Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever
Written by Tim Hill and Jeff Morris
Directed by Tim Hill
What to do about Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever? That is the mystery, because the noxious exploitation of a deformed cat has already got everyone beat by predicting their own movie would be awful and makes that joke over and over again. And in a way, the movie is awful. But in a way, part of it isn’t. Part of it tries so hard and comes so far, but in the end, it really doesn’t matter. It’s crawling in its own skin, and other lyrics. This isn’t going to be an angry screed against the film, because it doesn’t deserve that, and angry rants against this movie will seem forced and uninteresting. It’s more of a statement on the film and US culture today.
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever takes place in a mall, once the bastion of American consumerism. Malls are dying all over America, as shopping moves online, teenagers switch up where they hang out, and overpriced chain stores fail to compete with discount chains as far as the shrinking wallet of American consumers is concerned. The economic recovery that produced jobs that pay insultingly low raises, people trapped due to lack of opportunity, young people graduating to a world where they can’t find a job related to their degrees. Into this world we dump a movie about a talking deformed cat.
The mall setting mirrors with the commercial exploitation of the Grumpy Cat into a marketing line. Grumpy Cat is no longer a cat, but a product. The movie even includes scenes that hawk the Grumpy Cat website and Grumpy Cat swag. Grumpy Cat is a success story for the owner, who went from being a waitress to a millionaire, built on the back of a cat and not any actual talent. It’s all about selling out, making all the money you can possibly rake in. The film is even set up in a mall pet store, not an animal shelter. A pet store filled with animals begging for homes, but the only one with a future is a papered pedigree dog worth a million dollars. The animals are commodities, their personalities disabled by a dismissive quip or two from Grumpy Cat.