A hilarious new twist on an old holiday favorite.

BY KATIE MESSNER ’24

’Tis the time for holiday movies and “Spirited” has just arrived. So, I curled up with some hot chocolate and high expectations and was not disappointed. With laugh out loud moments promised by Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds and a touch of tears, “Spirited” embodied a funny and somewhat ridiculous movie, full of sarcasm and holiday spirit. 

“Spirited” adds a musical twist to Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol”. Ferrell plays The Ghost of Christmas Present, with The Ghost of Christmas Future played by Loren Woods and voiced by Tracy Morgan and The Ghost of Christmas Past played by Sunita Mani. Reynolds plays Clint Briggs who is the ‘Scrooge’ needing to be saved from his own behavior and abuse of social media, even though he is considered unredeemable. Clint is a sarcastic, rich jerk who sabotages people over social media. 

Be warned: it is a musical. I was surprised to hear actors like Ferrell, Reynolds and Octavia Spencer break out into five-minute long singing tangents. Though neither Ferrell or Reynolds are Broadway talented, it only adds to the comedy. Ferrell and Reynolds’ most ridiculous performance, “Good Afternoon”, has them transported to Victorian London with Ferrell tap dancing and Reynolds singing with a cockney accent. 

Ferrell and Reynolds’ comedic chemistry is enjoyable. The two characters finally meet when Ferrell attempts to make Reynolds understand his past mistakes, and their witty banter brightens the otherwise emotional storyline. Something about Ferrell’s tone and expressions can make an otherwise serious statement into a hilarious joke (“a non-existent puppy”). 

The acting is good, as promised with a star-studded cast. Spencer impresses yet again with a singing performance, along with Mani. 

The spending for props and production was certainly spirited and adds to the extravagant, flashiness of the movie. It wants to be a hit. While the dance scenes get away from themselves at points, the over the top, ridiculousness seems to coincide with the rest of the movie. 

The “A Christmas Carol” remake has been done time and time again. Yet I think “Spirited” adds a unique twist to the story. The dancing and singing certainly makes it more fun, but the importance of friends and family expressed in this adaptation shed new light on what really makes people want to change. 

The plot was nothing extraordinary, however, I don’t think a feel-good holiday movie has to be. What won me over was the heart-felt message that people can always change and that everyone needs a friend around the holidays. The dialogue and jokes are well-written, including surprise moments and a subtle “Elf” easter egg to keep you on your toes. The trick with this movie, it seems, is not to take it too seriously. 

And to those who don’t appreciate “Spirited” for it’s ridiculous, saracstic self, bah humbug.