CINEMA: Too Much of a Gooey

A pair of Santa movies bears overstuffed sacks of sentiment

SANTA CLAUS? OF COURSE WE BELieve in him. If we can believe in Newt Gingrich we can believe in anything. The real question is, Do we believe in Santa Claus movies? There are two on screens at the moment, and the best that can be said for them is that they offer a clear-cut choice: you can take your seasonal dose of sappy sentiment either in stuffy traditional or tacky modernist form. Miracle on 34th Street, as befits a remake we probably don't need, offers us a Santa Claus cut along classic lines -- round, twinkly and played with a nice,...

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