2 items from 2014
The makers of “A Merry Friggin' Christmas” sprung for the fancy wrapping but skimped on the gift inside. How else to explain the gathering of such a talented and likable cast in service of such undercooked, utterly laugh-free material? Of trivial interest for containing one of Robin Williams’ final screen performances (the late actor has three additional films awaiting release), this feature helming debut from prolific TV comedy director Tristram Shapeero is nevertheless “Friggin'” forgettable. Hitting theaters and VOD three weeks before Thanksgiving, the pic’s dysfunctional family antics are sure to be little but a hazy memory come Christmas.
Clocking in at a brisk 72 minutes (not including end credits) and overflowing with engaging thesps, pic should be a breeze to watch. But if the shockingly simplistic final product is remotely reflective of the original script, tyro scribe Michael Brown’s take on an adult son, Boyd Mitchler (Joel McHale »
- Geoff Berkshire
Like all untimely movie star deaths, you’re not really gone until the last movie you finished before your death is released. The tragic passing of Robin Williams this past summer was marked by this website and others by recognizing several of the actor’s greatest comedy hits. Sadly, A Merry Friggin’ Christmas will not join their ranks.
The set-up is simple. Boyd Mitchler (Joel McHale) traces every bad thing wrong with his life back to the horrible parenting of his drunken dad Mitch (Robin Williams). Having grown up to become a successful Chicago hedge fund manager, Boyd overcompensates with his own son, Doug (Pierce Gagnon), to make sure he gets every bit the magical Christmas that Mitch denied Boyd through bourbon-fuelled candour. Obviously Boyd’s put a lot of time and distance between him and his father, but when his younger brother, Nelson (Clark Duke), calls him up to »
- Adam A. Donaldson
2 items from 2014
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