John C. Reilly as Santa Claus is…Different

A lot of mythical figures have been seen in a lot of different ways over the years, and Santa Claus is no exception since as one of the favorite characters of all time he’s one of those that people feel the need to play with now and then when it comes to his character, his appearance, and even his overall story. Imagining John C. Reilly as Santa Claus in O Night Divine is kind of a different way to look at the jolly old St. Nick, but one has to remember that Fatman with Mel Gibson was another way to look at Santa, and not exactly in the best light. By comparison, this story is far more positive since it’s a little bit depressing, to begin with given that it deals with Santa taking a much-needed break at a ski resort while other individuals go about their own stories in a manner that will bring together and create a pleasing narrative that finds a happy ending for those that deserve it and allows the movie to end on a fairly high note, even if it’s still more artistic in nature than many Santa Claus movies tend to be. 

It should be fairly easy to state that a lot of movies having to do with Santa Claus and even just Christmas tend to play to the masses and incorporate humor as well as drama into a pleasing mix that satisfies the family-friendly setting in all of us. But with some movies, it appears to become necessary to stimulate more than just the basic, feelgood senses that a lot of people keep fully engaged during the holidays Some movies decide to challenge us, our ideas of Christmas, and what it really means to be content when it comes to one of the most mass-marketed holidays in the world. The craziness of the Christmas holiday often overwhelms a lot of people, so why wouldn’t it do the same for a man that’s said to deliver presents all over the world in the kind of record-time that few if any people could really challenge?

As it’s already been seen in a couple of movies, Santa Claus is expected to live, eat, breathe, and exist for Christmas, since this has become a holiday that was started for a much different reason but has transitioned into something that has been given a different outlook entirely over the years. But what if Santa needed to take a break? It’s feasible, right? He might get tired of the breakneck pace that he has to set so often, and might need to just accept that he has to take a day off now and then to get his mind right and work on a little self-care that might be the best thing for him. It’s not hard t all to think that someone that works so hard all year for one special night might need to unwind and let himself relax before he goes completely psychotic. That feels like the type of character that Reilly might exemplify since, in a lot of movies that he’s been featured in, many of his roles have seen him either take on the appearance of someone that society expects a lot of or someone that society has kind of forgotten about. 

Reilly definitely isn’t the last person that anyone might pick to see as Santa Claus, but at the same time he brings a different look and feel to the role that’s easy to imagine as something that people might feel is a bit stranger than many. When one thinks back to all of the actors that have put on the Santa suit for one or more movies, it’s fair to think that Reilly would be one of those that are seen as a bit of an outlier when it comes to his take on the role of St. Nick, but to be fair, he does strike a person as someone that might be good at it from a certain point of view. His ability to step into a role and make it his own is just as good as anyone else’s, and despite the fact that many people do see him as a comedic figure thanks to many of the movies he’s starred in, Reilly has been capable of performing in dramatic pieces for quite some time as well. 

After all, he has been in movies such as Hoffa and Dolores Claiborne, so it’s not hard to think that he can adapt to whatever a movie needs him to be when it comes to taking on one role or another. Santa Claus is one role that still feels like it’s reserved for those that can pull it off since it’s not likely that people would believe in someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger as Santa or any other action star. They might accept it, but it wouldn’t be believable. Reilly is one of those that can pull off such a transition though, and no matter how people feel about this movie, it works on a couple of levels. 


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