This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
NoMo’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Uh, this write-up will also kinda sorta contain a spoiler for Thelma & Louise, so if you haven't seen that and you care - skip this one!
Earlier this evening, as I was having dinner and wrapping up some to-do list items on my laptop, I casually caught the tail end of Thelma & Louise on Pluto TV, and found myself overly analyzing its ending. Asking myself how much of it should be taken literally, and how much (if any) metaphorically. So just imagine my absolute jaw-drop surprise and wonder when I randomly picked this one tonight and it wrapped up the way it did. Like, whaaa? Once again, just a perfect pick at the right time. ✨
It's safe to say I need to revisit this at least a few more times to definitively decide whether I just really like/admire it, or outright love it. Right now, I'm pretty sure it's more of former, but at the same time, I'm also pretty damn sure I haven't seen any other Christmas movie to date that so perfectly highlights just how strange/bizarre and perverse this holiday can be - and how absolutely deranged and psychotic seemingly "normal" adults can get about it. And yes in case there was any doubt - I'm referring more to Philip, than to Harry, ha!
The single, lonely, angry man who is just one bad day away from completely cracking/spiraling is nothing new in storytelling/cinema. But taking that premise and melding it with a very festive (and yes, quite fun!) Christmas movie, plus adding plenty of humor to it is a sort of genius. Brandon Maggart's performance is so committed, so painfully good - it works on nearly every level. There are many scenes, one in particular near the beginning, shortly after Harry discovers what his coworker did, that simply should not work without coming off as intensely goofy/silly - but it completely does. This is the magic a talented actor creates. And special, unique films such as this know the value of capturing that magic.
Wow, for a year during which my brain/soul have been the most broken in a long while, compounded by an all-time low in movie viewing...to suddenly break out of decision/selection paralysis, be able to focus, and fall into a watching groove during the second to last week of the year is the best (inadvertent) Christmas gift to myself. I'm so grateful for it. Crossing all fingers I can and will keep it up.
Edit: P.S. Just learned from a review on here that Brandon Maggart is Fiona Apple's father, and...omg, mind blown!