Documentary film-maker Bob Saunders and his wife Carol attend a group therapy session that serves as the backdrop for the opening scenes of the film. Returning to their Los Angeles home, the newly "enlightened" couple chastise their closest friends, Ted and Alice, for not coming to grips with their true feelings. Bob insists that everyone "feel" rather than intellectualize their emotions, and Carol pronounces "that's beautiful" after anyone says anything even remotely personal. Ted and Alice humor their friends, but it is obvious that there is a good-natured sexual tension at work within the foursome.
Not that this artist isn't pretty cool; far from it. Credited either as Bob Hardaway or Robert Hardaway, he spent much of the 20th century at the top of the studio musician scene in Los Angeles, playing a bewildering array of woodwind instruments — even bass clarinet, English horn, and alto flute — on a tall stack of records that stylistically give the impression of having been snatched at random out of a burning used record store, the Partridge Family, Dinah Washington, Bonnie Raitt, and his efforts with the Eddie Shu/Bob Hardaway Jazz Practitioners among them.
Brian Henson, the son of Muppet founder Jim Henson, took over directing duties after the untimely death of his father for The Muppet Christmas Carol, a sluggish re-telling of the Charles Dickens tale. Michael Caine, surrounded by legions of fuzzy, felt puppets, plays it straight as the crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who could care less about Christmas and the joy the season brings. Working for the skinflint is his faithful employee Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog), who begs Scrooge for a day off for Christmas. Scrooge reluctantly agrees and goes home on Christmas Eve filled with bile at the holiday merrymakers. But then he is visited by the sprits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and Scrooge, after revisiting his sorrowful past, hate-filled present, and doomed future, turns over a new leaf and becomes the most generous and celebratory person in town.