Spirited, Did Not Live Up to The High Expectations

Lindsey Smith, Arts and Entertainment Editor


With a cast of Will Farrell, Ryan Renolds, Octavia Spencer, and Sunita Mani, among other veterans of the Hollywood screen, portraying characters in the 2022 holiday movie, Spirited, I was expecting a hysterically comedic and wildly entertaining movie, yet I was disappointedly surprised. Perhaps my expectations were too high, or I had misjudged the humorous and lively trailer, but regardless of my potential misinterpretations, it did not meet the mark of truly entertaining holiday movies.

   From the start it was a risk, taking a classic holiday story, written and created by the inventor of Christmas, Charles Dickens, and turning it into a musical. Although the songs were vibrant and the dancing was lively, it was the in-between that didn’t feel quite right considering the remarkable cast and crew. I often found myself staring into space or zoning out during long monologues. 

   Despite my overall disappointment, it should be mentioned that there were a few times when I laughed and a smile spread across my face, it just wasn’t as often as I had hoped. There have been other interpretations of A Christmas Carol that have reimagined the original story. Bill Murray, for example, was about as funny as it gets in the 1988 comedy, Scrooged

   There have been numerous different interpretations of A Christmas Carol, from versions that invoke tears, to others that are a source of constant laughter. I give the writers credit, a musical is a fresh, new take, yet perhaps it could have been executed differently. The length, for one, felt like an eternity. Only 2 hours and 7 minutes, and yet I couldn’t help occasionally glance at the time. 

   Some enjoyed the movie more than I did, like junior Daniella Milian: “I thought it was a very good re-telling of an old story with the addition of comedy and musical references.” While others agreed with my points. “It wasn’t the best. It felt too slow and long, it dragged on” said junior Derek Mehlig.

   Despite the disappointment of not living up to the high expectations alluded to in the trailer, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised with their execution of the true meaning of change. The writers did a superb job of allowing the audience to feel the same resentment to change as the characters and to appreciate the fact that change is what you make, not what you feel is laid out for you. After all, isn’t that the actual, true meaning of the holiday season? Comedy aside, at the end of the day, it is the thought that counts.

  All in all, I give the movie props for trying a new version and attempting at giving viewers a new take on an old story, and with more comedic lines, less slow, long scenes, and faster character development from the main antagonist, it could be great. Yet, it lacks some of the fundamentals of a comedy holiday hit that made all the difference. 

   My advice for watchers, proceed with caution, and appreciate the few laughable moments.