It’s a dark sign when someone can watch Comedy Central and say “Me too!” Following the first season of “Halfway Home,” a show about half a dozen people in a halfway house, we’re subjected to “A Halfway House Christmas,” a blood-stoppingly inane production about–what else?–half a dozen people in a halfway house.
The fact that Bobcat Goldthwait is involved in “A Halfway House Christmas”, even if only as the narrator, should suggest that something really weird is about to happen in front of us. And indeed, it sure does, but it’s not exactly what you’d be hoping for from the man who made mental illness look funny for most of the eighties.
The troubled counselor of an equally troubled halfway house has, for some reason, allowed cameras to film his charges as part of a reality show. Which, of course, unleashes a host of problems as the show’s producer realizes the show is about to flop harder than a “Small Wonder” reunion. Needless to say, this will cause the beleaguered residents of our halfway house to take matters into their own hands. Which, of course, is going to result in… well… at least mild hilarity and some lukewarm hijinks along with a little of that old, warmed-over Yuletide spirit. Like, for example, a too-long joke sequence about the house cat’s name. Is it “Wreather”, as the residents claim, or is it “Reefer”? Hmm… who cares?
There’s also a lot of drama in here… too bad it’s really pretty stale and predictable. Setting addicts up to relapse and watching them struggle against their inner demons isn’t exactly what you’d call brand new. Or high-brow, for that matter.
In fact, I feel bad for old Bobcat. At least his brief stint on “Married… With Children” had some cohesiveness to the plot. This horrific wreck relies on gay stereotypes, half-assed drama, even MORE half-assed comedy, and actually manages to repeat itself. For a movie only fifty minutes long, wasting time repeating itself, as opposed to blowing that same amount of time on developing the characters or explaining the plot with sufficient holes to make me think the script was written on cheesecloth, is just plain insulting.
The greatest insult, however, will come at the end of the movie, when it’s revealed a possible sequel is in the works. That’s right, “A Halfway House Summer” might well be only a couple months away. So start drinking now–maybe by then it’ll be funny.
How drunk do you have to be to find this movie good? I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t want to know. I suspect that getting sufficiently hammered to enjoy “A Halfway House Christmas” would require my admission to a halfway house. Let’s just mutually reach the conclusion that it’d require a whole lot of hooch to make this turd sparkle, and that we’re all a whole lot better off with Chevy Chase for our Christmas movie fix.