by D.W. Lundberg

Friday, December 19, 2014


Ah, Christmas. That time of year when we gather close to the ones we love, preferably in front of a warm fireplace with a cup of fresh wassel in our hands. A time to bask in the warming glow of each other's company with the snow falling in thick blankets outside. A time of peace, joy, and understanding. And if you're Santa Claus in desperate need of finding a wife before your contractual obligation to do so expires on Christmas Eve, a time to come clean to the beautiful high school principal you've been wooing in hopes she'll return with you to the North Pole to live out the rest of her natural life.

Complicated? To say the least. In this scene from Disney's The Santa Clause 2 (2002), Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), shrunk down in size the closer he comes to his deadline, tries to convince the lovely Carol Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell) that he is, in fact, the most famous holiday mascot in the history of the world. Needless to say what happens does not exactly bode well for their relationship. Then again, the last time I tried convincing a girl that I was actually Santa Claus, she reacted in pretty much the same way:

Ah, but lest we forget, Christmas is also a time for reflecting on times past - on those moments and memories that shape us into what we've become, and what we hope to pass on to future generations. And like us, movies can definitely inform other movies. Take this scene from Back To The Future Part III (1990), in which Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), having finally adjusted to life in the Old West, tries to convince his beloved Clara (Mary Steenburgen) that he is, in fact, not a well-respected blacksmith from town but a reclusive scientist/inventor front the year 1985. Their conversation goes about as well as expected, although to be honest, every time I've tried breaking it off with a girl by telling her I had to travel one hundred years into the future, her reaction was pretty much the same:

The situations may be different, but the structure of each individual scene is unmistakably similar. The average length of each clip, for example, or the fact that they take place at roughly the same time (1:06 into Back To The Future, 1:08 into The Santa Clause 2). Even the shot structure is basically the same, of the shot/reverse shot, over-the-shoulder variety:

Then there's the dialogue. At first, both Carol and Clara (cripes, even their names sound alike!) seem open to their lover's "confession" - until, that is, he gets to the inevitable truth, which of course she takes as a personal attack:

Now thoroughly hurt and humiliated, Carol/Clara slam their front door firmly in his face, leaving Scott/Emmett wounded on the porch:

Finally, each scene ends with our hero trudging off (presumably) to live a meaningless and solitary existence, while the love of his life nurses the shattered remnants of her heart:

Not to worry, though. It all turns out candy canes and cinnamon bears for everyone in the end. After all, this is Christmas... would we have it any other way?


Interested in more Movie Coincidences of the Day? Click here for our introductory article. Then click herehereherehere, here, and here for everything after.

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