I'll Have A Shoe Christmas Without You
Now that the intricate juxtaposition of differing classes has been handled with all the deft subtlety of a Jeff Foxworthy routine, let's advance us some plot, shall we? Nathan Andrews's class is listening to a fairy tale about magic dancing shoes; St. Maggie of the Granite State, who is in the class that day to volunteer because she is a selfless innocent, gets all misty-eyed when the tale turns to talk of how the little girl with the magic dancing shoes would gavotte with the angels. "I used to have a pair of shoes just like that," she sniffles. "I know it sounds corny" -- it does -- "but whenever I put them on and danced, it was just wonderful." The non-comprehending dismissive stare of one of the pudgier kids in the classroom perfectly sums up my feelings about that line -- maybe the pudgy kid and I can room together in Hell. On the bright side, Maggie sure does seem moved by the thought of those shoes -- sounds like they would make a great Christmas gift if she were to take ill all of sudden. You know, like in that song that has the same title as this movie.
Because, frankly, I'm starting to worry about Maggie. As she's setting up for the school concert that night -- yes, she's a volunteer music teacher to, you godless savages -- the simple act of lifting a folding chair is causing her to wince like a Kenyan at a marathon finish line. We also learn in this scene that Rob Lowe's daughter is one of Maggie's young charges and that she's feeling a little bit queasy about tonight's performance. After going through an elaborately patronizing pantomime, Maggie diagnoses the problem as butterflies. "As soon as you open your mouth to sing, they're going to disappear," she says. "And then people will point and laugh and say, 'Hey, look at how that the girl with the butterflies flying out of her mouth is ruining this concert!'" Or maybe she stops with the hokum about the butterflies disappearing. The point, I gather, is that we are to once again acknowledge that Maggie is a role model for others, that she's an inspiration who lets her light shine so that others may find their way through the darkness, that she's respected by child and adult alike. Oh, and that she couldn't be more doomed if she showed up on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise festively decked out in red. Maggie also strikes up a conversation with Mrs. Rob Lowe about the talented-if-nervous daughter and what a proud papa Rob Lowe must be. "Is he here?" asks Maggie, unable to conceive of a parent who wouldn't spend every waking moment volunteering for free at the local K-12. "He's on his way," Mrs. Rob Lowe says with a thin smile, suggesting that Rob Lowe is most definitely not on his way -- a fact immediately confirmed with a sad montage of Rob Lowe burning the midnight oil at the law firm of Douchebag, Dick & Dilettante LLP.