Directed by Tim Hill
Grumpy Cat (Tardar Sauce-yes, she had a real name and was voiced here by Aubrey Plaza) is a lonely cat living in a local mall pet store. Now on Christmas Eve she, along with Crystal (Megan Charpentier) who can talk to Grumpy, must stop a plot to kidnap an expensive exotic dog from the store.
Grumpy Cat’s one and only movie was nothing special. It was not a big budget extravaganza with lavish musical numbers nor was it filled with big name stars. It was your basic cable television Lifetime film. It was Christmas comfort food brought to you with the sensibilities of meme sensation Grumpy Cat.
The movie takes gentle pokes at Christmas films and even itself at times. There are some jokes even taken at Grumpy Cat herself. The movie avoids taking itself too seriously. While it has the usual trappings of a Christmas film, they are either superficial or a source for the films humor.
People talk smack on this film and if Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever was pushed as a serious effort it would certainly be justified, but it never was. What we were told was it was going to be a humorous film playing on the Internet fame of Tardar Sauce and, ladies and gentlemen, that is what we got. This is not a story with a heartwarming ending where all are better people for having overcome the Christmas heist of expensive dog JoJo (voiced by Stephen Stanton) and saving Mr. Crabtree’s (David Lewis) pet shop. The closest we get to heartwarming is Grumpy winding up in the home of Crystal and they get in one more swipe there.
Zack (Evan Todd)and Donny (Isaac Haig) are the prerequisite (because of Home Alone) bumbling thieves. They are basically Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern). These characters are would be rockers that get recruited by mall security guard George (Daniel Roebuck) to steal the dog.
Aubrey Plaza gets the tone of Grumpy Cat right. She was a great choice. She has the perfect sarcastic, deadpan delivery that the memes are known for. According to the actress once she realized that the cat’s mouth did not move, she just went for it and at times did her own thing. As the character she comments on the film in a way that pushes the film to the edge of not being G-rated.
The plot is thin here. The story is mostly an excuse for Grumpy Cat to be grumpy, Crystal to be cute, and the criminals to be bumbling. And that is okay. This film was never pushed as sophisticated or groundbreaking. It was sold as Christmas junk food and it is just that. It is the candy you sneak after the pie. And before the cookies.
I have to admit Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is a guilty pleasure of mine. I have watched it several times and I could point to individual items about it that just are not that good but together these bad items make something perversely enjoyable. Separately this film is junk but that junk when assembled becomes better than the individual pieces.
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever tries to be some cross between Garfield (Tim Hill directed Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties) and Home Alone with a dash of Paul Blart. Only one of those three is considered good. And this movie itself is good. It’s not going to make you feel fuzzy about the Christmas season, but it will put a smile on your face and even though you should, you won’t feel as if you wasted your time.
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is not a television masterpiece nor is it a great scientific achievement. It is just a stupid movie set at Christmas time that is a fun watch. You will not want to, but you will watch it again. I guarantee it.