So, I’m 40 days into my run down from Halloween to Christmas. I’m also in the middle of moving house, so rather than the pre-advertised family drama of Christmas With The Coopers (apologies to anyone waiting for that, it I’ll come soon…), it’s time for something funny.
And today it’s…
9th December, Day 40
A Very Harold And Kumar 3D Christmas (Taylor Strauss-Schulson, 2011)
After a slightly self-indulgent sequel (and Kal Penn’s rather unexpected career move into politics as a Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement at The White House), Harold and Kumar seemed to be done. Both films had lots of laughs, and there was undeniably great chemistry between Penn and John Cho, but they had told their story and moved on to better things. So is this a shameless cash-in on nostalgia and Christmas?
Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) have moved on with their lives since escaping from Guantameno Bay seven (film) years earlier. Harold is preparing for his first Chritsmas with the family of his wife Maria (Paula Garces), has a successful job and new best friend Todd (Thomas Lennon). Meanwhile Kumar is still living the same life as before, prompting his girlfriend to dump him when he fails to react to being told theye are expecting a baby. A package is delivered to Kumar a dresses to him and Harold, and so we have the reason for the guys to get back together.
Comedy sequels are almost never as funny as the first ones. When forced to come up with a reason to bring comedy characters back for multiple instalments, script writers end up stuffing too much action int the film that negates what made them funny in the first place. The lackluster Anchorman and Zoolander sequels are examples of this, both stories containing way too much plot that gets in the way of what are still fun characters.
This is still the case with A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas… but it works. We get plenty of laughs, plenty of meta-references, and a whole section in the middle of the film dedicated to the awesomeness that is Neil Patrick Harris. And we get a “real meaning of Christmas” message, even in a film not exactly aimed at families.
Your family is important guys, cut them some slack at Christmas!
Although disjointed, we get plenty of funny moments. Danny Trejo is brilliant as Harold’s father-in-law (whose mother was killed by Koreans at Christmas time) and there’s a hilariously sinister performance by Elias Koteas as a Russian gangster. This works as a straight (rather than just a stoner) comedy, and the Christmas aspects make it one of the best adult Christmas comedies around.
Overall, I give this
This is a decent, enjoyable movie. Needs more NPH though! You’ll notice that is 3 solid gold ring as well.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another Christmas film. Hopefully it will be Christmas With The Coopers!
Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
PS Here’s my list so far:
31st October, Day 1: The Nightmare Before Christmas
1st November, Day 2: Rocky IV
2nd November, Day 3: Edward Scissorhands
3rd November, Day 4: Trading Places
4th November, Day 5: Batman Returns
5th November, Day 6: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
6th November, Day 7: Gremlins
7th November, Day 8: Eyes Wide Shut
8th November, Day 9: Love Actually
9th November, Day 10: Lethal Weapon
10th November, Day 11: Die Hard / Die Hard 2
11th November, Day 12: About A Boy
12th November, Day 13: Trapped In Paradise
13th November, Day 14: Reindeer Games
14th November, Day 15: Joyeux Noel
15th November, Day 16: Nativity / Nativity 2 / Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?
16th November, Day 17: Jack Frost
17th November, Day 18: Jack Frost
18th November, Day 19: Arthur Christmas
19th November, Day 20: The Santa Clause / The Santa Clause 2 / The Santa Clause 3
20th November, Day 21: Miracle On 34th Street
21st November, Day 22: Miracle On 34th Street
22nd November, Day 23: Scrooged
23rd November, Day 24: Scrooge
24th November, Day 25: The Muppets Christmas Carol
25th November, Day 26: Elf
26th November, Day 27: Home Alone / Home Alone 2
27th November, Day 28: The Grinch
28th November, Day 29: Black Christmas
29th November, Day 30: Jingle All The Way
30th November, Day 31: Rare Exports
1st December, Day 32: Polar Express
2nd December, Day 33: A Christmas Story
3rd December, Day 34: Bad Santa
4th December, Day 35: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
5th December, Day 36: Santa Claus: The Movie
6th December, Day 37: Krampus
7th December, Day 38: Christmas With The Kranks
8th December, Day 39: White Christmas
9th December, Day 40: A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas