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Ernest saves Christmas and puts it on display for the whole world
Ernest P. Worrell, Jim Varney's famous rubber-faced redneck goof, is a child in a man's gangly, big-mouthed body. His antics get him both into and out of trouble and he's probably never said a harsh word about anybody in his life. Especially his faceless friend who avoids him at all costs: Vern.
The story follows a cab driver named Ernest who picks up Santa (Douglas Seale) as a fare one day, a couple days before Christmas. He's come to pass the title of Santa on to former kids' show host Joe Carruthers (Oliver Clark). Through a series of events, Ernest ends up with Santa's sack and a runaway girl calling herself Harmony Star (Noelle Parker), Joe ends up filming a movie called Christmas Slay, and Santa ends up in prison.
Varney's made several movies with this redneck rube, but of all of them, the one that best comes together for me is Ernest Saves Christmas. It's probably because, with everything else happening in the movie, we're distracted from the idiocy of Ernest himself which can be hard to see from an adult standpoint.
Another thing that works for this movie is the way they use Ernest's penchant for playing various characters. Here they seem to be used well and grow out of the actual needs of the story.
The comedy works well and the story is something that could have worked on its own without being an Ernest movie. It could be stronger, but maybe not without dropping or greatly changing the character of Ernest.
And I do enjoy some of the things Ernest says. "Call it a fifth sense. A flash of intermission." That just makes me smile.
This one gets a 7 / 10.
Ernest Saves Christmas is rated PG for a couple mildly crude gags.
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