Review: Ferrell and Reynolds Get Spirited on a Musical Holiday

Review: Ferrell and Reynolds Get Spirited on a Musical Holiday

The PR devil works in Spirited, a new movie set in “A Christmas Carol” starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. With songs by duo “The Greatest Showman” Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, big group dance numbers designed by Chloe Arnold and special effects plentiful, “Spirited” is an extreme affair that spares no expense in its efforts to entertain. . Fidelity isn’t necessarily a bad thing: If you were going to put on a holiday-themed music show on Apple’s dime, you might as well be, right?

You might also think that if you were to make a big movie musical, the kind that every major filmmaker seems to dream of getting a chance to do, you wouldn’t feel the need to make someone joke about it every time another character was about to explode into a song. But this is the paradox of ‘Enthusiasm’ wanting to be everything to everyone. However, the most egregious sin is the fact that no one seems quite sure how to effectively portray a great dance. Sometimes it feels like you’re watching a live show that hasn’t been rehearsed with camera moves and chops beforehand, which hurts the songs, dancers, and groups.

However, although “Spirited” is abbreviated as a musical, it’s still a lot of fun. Perhaps that’s because it’s stuffed with everything else: If one portion doesn’t quite work, there’s plenty in the four-quarter buffet to savor. In addition to the committed main characters, there are comedic gems from Christmas Past (Sunita Mani), the Christmas Yet-to-Come (Loren Woods with Tracy Morgan’s voice), the easily digestible Pasek and Paul, and the sweet singing voice of Octavia Spencer.

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