Spirited is a vibrant musical that is sure to put even the biggest Scrooge in the Christmas mood thanks to Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell.
Spirited Will Put Even The Biggest Scrooge In The Christmas Mood
There is no denying that Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell are two of the funniest people on the planet, so when you put them together in a film — and make it a musical — it should come as no surprise that it ends up being one of the best films of the year. Spirited is an absolute joy to watch as it is packed with incredible dance numbers and catchy songs. It might be a bit too long, but isn’t everything nowadays? These two have incredible comedic chemistry that is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face and have viewers eager to put up their Christmas decorations and get in the holiday spirit.
This movie follows the Ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell) as he prepares the haunt for this year’s perp — Clint Braggs (Ryan Reynolds). Every Christmas Eve the spirits take one soul on a journey in order to redeem them, much like the story we all know and love — A Christmas Carol. It takes the whole year to plan in an effort to make sure everything is perfect. The thing is, Briggs has been labeled as unredeemable, which only makes Ferrell’s character even more determined to change him.
Why is he unredeemable? For his job he starts rumors and makes accusations in an effort to aid his clients, most of which are politicians and big companies. He doesn’t bat an eye at ruining the lives of others if it gets him and those who pay him ahead. Spirited tells the story from the perspective of the ghosts in this hilarious musical that will get everyone in the Christmas mood.
Octavia Spencer plays Briggs’ assistant and she might be a supporting character in the film but she certainly shines every time she is on screen. She has the voice of an angel when she sings, and her character plays a very important part in the overall story. She is probably the most relatable of the entire film, as she is struggling with her own morals because of the things that Briggs has her doing for her job.
While the plot itself has some predictable story beats, there are some that are completely surprising. With several good and unexpected twists weaved in, Spirited is able to hold onto the attention of audiences, keeping them on the edge of their seats at times. The biggest issue with this movie is the length. It clocks in at over two hours long, which is not uncommon right now.
We don’t mind a long movie when it is warranted, but Spirited could have been cut down about twenty minutes and still have gotten its point across. There are a few scenes in the middle that could have been shortened so that none of the songs would have to be cut. Because let’s be honest, those are the best parts.
Reynolds and Ferrell are both absolutely brilliant in the song and dance numbers. They sing themselves and they did not have dance stand-ins. They were both very much committed to their roles and it is their infectious energy that makes Spirited standout among other holiday films. Every song is catchy and, in true musical fashion, helps to tell the story and propel it forward. These are some of the best moments of the entire film.
They involve massive sets, fantastic footwork, and some truly impressive dance moves not only from Reynolds and Ferrell, but from the large number of dancers who are involved in the movie. As the credits role, viewers are treated to another dance number, and it is absolutely worth sticking around for.
Spirited is a great way to kick off the holiday season as it is a complete joy to watch. The songs are fun and catchy, there are nods to multiple other films (Easter eggs if you will) and some cameos that will have viewers cracking up. Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell have unmatched chemistry – please give us all the buddy comedies starring them because we need more.
Even though the film is a bit too long and a tad on the predictable side, it is sure to get viewers in the holiday mood and keep them laughing. There is some adult content, which is why it is rated PG-13, most of which will fly over the heads of a younger audience.
A new take on an old tale, Spirited offers a fresh look at A Christmas Carol while still forcing the audience to think about what kind of person they are, and what ripple effects their decisions have on the world. While it is coming to Apple TV+, we recommend seeing this one on the big screen first, before re-watching every holiday season at home (because trust us, you will want to see it again).
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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Each Christmas Eve, the Ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell) selects one dark soul to be reformed by a visit from three spirits. But this season, he picked the wrong Scrooge. Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) turns the tables on his ghostly host until Present finds himself reexamining his own past, present and future. For the first time, ‘A Christmas Carol’ is told from the perspective of the ghosts in this hilarious musical twist on the classic Dickens tale.
From director Sean Anders (Daddy’s Home, Instant Family), written by Sean Anders and John Morris, with original songs by Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”) and production numbers choreographed by Chloe Arnold (The Late Late Show with James Corden), this modern retelling is a sweet and spicy holiday treat.
Spirited will premiere in theaters on November 11 and globally on Apple TV+ on November 18, 2022.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.