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A Diva's Christmas Carol

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Vanessa Williams, Kathy Griffin. A hip-hop remake of the immortal classic A Christmas Carol about a superstar singer who is visited by three sharp-witted ghosts intent on changing her ways. 2000/color/88 min/PG/fullscreen.


A new twist on an old classic, this VH1 production may not look like the Dickens favorite with Alistair Sim, but it's true to its spirit. Vanessa Williams is "Ebony Scrooge," a miserly Diana Ross-type singer. She was once part of 1980s trio Desire, but Marli Jacob (TLC's Chilli) was killed in a car crash and Ebony abandoned Terry for a solo career. While in New York for a "charity" concert--designed to benefit her more than anyone else--Ebony is visited by four spirits. First comes Marli, followed by the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Suddenly Susan's Kathy Griffin), Present (Duran Duran's John Taylor), and Future. The last is a tragically humorous episode of Behind the Music, featuring cameos by Nile Rodgers and Brian McKnight. It's enough to make a diva change her wicked ways--some of them, at any rate. Williams sings several songs, notably "Sleigh Ride" and "Heartquake." --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Vanessa Williams, Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas, John Taylor, Brian McNamara, Kathy Griffin
  • Directors: Richard Schenkman
  • Writers: Richard Schenkman
  • Producers: Claudio Castravelli, Erica Christensen, Jean Guy Despres, Michael A. Puliatch, Patricia Clifford
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 19, 2002
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JMRI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,652 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Diva's Christmas Carol" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Christina Dougherty on December 26, 2002
Format: DVD
I thoroughly enjoyed this version of "A Christmas Carol" for many different reasons. The main reason being that I own several versions of "A Christmas Carol" and I find that this is the ONLY one that allows characters to act like real people.
Bob Cractchett DOES stand up for himself, though in a caring manner....Mrs. Cratchett is NOT happy that her husband spends so much time at work and lets him know this...Tim Cratchett is an ill child without being so saintly sweet that's he's unbelievable.
Many of the lines are gems...."Who the Dickens are you calling boy?" is my favorite, as it pays homage to Charles Dickens, and the tiresome "God Bless Us, Every One" isn't spoken by Tim but by a member of the band in a completely new way. I think that "A Diva's Christmas Carol" has some of the sharpest writing for a Christmas movie to come along in awhile.
While Vanessa Williams is good as Ebony Scrooge, the best member of the cast is Brian McNamara as Bob Cratchett. For the first time, you see Bob Cratchett as a real man, torn between his job and his family. McNamara's scene during "Christmas Future" almost brings a tear to your eye because he's superb at showing the depth of the character, without making it so syrupy that you don't care.
The cast is rounded out by various "Music Industry" personalities, none of whom are major stand-outs but play their parts adequately.
I gave this a 4 star rating rather than a 5 star for two reasons: The lack of special effects (when Marley removes her face, you're shown this from the back), and a heavy scene from Ebony's past showing her abusive father. If shooting Marley's face removal from the back was to shield children from a potentially gross scene, it was incongruous along with all of the "*itch" comments.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Darren on December 12, 2002
Format: DVD
A witty, musical new twist on the old classic, this VH1 production casts Vanessa Williams as a miserly and grinchy "Ebony Scrooge,". Ebony was once part of a popular 80s singing trio, but after one of the trio is killed in an auto accident, Ebony embarks on a solo career characterized by extreme narcissism and greed. While in New York for a "charity" concert, designed to benefit no one but herself, Ebony is visited by four spirits who want to make her change her wicked ways.
Suddenly Susan's Kathy Griffin gives a noteworthy performance as the sarcastic, tongue and cheek spirit of Christmas Past. Also making appearances are TLC's Chilli, John Taylor from Duran Duran, Brian McKnight and Nile Rogers.
Williams acting isn't the most fluid but her singing is superb. Her articulate vocals in the Christmas songs she sings in this movie provide some great "built in" holiday music videos. The "Sleigh Ride" sequence will quickly get you into the holiday spirit and the "Heartquake" sequence provides some humorous musical 80's nostaligia.
Vanessa Williams holiday musical numbers from this movie would make a great Christmas soundtrack and I'm very surprised VH 1 hasn't already released and marketed it.
Overall, those who love music, Christmas and/or the vocals of Vanessa Williams, will enjoy this fun remake of a treasured holiday classic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MickeyJoe on November 27, 2009
Format: DVD
I am a HUGE Christmas Carol and Scrooge fan. I collect all versions and I'm very particular with current adaptations. Many of them I go in not expecting much. With this, I was expecting the worse. The is before Vanessa's career revival in Ugly Betty, and before Dreamgirls as a movie was even in the works. And Kathy Griffin was extremely D-List at the time. Griffin starting things off as Ghost of Christmas past was quite humorous. You never really remember the first ghost, but there is no escaping this welcomed thorn in Ebony Scrooge's side. Throw in a little TLC and Duran Duran, and the stellar appearance of Future in the form of a "Behind The Music" episode where she is forced to see how people really thought of her.

The entire script was clever, witty and unpredictable. And that is hard to say with a story that has been twisted so many times through the years. And, my lord, the fictitious 1980's music video for the group "Desire" of which she was lead, is just so spot on. Williams was perfect for this role, and honestly, I am sure she got the Betty gig due to this performance.

The entire scenario sounds horrid, absurd and sacrilegious, I know. But if you are a die-hard Scrooge fan like me, you will find this refreshing. It still stirs the right emotions at the right times, and it is in fact very touching, with a great ending. Who knew this could be possible from a VH1 production?!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 7, 2005
Format: DVD
I like Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol story and I like all of the different movie adaptations of the story and I have several of them on DVD which includes about three that were modern takes on the tale and I must say that out of all the modernized versions this is my favorite and I think this movie was very good and had some scenes and lines that were very humorous and the special effects were pretty good too. Vanessa Williams was very good as Ebony Scrooge a pop star who has become a major diva prone to temper tantrums and treats her staff and everyone else with disrespect and has become greedy and miserly but on Christmas Eve night she is visited by the ghost of Marley her childhood friend and former member of her old singing group who had died a year earlier and has come back to warn her that unless she changes her ways she will be doomed just like she is and later on she is visited by the sassy Spirit of Christmas Past played by Kathy Griffin from the sitcom Suddenly Susan and then from the Spirit of Christmas Present played by John Taylor from the 80's rock band Duran Duran and then by the Spirit of Christmas yet to come which is actually depicted as a very humorous episodes of VH1's Behind the Music. This was originally shown on VH1 and I recommend this to any fan of the Christmas Carol story who is open to different interpitations of it and is not a diehard purist who can only enjoy a Christmas Carol movie if it's exactly like the book so if you are open to something different then I highly recommend this DVD! Also if you enjoyed this movie check out for TV listings for amovie called Ebbie starring Susan Lucci from the Soap Opera All My Children. Ebbie isn't as good as A Diva's Christmas Carol but Susan Lucci also plays a female Scrooge and it's pretty good. Unfortunately that version doesn't seem to be available on DVD or video so you would have to check for TV listings!
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A Diva's Christmas Carol
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