Movie Review: Spirited

I didn’t want to let the holidays go by without at least giving you a good Christmas movie recommendation. A Christmas Story Christmas didn’t pan out for me, so I was a little gun shy of the other well publicized online offering this year: Spirited. Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell in a meta-esque adaptation of A Christmas Carol? And it’s a musical? Despite the fact that it had worse reviews on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic, I decided to give it a shot, because any meta adaptation is at least worth the time to watch it.

And I loved it. It was a ton of fun from start to finish, with great musical numbers, good laughs, and a plot that’s a tad predictable, but still entertaining. Did they have to use autotune to let the actors keep up with the music? Yes, alas, they did. So if autotune is a big turnoff for you, this is going to rub you the wrong way. Then again, the music is by the same duo that wrote the songs for Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman, and La La Land, so it’s not like some hack job. I really enjoyed them.

The plot is fairly straightforward. What if the same thing that happened to Scrooge way back when happens once a year to someone else? A big team of ghosts work together to try to change the life of one person at a time. Will Ferrell leads up the team, and Ryan Reynolds is their latest project. But as soon as Reynolds sees the first ghost, he recognizes it as being a Christmas Carol trope, and the wheels fall off from there.

I’ve seen many (many) Christmas Carol adaptations, so to see one that’s unique like this was a great surprise. It’s a great spin on the classic. My only real gripe would be the PG-13 rating, as it was close enough to being PG that I thought they could have backed off in a few areas and had it be more family friendly for kiddos. But if you’ve got teens in your house, I think they’ll have a good time as well.

In the end, I gave it an 8/10. It’s one I might rewatch, and there aren’t a whole slew of Christmas movies that I’m willing to do that with. That says a fair bit right there. If you’ve got Apple TV+, give it a shot.

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