Director: Sean Anders
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell staring in a Christmas movie, sign me up! It being a musical did worry me a bit, but it was really good. The songs fit into the movie, and the characters are really good. Without saying much, this is a movie I would recommend you go watch.
Spirted is a 2022 Musical-Comedy staring the previously mentioned Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell, as well as Octavia Spencer. The movie borrows from A Christmas Carol, and modernizes what it would look like if the Ghosts of Christmas were turning someone bad, good every year. The cheery spirit of the movie lends itself to the musical aspects, and I don’t even have to mention where the comedy comes from.
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I really enjoyed the musical side of this movie, which was a surprise. I’m usually not a fan of live-action musical, especially those outside the realm that is Disney. Spirited was much better than I had expected in this category. The number of songs was nearly perfect, with enough variety sprinkled in to create a couple of catchy tunes that were both lyrically and musically relevant to the movie. The words had meaning, but they didn’t feel cringey. I loved that, and I loved signing along with the subtitles.
Not only did I think the songs are quite good, I thought their placement was even better. Spirited doesn’t feel overcrowded by songs, and the music doesn’t disrupt the flow of the film. The music is somewhat built into the plot and it makes for a couple of comedic moments along the way.
Will Ferrel staring in a Christmas movie is nothing new, and while Spirited doesn’t hold a light to Elf, his performance was quite good. His character is credited as Present, but we know him as the Ghost of Christmas Present. His character is a bit of a workaholic who has no interest in retiring, but the reasons behind why he is this way become part of an interesting storyline later in the movie. His character has a pretty decent character arc from start to finish, and I was happy to see not every character was static.
Clint Briggs, played by Ryan Reynolds, follows a similar path. Clint has his own set of issues that have plagued his life up to this point. Over the course of the movie his character broadens and we get to watch a Christmas miracle worth of character development happen. Reynolds is quite funny, and his wit shines through. Not unlike The Rock, Ryan Reynolds has played roles that are quite similar and fit the mold he has crafted quite well. This works in his favour for Spirited as Clint feels familiar, and Reynolds does a great job growing that bond with the audience.
Our story really hinges out our characters. Spirited is really a tale of redemption, of people changing, so the story revolves around the character arcs that build as the movie progresses. I don’t think the story was anything special, but not something that needed to be great to have a good movie. I did find the opening hour to be slightly more boring than the second half. Maybe another song or another scene to spice up the large amount of set up that was needed to make those second half moments actually matter to the audience. The payoff at the end more than compensates for the slow start to Spirited.
For being a musical, I quite enjoyed Spirited. It isn’t high-octane, and it isn’t a movie that will get you thinking but it is a fun, family movie (still rated 14A so not small child family). I thought the surrounding cast, including Sunita Mani and Patrick Page, was quite good, but this is a Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds movie. Good performances by both and quite funny along the way. Not bad Apple TV, not bad at all.