film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Friendsgiving 2020 * 1/2 Stars


The setting is palm-treed November. The place is clearly near Los Angeles. The tone is obvious and bawdy. Basically a bunch of pseudo friends who are their only friends, get together to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. They bicker, smug it up, and get their swerve on. That's the rub of the almost plot-less and imposed, Friendsgiving.

Starring a bunch of known troupers, shot in 2018, and produced by Ben Stiller, Friendsgiving is yet another unfunny comedy that probably came out twenty years too late. Just imagine a more inappropriate version of The Family Stone, Love the Coopers, or The Wilde Wedding and you're making headway. Add a touch of 2013's The Big Wedding and This Is Where I Leave You and your ode to grumbling, brood endeavors is complete.

Friendsgiving is directed by rookie Nicol Paone. Unwilling to give her editor some sage advice, she lets the film wander with talky scenes that mostly flop or die. A baby sucks on the nipples of a male. A mother gets drunk and takes shrooms. That same mother makes out with a same sex house guest as her daughter walks in. Another guest talks through the entire movie with recent Botox injections. Heck, I kept wondering if Friendsgiving even had a point to all of its insouciant shenanigans.

The stunning Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, Jane Seymour, and Aisha Tyler round out Friendsgiving's eager cast. They try their best to be witty and funny but they should've known that the script didn't look good on paper. These ladies while plucky, unintentionally annoy the audience threefold.

All in all, Friendsgiving is a 95-minute, chi-chi marathon in which a bunch of good-looking weirdos try their hardest to avoid being unlikable. I like stuffing and yams but Friendsgiving has too much of both (yams meaning "yammering"). There's nothing to be "thankful" for here.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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