Everybody’s Fine. Oh really? Well I say everybody is NOT fine. In fact nobody is fine, and nobody in the theater could hear a word of the movie over my maniacal, hyena-like laughing that roared like a conductor-less train through 95 minutes of ice-slipping and awkward family dinners. Also, there’s fucking.
That this holiday thriller manages to deftly portray the trauma of sexual abuse in the workplace serves as a footnote to more important cinematic issues. First, the popcorn I purchased was buttered much too heavily for all but the most eggnog-inebriated of office party co-workers. Second, I think the soda fountain mixing ratio was fucked up, because my Dr. Pepper tasted a lot like the generic Dr. Thunder, which, if you’ve ever had, you’ll know is for poor people.
All plot issues aside, Robert DeNiro (of Hootie & the Blowfish fame) manages to turn in a heart-wrenching performance as Cliff Buckworth, a particularly naughty photocopier repairman. The canoodling couple in front of me who couldn’t be pried apart with a crowbar unfortunately missed Cliff’s climactic burning Christmas tree scene because they were burning some Christmas trees of their own.
Veteran director Kirk Jones, fresh off his Santa Monica hit and run acquittal, seems to have suffered more than just fender damage from the ordeal; he’s clearly forgotten the lessons he learned from TreeSaurus and Burn Wagon 2: The Long Ride Home, which is to say: write more jokes. In fact the only reason I laughed through this entire slow-moving shit-wagon of a movie is because after the first ten minutes I put on my headphones and listened to Louis C.K. stand-up.
5 out of 5 stars.