Will Ferrell’s starring role in the modern Christmas classic Elf helped him catapult to stardom and cement the film as a worldwide festive favourite, and he’s returning to the Christmas genre by teaming up with Ryan Reynolds for the new movie Spirited. The film is an updated, modern-day retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The film arrived on Apple TV+ last Friday, but if you’ve not had a chance to watch it yet, then read on to find out more.
The film is directed by Sean Anders, who worked on We’re The Millers and Daddy’s Home, and follows Will Ferrell the Ghost of Christmas Present- in this adaptation, the film is told from the ghosts’ perspective. Patrick Page plays Jacob Marley, who leads the team of Christmas Ghosts in finding and redeeming “lost” souls. Despite being eligible for retirement, Present refuses to stop working, determined to keep helping others find their redemption. He finds a new subject in Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds), a media consultant with a bad reputation for making controversy – though Marley believes him to be unredeemable. Nevertheless, the three ghosts of Christmas visit Clint as their annual haunt – but things get complicated.
Though Present arrives to make Clint reconsider his life choices, he is made to examine his past, present and future after Clint turns the tables. Despite his attempts to set him on a path of redemption, Present is ignored and dismissed by Clint, so the ghost is forced to take drastic measures. We won’t give away any more about the plot – but one detail we didn’t mention yet is that the film is a musical, with Ferrel and Reynolds both belting out numbers. In addition to the main duo, the cast also includes Octavia Spencer as Kimberly, Clint’s assistant; Sunita Mani as Bonnie, the Ghost of Christmas Past; and Loren G. Woods as the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, with Tracy Morgan as his voice.
Though the film is a heart-warming Christmas comedy, Ferrell said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Magazine that it was one of the most vulnerable things he’s done, mostly due to the fact that he had to sing and dance in the film – but got past his anxiety. The film released on Apple TV to positive reviews, with praise for Ferrell and Reynolds’s enjoyable performances, and the heart-warming festive story.