I love musicals, but not all of them. I like Will Ferrell, but not all his films. I love Ryan Reynolds, but didn’t know that he could sing or dance. If you’re looking to watch a fun-filled Christmas musical, then Granny will tell you why you should put Spirited on your watch list.
My daughter recently downloaded Apple TV+ and talked me into watching Spirited, a 2022 Christmas-themed musical comedy directed by Sean Anders and written and produced by Anders and John Morris. I was hesitant at first, because my daughter is into all the Hallmark Channel Christmas shows. She watches every single one. I, on the other hand, was suffering from Christmas overload: shopping for gifts, taking the great grandsons to visit the Mall Santa during a monsoon, and getting stuck in Christmas shopping traffic. Bah Humbug! Luckily for me, my daughter persisted.
Other than the 1951 film starring Alastair Sim, this telling of A Christmas Carol is my favourite. Will Ferrell plays the Ghost of Christmas Present. Christmas Present is nearing retirement and has the opportunity to return to earth but he keeps hesitating because he is afraid that he died too soon to prove his goodness.
Jacob Marley (Patrick Page) is responsible for picking each year’s unredeemable person, which he then sends his trio of spirits to haunt said unredeemable person with the end result of saving that person’s soul. But Christmas Present thinks that he has found a better candidate in Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds). Clint Briggs is a renowned media consultant, but he is controversial in his methods and has made a lot of enemies. Clint’s assistant Kimberly (Octavia Spencer) is a good soul but is worn out by the moral failures of her boss. Clint even tries to coerce his motherless niece, Wren (Marlow Barkley) to media shame a rival for the position of school president of her middle school. While Jacob Marley feels that Clint is a lost cause, Christmas Present, Christmas Past (Sunita Mani) and Christmas Future (Tracy Morgan) side with Present. Can you really save an obnoxious bastard?
Conclusion and Spoiler
Did I mention that Spirited is a musical? Yes indeed, and even though I never expected to see Reynolds aka Deadpool and Spencer belt out a song, I have to say that their enthusiasm was infectious, and the songs are really good. We do learn the Christmas Present did live in human form a long time ago, and we also learn his identity. The interaction between the Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynold’s characters is what makes this movie work.
Do yourself a favour, and if you can subscribe to Apple TV+ just for this film, do it. Spirited is a fun movie that leaves you with a good feeling, and believe me, after the nightmarish two years of Covid that we have had, a musical is just what we need!