you should be able to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the year and know that you’ve been a good person. When you’re the richest little barf bag in the world, though, you don’t need that mirror. In fact, you don’t need any mirrors because there are endless lines of servants ready to tell you just how good you are so you can give them a 2% raise and they can finally fix the cracked toilet seat that’s been pinching the ass of their family the entire year… uuh, sorry. I’ve gotten a little worked up after watching Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish. Anyone would.
So, what kind of trouble could the absolutely richest kid in the world get into? I’ll tell you, it revolves around a little case of low self esteem (awww… poor guy, anyone that has 24K Legos has got to be depression-prone). You see, little Richie (David Gallagher) is punked by his not-quite-but-still-filthy-rich cousin, Reggie Van Dough (Jake Richardson) while trying to help out a local orphanage. Richie, feeling sorry for himself, wishes he was never born. Unbeknownst to the loaded little bastard, his private scientist has developed a Wish Granting Machine and poor Richie is whisked away to a world where Reggie Van Dough rules with an iron fist. Richie then engages in a bunch of criminal activity (like grand larceny, dog knapping, grand theft auto, assault, etc.) in order to do something that I didn’t quite get. Either way, he eventually makes another wish and all is well in his gilded world. If all is well means you are perverting the memory of the Frank Capra classic It's a Wonderful Life, but I digress.

The real disappointing part, for me, was watching David Gallagher prance around the screen. Every wooden delivery and poorly emoted scene made me wish for McCauley Culkin’s version of the funny pages favorite wealthy whelp. Let that sink in. I actually WISHED to watch a Culkin. I don’t believe anyone has ever wished to watch a Culkin (outside of a motion on the floor of the 1992 NAMBLA Annual Conference).  It wasn’t Gallagher’s fault alone, though. Every one of those actors is complicit in the crime perpetrated against my senses: Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Eugene Levy… each one of those so-called thespians showed up for a paycheck and nothing more. They should have called it Richie Rich’s Apathetic Attempt at Making a Movie. Most of all, though, I blame John Murkowski. You may remember, from Day 1 of the 12 Days, that I threatened you with another John Murkowski movie and this is it. There is a special place in hell for John. A place that he made reservations with in Santa With Muscles and confirmed with Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish.

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