There is a great friendship dynamic between the three main leads. I can buy that these three are best friends; buddies that have been with each other since Ethan’s parents died.
The few emotional moments are actually decent. Since it takes place on Christmas, those moments have meaning and heart to it, making it a bit more powerful.
Ethan’s (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) plot is the most investing of the other plots. He has more emotional conflict than the other two, at least in what he has to lose, and the scenes that are shown on what he is going through is gripping.
Unfortunately, everything goes downhill by the second act. What was once endearing and understandable for the characters in the first act ends up being boggled with…well…
…The mugging comedy that never works when the entire movie does it most of the entire run. Seth Rogen’s character panics about finding his phone for plot reasons, and Anthony Mackie’s character want crack for whatever reasons.
Most of the second act is just Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie running around to get their subplots to progress to the third act, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s more interesting plot does not really pick up that much until the end of the second act. He is more interesting than the wack-jobs running around like a bunch of maniacs, especially when they have to use disgusting humor in the process.
I feel pretty down after watching two movies (one that is dark yet greatly made, and another that is depressing yet poorly done) and a Netflix series that is great yet grim. I feel like I need to watch a comedy; I want to laugh out loud in a movie that takes place during Christmas. Instead, I only got a few giggles at best. This movie disappoints me, because I see plenty of potential in it. Three friends hang out at Christmas time when one of them lost his parents, and they search for a secret party area to hang out in their last Christmas hangout. That seems like a good idea, but the execution is just filled with dirty and disgusting jokes with barely any time to be emotionally invested on the character with dead parents. I would have probably loved this movie if it had went for its premise, but they went for Seth Rogen’s preferred comedy instead. Excuse me while watch Home Alone, Die Hard, or any the other movies they mentioned that works much better than this mess of a movie.