Happy Christmas


This warmhearted new comedy from writer/director/star Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies) entertainingly explores both sibling relationships and the choices women face in young families. In Happy Christmas, Jenny (Anna Kendrick, Pitch Perfect), an irresponsible, hard-partying 20-something, moves in with her older film director brother (Joe Swanberg), his budding novelist wife Kelly (Melanie Lynskey, Up in the Air), and their two-year-old son, following a messy break up. Naturally, the family’s idyllic life is shaken up. Jenny begins a rocky relationship with a baby sitter-cum-pot dealer (Mark Webber, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and she and her best friend Carson (Lena Dunham, Girls) team up to try and help Kelly find balance in her life, as the young mother’s career and her relationship with her husband begin to grow in new directions. As usual, the results are all in the eye of the beholder. Using his unique improvisational techniques, Swanberg creates a dramatic experience that results in a natural, relatable peek into his characters’ lives, filled with engaging warmth and the actors’ own natural sense of humor. (Dir. by Joe Swanberg, 2014, USA, 78 mins., Rated R, Magnolia Pictures) Digital