Ernest Saves Christmas

Watch Ernest Saves Christmas

"A Holiday Comedy Unlike Any Other!"
  • PG
  • 1988
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 5.7  (12,816)
  • 44

Ernest Saves Christmas is a heartwarming comedy-drama movie from 1988 that centers around the character of Ernest P. Worrell, famously portrayed by Jim Varney. Directed by John R. Cherry III, the film is a holiday classic that has been enjoyed by generations of adults and children alike. The movie enters with Santa Claus, played by Douglas Seale, getting ready to retire, and all he wants to do is find the perfect replacement for his position as the next "Santa Claus." With Santa's powers on the wane, he fears he won't be able to deliver all of the gifts to the world's children before he retires. At a crowded Orlando airport one evening, he chances upon a hapless cab driver named Ernest, played by Jim Varney, and takes him on a journey that Ernest will never forget.

Ernest is just an everyday guy who loves Christmas and has an unwavering belief in Santa Claus. The part was perfectly cast for Jim Varney, who imbues the character with an endearing charm, innocence, and comedic timing. When Santa enlists his help in locating his successor, Ernest is initially hesitant, but the opportunity to ride alongside the jolly old elf cannot be ignored.

Meanwhile, we meet struggling children's talent agent, Harmony Star, played by Noelle Parker. As an agent in Hollywood, she's seen it all and has become quite jaded. She crosses paths with Santa, who he hopes will lend her a hand with his search for his replacement. However, as they make their way through the city, their seeking of help attracts the attention of the sly taxi driver, who recognizes the opportunity to make a quick buck by taking them for a ride.

We learn that Santa Claus is searching for someone who embodies the true spirit of Christmas, and although Ernest has to deal with his own problems, he becomes an important part of Santa's mission. What ensues is a hilarious and heartwarming holiday adventure as unlikely heroes Ernest, Santa, and Harmony go on a mission to save Christmas.

The film's director, John R. Cherry III, did a fantastic job of creating an awe-inspiring Christmas world, filled with imagination and wonder. The script is genuinely funny, with many clever gags, some of which are still pop-cultural among fans of the movie. It's hard to describe the feeling one gets when watching the gleeful Ernest, wide-eyed and innocent, encountering Santa Claus in the flesh for the very first time. The movie exemplifies the true meaning of Christmas and the magic of the season, and it's hard not to feel thrilled and uplifted by the end.

The performances are all-around excellent. Jim Varney is, of course, the shining star of the film, bringing both the laughs and the heart to the role of Ernest P. Worrell. Douglas Seale embodies a very caring and jovial Santa Claus, imbuing the character with an endearing warmth that aligns perfectly with the story. Noelle Parker is also delightful, playing a tough-talking woman who refers to herself in the third person.

Overall, if you are a fan of Christmas movies, Ernest Saves Christmas is a must-see. It's a unique combination of comedy, adventure, and seasonal cheer – all wrapped up in a memorable and hilarious package. It's easy to recommend the movie to anyone who loves film and a healthy dose of holiday spirit.

Ernest Saves Christmas is a 1988 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7 and a MetaScore of 44.

Ernest Saves Christmas
Where to Watch Ernest Saves Christmas
Ernest Saves Christmas is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Disney+, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Ernest Saves Christmas for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (12,816)
  • Metascore