Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.
If you haven’t heard, Grumpy Cat has a movie. On Lifetime, but a movie nonetheless. And I watched it.
And, yes, I also questioned #WhyAmIWatchingThis, as Grumpy Cat jokingly suggested that viewers should ask themselves.
It’s not a good movie — but it’s not supposed to be. They (whoever “they” are) are well aware of that — and they’re rubbing our collective noses in the irony.
But Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever works. Here’s why:
The Grumpy Cat snark? Dead-on. Aubrey Plaza (of Parks and Recreation fame) voiced Grumpy Cat and, for the most part, gave Grumpy Cat the right attitude. As Grumpy Cat points out, “Some are born to greatness, some achieve greatness and some watch Christmas movies starring cats. I think you know which you are.” Indeed we do.
Grumpy Cat’s commentary sounds like the voice the Internet has attributed to her. For instance, she tells the girl at the center of the movie, “I’m embarrassed for you. You are a loser.” She also explains that rather than giving a look of judgment, “This is my look of tacit approval.”
Grumpy Cat is self-aware. At one point, she is on social media during Worst Christmas Ever: “This movie is awful. Oh. Hi. I was just live tweeting my own movie.” She also remarks about selling you stuff during the commercial break, not having a big budget, and peddling Grumpy Cat merchandise.
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever pokes fun at itself, from beginning to end. Perfect example: A Grumpy Cat banner rolls across screen at commercial break, reading “If you’re still watching this, I worry for you.” Everyone — literally everyone — is in on the joke. Early on, the pet shop owner talks about turning Grumpy Cat into an Internet sensation via a viral meme and “maybe a Lifetime movie.”
— Weva Blanket (@WevaBlanket) November 30, 2014
Grumpy Cat is inserted into sequences in such a ridiculous fashion that it’s simply funny. In one scene, she shoots a paintball gun at the bad guys; in another, she is riding shotgun in a Camaro. Ridiculous, impossible, over-the-top. But it works.
Grumpy Cat can entertain just by being there. Seriously. In some scenes, Grumpy Cat is merely lifted into frame. It’s cheesy and absurd. And it works, again.
The jokes are funny. One referenced Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain and the bass player “with the really long name.” Another time, Grumpy Cat remarks that the bad guy being “a limp short of being Keyser Soze.”
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is intentionally silly, nonsensical, and formulaic (at one point, you’ll realize the whole “bad guys” storyline is copied right from Home Alone, which it’s supposed to be) but it delivers on what it sets out to do. It’s the epitome of the corny cable movie. It has magic, talking animals, an adult with a problem, a girl with a problem, mean girls, two people falling in love, and bad guys. Can you think of anything else that belongs in a cheesy movie? Ah, yes. A car chase. It has that, too.
At the end of the day, Grumpy Cat — and Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever — is a spectacle of Internet celebrity. There’s no substance, and there never will be. She is famous (and, presumably raking in the dough) for frowning. Period. If that isn’t the best joke on our celebrity-obsessed culture, I don’t know what is.