Ebenita's Just Okay
Needless to say with the title "Ms. Scrooge" that here we have yet another movie based upon Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and another TV movie version to boot. But this version is a twist on the original with Cicely Tyson playing a more modern female version of Scrooge and whilst it follows the same narrative which the various paranormal visitations what we witness is different to the original with the death of Scrooge's father being one of the various changes. As such I admire the attempt to alter the classic storyline but the end result unfortunately ends up weak and corny with Cicely Tyson forced to over act as the famous miser.
So as I said "Ms. Scrooge" follows the traditional narrative of "A Christmas Carol" with Scrooge being visited by various spirits and shown the error of her ways but it is a tampered version. The various alterations include Ms. Ebenita Scrooge having once been employed by Maude Marley before climbing the business ladder and of course we have Cicely Tyson as a female version of the Christmas miser. We also have variations in the story with a different series of events when Scrooge is taken back by the spirit of Christmas Past which include her parents struggling financially and her father's death. There are a lot of other variations but these variations don't alter the purpose of these scenes such as establishing why money became important to Scrooge or how Cratchit appreciates Scrooge despite being tough.
The thing is that whilst the actual interpretation of Dickens' story is good the final result is not so good. I hate to say this but as a TV movie the limited budget really shows and "Ms. Scrooge" comes across as an incredibly cheap production with limited effects. It also feels limited when it comes to the dialogue which is often dull and lacking the sharpness of other versions. In fact it also lacks the humour of other versions which makes it a bit monotonous.
But the worst thing is that Cicely Tyson is forced to overact in order to try and create a character and it is painful. Watching Tyson as Ebenita Scrooge growl is never convincing but neither is it comical it is just corny. Tyson is not the only one who struggles as so many of the cast struggle with the poor dialogue and thinly written characters they are given to try and make work.
What this all boils down to is that "Ms. Scrooge" is actually a good idea for an update of Dickens' classic but the final product sadly suffers from various limitations and ends up far too often corny.