TV film fare -- week of Dec. 5, 2021

NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Dec. 5. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.

Sunday, Dec. 5, 10:39 a.m.-1:09 p.m. EST (AMC) "Fred Claus" (2007). Generally funny yet bittersweet tale of a sad-sack Chicago repo man (Vince Vaughn) who travels to the North Pole to help his younger, more popular brother, St. Nicholas (Paul Giamatti), at Christmas, while a devious efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) threatens to shut down the elves' toy factory. Underneath the laughs, Dan Fogelman's script is a surprisingly resonant take on sibling rivalry, with lots of heart-tugging sentiment, and solid messages about family, self-esteem, forgiveness and, ultimately, redemption. Under David Dobkin's deft direction, there's sharp work by the leads and the classy supporting cast (Miranda Richardson, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates and John Michael Higgins). Mild innuendo, an implied premarital living arrangement, a suggestive costume and some crass humor and expressions. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.