WWE Films, 2015
It’s hard to believe that just a year ago, Paige was really in WWE’s good graces, starring on Total Divas and Tough Enough AND getting animated as part of the Camp WWE cast while Hulk Hogan was getting edited out.
And while you’ll be sure to read about all of those things on this site in due time, it’s December, which means that Christmas crap gets special consideration.
And that brings us to “Santa’s Little Helper”, Paige’s straight-to-DVD debut, a by-the-numbers family comedy about Christmas miracles turning a curmudgeonly protagonist into a hero with a heart of gold.
With this shot just a minute into the film, they’ve already established that the main character is a jackass.
See what I mean?
Not exactly playing against type, Miz’s character “Dax” is a smug jerk who parks in handicapped spots, evicts recently-defrauded youth centers from buildings, and calls his girlfriend, “babe.”
All of these hints lead the audience to believe that Miz has no friends, that he’s incredibly self-centered, and that he’s not a very likable person. Don’t believe me? Listen to the script.
Real early on, Miz gets fired from his job at his unnamed place of business, which is one of the largest and most powerful businesses in its particular field of business.
He doesn’t take it lying down, instead taking a hard hat that had been lying around his boss’s office (of course) and smashing his glass table with it before being tossed out of the BusinessCorp building by security.
Then, he gets dumped by his girlfriend, has his company car repossessed, and gets a foreclosure notice for his house.
And to top it all off, during one of his late-night walks to yell at the youth center, he gets propositioned by a street-corner Santa Claus. At least that’s how Miz sees it.
The good news is that, up at the North Pole, one of those famous, lovable elves is falling victim to a debilitating dementia.
Twixel the elf, who has served as Santa’s Number Two for two hundred years, is going senile and is retiring. That will leave a vacancy in the post of Head Office Herald Of Holiday Operations, or HOHOHO.
Twixel’s daughter Eleanor, played by Paige, thinks she’s owed the spot. Unfortunately, she’s a mean elf. Mean and racist. Just listen to the disgusting slur she calls her fellow elf and Santa’s personal trainer, Billie.
Then again, Santa called her “round-eared”, too, but he’s round-eared himself, so that’s different.
Santa has other ideas for his new HOHOHO, selecting Billie…
…not to be his top helper (you know, because of the ear thing), but to travel to the land of the humans to vet his real prospect, the Miz.
Paige can’t have that, so she turns up the charm for Fitz, who operates the Peppermint Portal to the outside world, with implied promises of elf-sex in the future.
The North Pole, by the way, has trees and pavement in this movie, despite being covered in ice with no landmass underneath. Seriously, did they even consult a cartographer for this film? And isn’t there a whole History Channel show based on the fact that you can’t pave a road on ice? Plus, there’s daylight, despite the North Pole being pitch black this time of year.
What I’m saying is, between the wanton destruction of property and Alzheimer’s, this movie has such a promising start, but within minutes it loses all its gritty realism and goes completely off the rails.
Way down south in normie territory, Billie tells Miz about the job offer, but won’t reveal what line of business her “high-profile” boss is in. I bet it’s drugs.
Billie’s first test of Miz’s character involves sending him to a biker bar and telling one of the patrons that he dinged his motorcycle.
The tough guys at the bar rag on him for his weird hat. “Shut up, Weird-Hat!” they say.
But once they find out about the damage to the bike, they get violent. Luckily for the Miz, the bikers learned how to fight at the Mr. Fuji School of Martial Arts, as every single bit of offense they attempt ends up backfiring and hurting their friends.
Within a single fight scene, Miz ducks out of the way five times and another guy gets hit. Miz is very good at moving out of the way.
Just ask R-Truth.
His luck runs out when the bartender, played by his wife Maryse, punches him out.
Back at the Miz household, Billie can’t believe that Santa’s number-one prospect doesn’t have any Christmas decorations. It turns out that the reason Miz doesn’t like Christmas is that he never got presents as a kid because he was poor and/or neglected.
It’s around this time that Fitz the elf shows up for some wacky misadventures. A totally extraneous character who feels like he was made up in a hurry because too many kids auditioned for the school play, Fitz is the film’s comic relief, which bodes poorly for the movie, considering that it is supposed to be a comedy to begin with.
Fitz the Elf has a strange fetish where he dresses up in other people’s clothes: first Santa’s, then Miz’s. He even dances in a shirt and boxers like in Risky Business to the best old-time rock ’n’ roll money can buy without paying Bob Seger’s royalty fees.
He is also known for his jokes and his deadpan delivery (so named because you’ll want to beat him to death with a cast-iron skillet every time he shows up, tells a joke, and then says, “just kidding”).
Miz’s next task is to entertain kids at a Chuck E. Cheese-style restaurant and playroom, all while dressed as a monkey. Miz initially tries to punch the kids out, but is told that his prospective boss frowns upon that.
Instead he has to just take their abuse, such as being pelted by phallic toy cannons.
There is a cake involved in one scene, so according to the wrestling rule book…
…it has to get smashed in someone’s face.
In this case, it’s the bratty birthday boy, shocking the Angry Miz Moms.
A food fight breaks out to the strains of what I think is supposed to be a rip-off of Rapper’s Delight about hip-hop music.
In fact, that’s what the song’s called.
As their children pelt each other with food, the parents are now thrilled.
As their elf-normie chemistry develops, Billie can’t believe that the Miz finds a round-eared freak like her attractive. I suppose the years of ridicule from Paige and Santa Claus (who once told Rudolph’s dad to be ashamed of himself for having a red-nosed son) have taken their toll on her self-esteem, but she still can’t let on that she’s an elf.
The Miz’s next assignment is to lead exercises at an old folks’ home where the elderly residents are seated around the TV mindlessly glaring at the screen. And what, pray tell, is playing on the tube?
Total Divas. Truly, a wretched existence.
The old ladies there won’t budge and instead yell at Miz to take his shirt off.
Miz reluctantly obliges. There is no way they would play this for comedy in a family film if the genders were reversed, and it was an elderly man yelling at—
“Maybe she should take her shirt off!” says an old man.
Regardless, Miz gets the horny seniors up and moving.
En route to his next task, Miz helps a mugging victim recover a precious heirloom, proving himself worthy of the position of top elf.
Back at the soon-to-be-repossessed Mizanin household, Billie gives in and reveals her boss’s identity. Miz doesn’t believe it. He doesn’t outright say that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, as this is a family film, but he does ask her where her pointy ears are if she’s an elf. Billie says her round ears are a genetic defect, and Miz looks like a jerk again.
Santa himself, who, it turns out, was secretly the man who had been mugged, shows up to straighten Miz out both in his Santa-skepticism and in life.
You know, if Santa can just teleport from place to place, why bother with the reindeer at all, especially that freak Rudolph?
Santa presents Miz with visions of what life would be like if he had never been born. I mean, if he had never left the Youth Center.
As a kid, the Miz was falsely accused of stealing money from the very youth center he would later try to destroy, turning him jaded and robbing him of his dream of being an astronaut.
But he didn’t steal it; it was the same guy who just stole the Youth Center’s money again, causing them to miss their rent payment. That’s right, it was Mr… uh, I don’t know. No one working on this movie bothered naming one of its key villains.
Now sufficiently degrinchified, Miz gets teleported to the North Pole to accept his new position.
But just when Miz is being named the new HOHOHO, Paige rains on his parade and challenges him for the spot. In accordance with the North Pole rule book, she receives a championship opportunity. Except they don’t call it a championship opportunity, because no one would ever utter those words in the real world, even a real world that includes elves and magic.
They warp to the obstacle course from Tough Enough 2015, where some serious trash-talking ensues. Paige says Miz reminds her of a person she’d met before… a person named Pathetic Loser!
Racing towards the finish line Paige and Miz go full-contact trying to take the lead, with Paige at one point dropping Miz right on his balls.
His man-balls, that is!
After the two take turns trying to kill each other…
…Paige wins with a headbutt and attempts to claim the title of HOHOHO.
But Santa still isn’t keen on the idea, postponing her official swearing-in and praising her opponent.
The rest of the pointy-eared elves aren’t thrilled about Paige winning, either (though, due to the high cost of advanced ear prosthesis, Paige is the only elf in the entire movie whose pointy ears are ever visible).
Miz may not have gotten the job, but he can still make something of his life, starting with using a magic elf bell to save the Youth Center.
Miz teleports the unnamed crooked Youth Center director to the scene of the crime and accuses him of stealing the Center’s money and fleeing to the Canary Islands.
The police officers on the scene arrest the man immediately, figuring that if someone can materialize another person out of thin air, they should probably just take his word for it about everything he says.
But that’s not stopping CommerceCo and its CEO from taking over the Youth Center and demolishing it, as the Center still hadn’t paid up on time.
Santa and his elf then pop into existence right in front of Miz’s old boss. The boss, in turn, laughs in Miz’s face about a mall Santa showing up at the scene, unfazed by the previous sentence.
The CEO of Corporation, Inc. cannot be moved by mere defiance of the known laws of physics, let alone the pleas of the youths at the Youth Center…
…or “Centre”, as their signs say. Maybe Paige did the proofreading?
But what Christmas spirit and solidarity can’t achieve, blackmail can; Miz threatens to expose his boss’s shady accounting at Company Enterprises unless he lets the Youth Center stay.
To everyone’s delight, blackmail saves the day, and the Youth Center is saved!
And as for the matter of who will be Santa’s new helper, Santa cites a little-known rule requiring good sportsmanship of competitors for the HOHOHO title, thus disqualifying Paige, who kicked and scratched her way to victory. But the Miz did the exact same thing, and Santa praised him for fulfilling all of the qualities of a HOHOHO! And plus, most of the obstacle course was single-file anyway, so you couldn’t pass your opponent without knocking them out of the way. Paige is getting screwed!
So Santa disqualifies Paige after the fact, and awards the title following the Dusty Finish to…
…Billie, the round-ears. Even Stevie Wonder saw that twist coming, and he doesn’t even own this DVD!
But at least Billie gets to be what every little girl dreams of: the HOHOHO.
And I managed to go the whole induction without making a hooker joke about that name.
The movie ends with this unflattering freeze-frame and the sneeriest pop-punk Christmas carol you ever did hear. The version from The Christmas Story was better enunciated than this.
But the important thing is that Billie and Miz live happily ever after. Plus, the fact that Billie the elf will probably outlive Miz and all other humans by hundreds of years opens the door for a whole slew of sequels with a different male lead each time.