This flick, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen, is surprisingly enough, a musical. (What? Everyone knows Danny Kaye was best known for being a comedian.) This story is about the duo of Bob Wallace (Crosby) and Phil Davis (Kaye), who team up with the Haynes sisters to try and save a Vermont inn (owned by General Waverly, whom Bob and Phil served with in the war). Talk about a depressing group. Bob and Phil trade barbs from the get-go, and it sometimes seems as if Bob is irritated that Phil saved his life in the war. Because it surely must be a pain in the butt to have to admit that someone saved your life. Yup, that's rough.
Betty Haynes (Clooney) and Bob start bickering as soon as they meet. Clearly, they can't stand each other. Judy Haynes wants to skip town because she owes her landlord money. Phil is still trying to figure out what was so horrible about saving Bob's LIFE in the war. So of course it's just hilarious when all four of them wind up on a train together.
These nut jobs actually start singing about snow on the train ("I'll wash my hair in snow," Clooney warbles, clearly a sign of mental instability) and actually complain when they get off the train to warm weather. It's 65 degrees, in December, in Vermont. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth! Though I'm sure they would have griped just as much if they'd gotten off the train in a blizzard, the ingrates.
Once Bob and Phil find out that the struggling inn that the girls are singing in is owned by their old General, they form a plan (at no small cost to themselves) to save it from financial ruin. They pay to have a cast, props, and costumes brought in to put on a huge show. They even arrange to have the event covered by a popular television show. Not only is the General not grateful, he's kind of rotten to them. He insults Bob and Phil's service as privates, and tries to re-enlist in the army. And somehow, Betty gets mad at Bob, and decides to leave town. Because he's being so selfish, trying to save the General's business and encouraging the man to try and enjoy his life as an innkeeper. I can see why she thinks he's such a jerk. (Why does she even care? When she's not smooching with Bob in the kitchen, she acts like she hates him. Then again, the woman washes her hair in snow.)
The show goes on, all of the old army men show up to cheer on their buddies and the General, and the inn is saved. The General immediately insults them all for not wearing ties, looking sloppy, and being undisciplined. (He might have muttered a thank you in there, but I can't remember.) More singing, griping, and smooching ensues, and in the end, it snows. And we all know that one good snowstorm in Vermont could keep you trapped inside until springtime. Careful what you wish for, I always say.
Yes, White Christmas is full of insults, complaints, and two gigantic ingrates (Hey General! They're saving your livelihood! And hey, Bob! Phil saved your LIFE!) So when I sound grumpy and grinchy this time of year, just remember. Someone saves my life, I say thank you.