spirited reynolds ferrell 4

Animated review – DIAL NEWS

GROUND: In the musical adaptation of A Christmas Carolthe ghost of the Christmas present attempts to bring some Christmas cheer to a ruthless man named Clint Briggs.

EXAM: The world is a crazy place right now. Why not just listen to a magical Christmas musical with stars of stage and screen feasting song after song? Mainly when those stars include Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, and Octavia Spenser. Wait what? Yes, that was my reaction to a holiday musical featuring these three song and dance. While Mr. Reynolds occasionally lends his voice in other parts of the world on TV shows and the like, and Mr. Ferrell likes to sing in general, it wasn’t something I expected to see. And here we are, with the comedy movie musical Sanctified where they sing and dance. A lot.

Sanctified is a modern tale of A Christmas Carol, but with a huge twist. In this tale, we find that the ghosts visiting holiday-hating victim are an organization trying to redeem those who have a terrible case of BAH HUMBUGS. When the Christmas Present Ghost (Ferrell) discovers a powerful man named Clint Briggs (Reynolds) who is deemed “unsalvageable”, he makes it his mission to try and change him. Can the ghosts of Christmas past (Sunita Mani), present and future (Tracy Morgan) save this sad man from his lack of holiday spirit? You’ll need to tune in Friday when it’s released.

Truth be told, I’m not always a fan of Christmas musicals. Aside from the joy of a movie like the excellent Christmas zombie musical Anna and the apocalypse, feel-good family movies don’t always light my fire. Still, as this tale progressed and Reynolds and Ferrell took the stage together, I found the charm. Yes, in the end, this one won me over. The film, written and directed by Sean Anders – co-written by John Morris – manages to create a feeling of smoothness that isn’t overtly sappy. It’s light and cute, but it delivers a great story and message of goodwill that never goes out of style.

One of the nicer surprises here is that Ferrell, Spencer, and Reynolds can do just fine in a musical. It’s impossible not to smile when Octavia brings such warmth to a character that questions Reynolds’ work. My favorite songs featured in the movie usually involved him. Additionally, Ferrell and Reynolds bring energy and enthusiasm to their work. While I wasn’t surprised at how well Reynolds wore a melody and put on his dancing shoes, Ferrell shone every time he broke into singing. It’s nice to see this level of comedic talent getting the chance to try something new, and they can definitely handle the material.

The film also features terrific performances from Patrick Page as Marley, as well as solid work from Marlow Barkley, Aimee Carrero, and Andrea Anders. And then there’s Joe Tippett. Mr. Tippett is great here, as he was lately Mr. Harrigan’s phonee and Easttown Mare. Yes, the story suffers a bit with sugary sweet moments, but ultimately it works. The audience at the press screening I attended seemed to enjoy the experience. And frankly, it’s pretty impressive how well the movie is done. Once you get away from it, you may find yourself humming a tune or two. I know I did.

Fiery is a wacky comedy that warms the heart. Casting is game for experience, and Ferrell, Spencer and Reynolds bring it to life as they sing and dance. The background dancers and singers look like they’re having fun, and their delight is sometimes contagious. It’s nice to disconnect from the craziness that surrounds us and invest time in something joyful and amazed. This holiday musical will likely give you something to watch as a family as we come to our final days of 2022. Fiery will be available on Apple TV, and you’ll probably want to, at the very least, see what kind of singing chops these fine folks have.


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