“You could write like, sexy novels…”
If you look hard enough you will find a Christmas film in every genre. Even the low budget indie corner of cinema celebrates Christmas.
Happy Christmas is the low key, hyper realistic story of Jenny. After a break up, eternal adolescent Jenny (Anna Kendrick) moves in with her sweet brother (Joe Swanberg – who also directs) and his disaffected wife Kelly (Melanie Lynskey). Each gives the other something they have been missing while still succumbing to making mistakes and being human… something that doesn’t happen all too often in the super sanitised world of Hollywood.
First off, this is one of those films that you will either love or hate. There is no in between. You either enjoy a film about real life or you go to the cinema for a bit of escapism. Happy Christmas could be seen as a film where not much happens, but really there is plenty of character growth and tension, but it is all set to normal, real world problems. As always in this genre, it is the acting that make the story compelling. You wouldn’t buy into this film if Lynskey wasn’t so warm or Kendrick wasn’t so vulnerable. Their interactions together are also tender and realistic.
Happy Christmas is not a classic Christmas film, but in a genre that is so defined by saccharine sentimentality and Hollywood glitz, it is at least unique and refreshing. I’ll take that at this point.
Having said that, I have a minimum word count for these reviews and I’m really struggling to hit it for this film because I don’t have anything else to say about it, that’s probably not a good sign is it? Or maybe the obscene amount of Celebrations I have already eaten this year have rendered me mute. A fat, disgusting mute…