A MERRY FRIGGIN' CHRISTMAS DVD (2014)
SYNOPSIS: Boyd and his family are forced to spend a dreaded Christmas at his parents' house with his eccentric father (Robin Williams) that he has been avoiding for years. When he realizes that he left his son's gifts at home, Boyd and his father must hit the road in a blizzard to retrieve the gifts before sunrise to save Christmas.
Before Robin Williams passed away in August 2014, the much-loved comedian left behind four completed movies and the indie Christmas movie, A Merry Friggin’ Christmas happens to be among the loot.
Honestly no one will give a damn about A Merry Friggin’ Christmas if not for the late Williams. The entire affair is clichéd, unfunny and insipid. You will be mortified to know that the Russo Brothers (Captain America) actually had a hand in this mess.
Every Christmas movie has a dysfunctional family to begin with and right here, we have the Mitchlers. Boyd (Joel McHale), a successful fund manager is forced to spend Christmas with his parents and siblings in Wisconsin. Meaning he has to face his estranged father - the often angry, depressed ex-drunkard Virgil (Williams). When Boyd realizes he has left his son’s Christmas gift back at home, Boyd and his unlikely companion, Virgil must endure an 8 hours journey to retrieve the gifts before sunrise to avoid disappointing his son.
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas has none of the funniness of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the nastiness of Bad Santa, the wholesomeness of Elf or the energy of Jingle All The Way. All members of the ensemble cast are relegated to mouthing boring weak dialogue, which explained the unenthusiastic looking faces. Candice Bergen looked dead tired and Oliver Platt playing a homeless Santa Claus prefers to hide behind his disguise all the time. You probably expect something rowdy to happen during the road trip but all you have is a repetitive gag that involved an overzealous trooper handing speeding tickets to Boyd.
Joel McHale tried all his might to liven up the deadwood like material but his character just doesn’t come across as likeable. Clarke Duke plays his naïve younger brother who adopted the son of his ex-girlfriend and the son happens to be black. Is that meant to be funny by the way? As for Williams, it’s kind of sad to see the brilliant actor being handed with such a script. He is apparently more depressed than grouchy as Virgil Mitchler. It’s a pity Hollywood doesn’t cast him in credible productions in the past decade and A Merry Friggin’ Christmas marks the very reason why we should rewatched Aladdin, Patch Adams and Mrs Doubtfire this Christmas instead of this dud.
Cast Interviews feature brief interviews (ranging from 6 minutes to 2) with several of the main actors including Williams, McHale and Oliver Platt.
Image clarity and detailing is fine and audio presentation in the form of Dolby Digital 5.1 is serviceable for a dialogue intensive title.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee