Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Watch: First Trailer For ‘Happy Christmas’ Starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber & Lena Dunham

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist May 20, 2014 at 3:21PM

Don’t be fooled by the pristine-looking image above (hell, it’s “new” so we thought we’d use it). “Happy Christmas” is not the feel-good family comedy of the year. Hell, it’s not very shiny, slick and happy like that image would suggest. “Happy Christmas” is really a lo-fi, down and dirty family dramedy by filmmaker Joe Swanberg.
2
Happy Christmas

Don’t be fooled by the pristine-looking image above (hell, it’s “new” so we thought we’d use it). “Happy Christmas” is not the feel-good family comedy of the year. Hell, it’s not very shiny, slick and happy like that image would suggest. “Happy Christmas” is really a lo-fi, down and dirty family dramedy by filmmaker Joe Swanberg.

The follow-up to his indie-success/arguably mainstream breakthrough “Drinking Buddies,” his latest feature stars Anna Kendrick (also in “Drinking Buddies”), Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, and Joe Swanberg himself. Here’s the official synopsis, but it’s basically a cross between family dysfunction and the arrested development man-child form ported over into a female protagonist who has yet to get her shit together.

When Jenny (Anna Kendrick), a hard partying 20-something, moves in with Kelly (Melanie Lynskey), a budding novelist, her film director husband (Joe Swanberg) and their two-year-old son after a break up, the family’s idyllic life is shaken. Jenny begins a rocky relationship with their baby sitter-cum-pot dealer (Mark Webber), and she and a friend, Carson (Lena Dunham), bring Kelly to the realization that an evolution in her life, career and relationship is necessary for her happiness. A new comedy from the director of DRINKING BUDDIES.

We didn’t quite flip for it for it or think it was as successful as “Drinking Buddies” -- at least our review from Sundance didn’t, but we called it “largely engaging, truthful and affecting.”And you can feel the affection in that review for the parts and spirit of the movie that does work so we’d recommend nonetheless. And let's not forget Swanberg's precocious son Jude in the movie. Only two years old when he shot the film, we named Jude one of our 20 Breakout Actors, Directors & Talents To Watch From The 2014 Sundance Film Festival. No joke.

On iTunes early on June 26th, the movie opens up in theaters on July 25th.

Happy Christmas, poster

This article is related to: Happy Christmas, Joe Swanberg, Joe Swanberg, Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Film Trailers


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.

E-Mail Updates