WHEN LUCY CULLINS, HIRES AN ACTOR NAMED NICK TO PLAY SANTACLAUS FOR A TV NETWORK, SHE GETS MORE THAN SHE BARGAINED FOR. NICK REALLY IS SANTA CLAUS, AND HE FACES MANDATORY RETIREMENT AFTER 200 YEARS ON THE JOB. NICK MUST FI... more »ND HIS REPLACEMENT BY CHRISTMAS EVE OR THE WORLD WILL FACE DIRE CONSEQUENCES.« less
Lyn O. (LynzieLouToo) from FORESTON, MN Reviewed on 3/25/2010...
On the whole, this movie was very well acted and enjoyable.
The thing I couldn't get over was a woman taking over the role of Santa...sorry, it just killed it for me.
Santa will and forever be a man, period.
1 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Whoopi Goldberg's Finest Moments
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 08/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whoopi Goldberg is an acquired taste, but to my mind she has never been funnier or had more affect than in this soon to be holiday classic. I don't see why, with a little luck, CALL ME CLAUS won't soon be regarded as the beloved Xmas perennial that is the happy fate of MIRACLE on 34TH STREET or SCROOGED. Or even A CHRISTMAS STORY or CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT or COME TO THE STABLE. Nigel Hawthorne, from the PBS MAPP AND LUCIA shows, and nominated for the Oscar for his part in THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III, outdoes every other part he ever had the privilege of playing and gives us the authentic Santa Claus for once and for all. You will laugh with recognition at Hawthorne' elfish grin and big red heart. Too bad he died so soon after making CALL ME CLAUS because as soon as this telefilm comes to an end, you're all primed for a sequel!
While Hawthorne is warm and tender, Goldberg is (at first) strident and severe, but soon liike Scrooge she melts right into the part of Lucy Cullins. Many of my friends credit the broadcast of this late 2001 film with helping them cure their depression and trauma over the events of 9-11-01, when it looked like for many the spirit of Christmas had been permanently extinguished, and then along came Whoopi and Sir Nigel, like two nutty Wise Men, to light the lamp of mirth and joy once again. Hosanna to entertainment for it goes a long way towards curing the ills of those sorry old world."
Modern Christmas classic
Simon Davis | 12/16/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I only discovered this movie for the first time recently and I'm so glad I did. Generally I have a fondness for the older Christmas themed movies but stumbling across this one I found a delightful little contemporary story that will become part of my annual Christmas viewing. Being a big Whoopi Goldberg fan I was prepared to like the combination of her with Christmas anyway but what unfolded was a delightful story that made me laugh and shed a little tear along the way. Goldberg is an extremely talented actress who I feel has been shamefully neglected by Hollywood over the years. As seen in her terrific work in "The Colour Purple", "Ghost", and "Sister Act" she is a performer with a huge range, a natural in comedy and also uniquely gifted to put across a performance of great sensitivity. In "Call Me Claus" Whoopi has a field day in a VERY present day tale of commercialised Christmas, home internet shopping and a lack of belief in anything that doesn't have a $ sign attached to it. She plays Lucy Cullins a cranky, cynical producer of a terribly crass home shopping network that is hosting the annual "Kristmas Korner". While hating everything about Christmas she hires a Santa for the festive season promotion of their christmas products that contain such essential items as sock warmers and Santa poker machines! What she fails to realise is that she has got the real Santa (the late great Nigel Hawthorne in a delightful performance) and he proceeds to not only turn Lucy's life unside with the news that she must be his successor as his 200 year contract for the job of Santa is expiring, but also manages to teach her a bit about forgiveness, caring, and appreciation of others in the process. What unfolds in "Call Me Claus" is an amusing tale filled with many funny situations. Whoopi's natural comedy timing comes to the fore in particular in the hilarious Santa audition scenes and once she has become the new Santa in white dreadlocks and Santa suit (minus the belt!) trying to get the hang of the correct way to slide down a chinmey. They and other scenes will have you laughing out loud and her crusty character gives a different edge to your usual holiday movie. Whoopi really makes this film however equally as great is Nigel Hawthorne as "Nick" in his last performance prior to his death in 2001. I couldn't think of a better role for Hawthorne to go out on than his portrayal of Santa Claus. He is at times warm and sentimental , funny, and suprisingly up to date in his thinking and indeed the whole performance is a delight. Victor Garber as the TV show producer and Brian Mitchell as the fast talking ideas man also score well in their assorted roles. But without a doubt it is Whoopi's and Hawthorne's show all the way.It's a refreshing change to have a contemporary Christmas film that really explores alot about what Christmas has become to alot of us, the crass commercialism, lack of belief in the holiday and the true meaning of Christmas. "Call Me Claus" while a light hearted romp does look into all these issues and really makes you think about how we actually do spend the holiday season and what should really be important to us. While no great Yuletide classic this film is highly recommended viewing during the season. It's a part of my Christmas collection now and to see two superb talents like Whoopi Goldberg and Nigel Hawthorne together doing what they do best is definately a holiday treat not to be missed."
Whoopi Gives You A Reason To See Christmas Is In All
Lorenzo M. in the Hollywood CA Area | North Hollywood, CA USA | 12/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"CALL ME CLAUS was directed by Peter Werner (The 70's, That Substitute Wife) and written by Paul Mooney (Good Times, The Richard Prior Show) and Sara Berstein (Trial and Error, One Day In Dallas) and is the story of an over zelous TV Producer of a "Home-Shopping Club-Type network that needs to relearn the value of Christmas again.This TV Executive is played hysterically by Whoopi Goldberg (Sister Act, The Color Purple, Rat Race) and needs to do the one job you would think everyone on the planet would never turn down - BEING - yes BEING - Santa Clause. She is funny and has a flavor all her own.Santa's 200 year term is almost up and its time to find his replacement. Due to a magical Christmas hat - he finds her in Whoopi. The two then go on a hysterical journey of adventure and heart. Santa is masterfully portrayed by Nigel Hawthrorne (Tarzan, Amistad) and the chemistry they have together is sensitive and real.The movie has some clever visuals with the "magic" Santa Hat as well as some pretty convincing elves. Color and family and the importnace of being with your family durring the Holidays.Some other outstanding performances are those of Santa's pain-in-the-neck sidekick Ralph played by Taylor Negron (Stuart Little, Spy Hard) and Mr. Victor Garbor (Cinderella-TV, Titanic, Annie-TV) as Whoopi's assistant.The movie is charming and has a heart. It gives you the persepctive of understnading Santa Clause has no boundries, color, shapes, orgins or beliefs - Christmas is the spirit of Love, Giving and there is a little bit of Santa in us all! A good DVD to have for the Holidays. (12-10-03)"
A Holiday Delight destined to be a New Christmas Tradition!
Paige Turner | Hawaii | 12/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have watched this movie over and over again. That's how good it is. I love holidays films in general, but this one tops my list. It is a great mixture of fantasy and reality. Some holiday films get a bit saccarine and syrupy, but with Whoopi's portrayal of the crusty Lucy Cummings keeps the story more down-to-earth and prevents the film from drifting into the maudlin. There's some touching and sad moments as well, which makes for a well-balanced story, along with great humor. This movie definitely will be an annual holiday tradition in my home."
This is how a fun Christmas movie should be done
Sheila | USA | 12/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the right way to do a Christmas movie - it's clever, it's fantastic and it isn't afraid to let the real reason for the season be a part of the joy. Anyone who likes to giggle at a movie while wrapping gifts or sing along with kids at Christmas while setting out the nativity will enjoy this movie. The casting is perfect, by the way."