Stephanie Sottile’s 31 Days Of Christmas – Day 3: Lost Christmas
We’ve made it 3 days! That’s a weekend vacation! You, dear reader, should pat yourself on the back for that (even I wouldn’t spend 3 days with me…and I kind of have to). Our film today grew out of a very strange obsession I developed a few years ago about Eddie Izzard and before you close this web browser window and go back to XHamster, I can explain. Normally if I ever discover something new, I become completely obsessed with it and a few years ago, while it wasn’t the first time I’ve heard of Eddie Izzard (famed, knighted, British comedian), it was for some strange reason, a time when my brain just decided, “Hey- you know how I occupy your mind with useful things like news or social interactions or pictures of your dog? Well, I’m erasing ALL of that for a few months because I need to make room for every stand up special or movie Eddie Izzard has ever done. K THX BYE!” And thus, we are here- watching a very obscure, very British, Christmas movie starring Eddie Izzard from 2011.
This film’s constant theme is one you could’ve easily learned just from reading the title: “lost.” It hammers that theme over your head for 90 minutes straight about “lost things” or “finding lost things” whilst piano music consistently scores this very dramatic journey. Although, we see a cute puppy 30 seconds into the film, so already, not too bad!
We are greeted with the text, “Last Christmas Eve” and meet Goose: an adolescent child waking up on Christmas Eve morning to a new puppy that his family (mom, dad, and grandma) surprised him with. Aww, what a sweet family moment that’s about to be ruined in approximately 3 minutes! His dad, Paul, suddenly needs to leave for work and feeling angry, Goose hides his keys and the butterfly effect commences! Paul needs his wife to drive him, but she’s not looking at the road, and in a very oddly placed freeze frame/bright light combined with the sound of glass breaking, we are given the impression there was a car crash and both parents, Paul and Linda, have died. I have seen commercials with more graphic car crashes, so why a film that will soon show to have so many heartbreaking elements decide to forego the crash is yet to be explained. Cut back to the present day Christmas Eve to see Goose’s life as an orphan: his grandmother is riddled with Alzheimer’s and he spends his time stealing items for his father’s old friend and fellow fireman, Frank, who pays Goose for the items. Happy Holidays indeed! Except now, his dog has suddenly disappeared and Goose needs to stop his grandma from putting the turkey into the washing machine. Although, that’s at least halfway England’s fault; why do they put the washer and dryer in the kitchen? What’s next? Free healthcare?!
When we meet Eddie Izzard’s character, he’s lying on a street and is found by Frank. He’s mumbling incoherently and is assumed to be drunk, so Frank dismisses him and Izzard wanders into the night. He finds this woman on the street who has lost her gold bangle (or bracelet) and then this is where it gets weird. Izzard touches her hand which causes him to see her backstory to the item she lost- the bangle was a wedding present from her husband who is now presumed to have passed away. There is no explanation as to why Izzard has this magic power, why or how he obtained it, or why strangers allow him to hold their hand. Man, England, are you okay? Do you need a nap? First, the laundry room/kitchen and now strangers feeling up on people. Someone go give England a hug.
Izzard later conjures his magical powers again when he meets Goose and can see he broke into the woman’s house and stole the bangle to give to Frank for money. He also keeps repeating random facts whenever he meets people which definitely seems like something improvised by Izzard: “The hard bit at the end of your shoelace is called an aglet.” “Mel Blanc’s tombstone says ‘That’s All Folks!’” “No, I’m not just called a transvestite, I’m an executive transvestite.” [Alright, sure, that last one was a little Izzard reference for all the COOL people reading this. All you NERDS can see yourself out.] In any event, Goose, understandably freaked out, runs away back to his house. Meanwhile, his grandmother is buttering holiday cards in her kitchen…literally…while Goose’s probation officer (man, this kid is really LOST, HUH?! I’ll…just…see myself out) is trying to speak with her to see where Goose, also known as Richard, is. As you can understand, the only adult who cares for the boy is making a sandwich made by Hallmark so she’s definitely not going to be of any help.
Goose then enlists Frank’s help to find Izzard as he thinks Izzard stole his dog. When they find him in an alley, Izzard performs his “Doctor Who” magic trick on Frank which reveals his heartbreaking tale: he lost a very rare and worthy book, that he used to read to his daughter, one drunken night in a bar and through unexplained reasons, his wife has now taken his daughter and threatened to move to Australia. I say, let them go…they’re going to be way worse off, anyway. They have spiders as big as your head in Australia! They will totally come back to England once they start to miss normal sized insects and a front-load washer next to the fridge.
Soon, we see Izzard, Goose and Frank head to the man’s house, Dr. Clarence, who picked up the book in the bar after Frank had left it (thanks to Izzard’s omnipotence) where once again, people allow Izzard to touch them so he can find their deepest, most gut-wrenching secrets and this time, we see Dr. Clarence has also lost something (surprise!). His wife, many moons ago, wrote him a goodbye letter but…alas! A gust of wind blew the letter under the floorboards and now thanks to this godlike stranger, Dr. Clarence can read it and get closure…which…for some reason makes him give up a book worth thousands and thousands of dollars? Sure, why not? Hey, can Eddie Izzard hold my hand and show me the lost logic in the plot? I also want to be shown a world where people can just leave entire relationships and completely disappear without any follow-up. If I don’t answer a text for more than 20 minutes, people think I’m in someone’s freezer. I also want a magic homeless man to show me what court system would allow a spouse to kidnap their daughter and move out of the country…especially to a place with giant snakes and spiders!
After Frank leaves the trio to go give the book to his wife and daughter, Goose and Izzard (who is nameless through the film as he doesn’t know who he is himself) head to the sleazy jeweler who bought the bangle from Frank. After trying to haggle with Goose for £150 for information on who he sold it to, they leave to find the woman in question. Ah, yes…an adult hustling money out of children on Christmas: it truly is the season of thanks and giving. Oh- wait- that’s Thanksgiving, isn’t it? Well, screw this kid then, he should know better. Although he’s been running around town with a strange homeless man who touches people so I feel like this kid doesn’t make the best choices. His next choice is to get on a bus with Magic Man and head to the woman who bought the bangle and in a not-so-surprising twist of fate, this woman is connected to Goose as his dad’s job last Christmas Eve was supposed to be to save this woman’s child from drowning in freezing water. Well, …we can see how well that worked out! There’s a lot of crying and a lot of yelling, so let’s magic to the climax of Goose finally giving the bangle back to the woman he stole it from. And look, the whole gang is here! Eddie Izzard and that childless woman! Why are they here, you may ask? Don’t worry if it’s…LOST on you! HAHAHA! Okay, no really, I’ll show myself out real soon.
But first…let me touch your hand. Don’t be scared. I can see people who have lost things. I don’t know who I am and I don’t know who you are, but it’s going to be okay and this is totally appropriate because…I’m special and I speak in broken riddles and I have a cool accent. I can find the lost things for people who have lost them and who feel lost because they lost those lost things. But once I touch you with my mystic hand, your lost things will un-lost themselves and your wife will come back, your child will now be alive, your parents will come back from the dead, your dog will come home, you’ll suddenly be younger and have a whole new start on life. Wait, that doesn’t make sense and isn’t possible? Well, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT FUCKING HAPPENED HERE!
Once Izzard touches Goose, we see that Izzard is actually Goose all grown up and we see what terrible a life he led just by hiding his father’s keys and how this big, bad butterfly effect turned his life to shit. And then…time turned back and it was all undone. Seriously, this is how it ends; like a bad Christmas Eve dream.
FINAL WORDS: There’s a slowed down version of “Simple Having a Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney that plays at the end and after seeing this film 3 times in my life, I don’t know how I ever missed this the first time. I GUESS IT WAS LOST ON ME!
Sometimes you just need to amuse yourself, everybody.