Stephanie Sottile’s 31 Days Of Christmas – Day 2: A Very Murray Christmas
Our 2nd day of 31 Days of Christmas Movies brings us to a Netflix original starring Bill Murray, who you may remember as that guy from Stripes or that guy from Space Jam, but what he’s best known for is showing up in your backyard with a strawberry lemonade and a full tuxedo reading a James Patterson novel out loud. Or maybe you know him as the “quiet uncle” at your family reunion. Seriously, he’s everybody’s uncle. Don’t believe me? Check your family tree- he’ll be there…he’ll always be there.
The special begins with Mr. Murray, donned in fuzzy antlers, singing a jazzy Christmas song in a hotel room while it blizzards outside in New York City. He is soon interrupted by two producers (Amy Poehler and Julie White) who drag the unwilling Murray downstairs to start the Christmas special and are stopped by Michael Cera, playing an agent, who wants to sign him while simultaneously insulting the show he is about to perform, claiming he can help him put on an even better show (I don’t understand that strategy either). Murray ignores his request and heads to tape his show but quickly abandons it, lamenting that because of the blizzard, no one showed up. Before he heads outside, he runs into Chris Rock and forces him to sing “Do You Hear What I Hear” in matching black turtleneck sweaters when suddenly…the power goes out! Huzzah! His embarrassment is halted for the moment!
If it sounds like just a long list of just…things happening…well, that’s exactly what it was. It sounds funny on paper- someone trying to put on a Christmas show but running into obstacle after obstacle…a regular Noises Off! A good old fashioned farce! And yet, it was kind of like waiting for a bus to arrive and sure, it’s funny if you keep thinking the bus is going to show up and never does. Sure, it sounds like it could be funny if you’re forced to talk to the other people at the bus stop: the old woman who clearly doesn’t know where she’s going and thinks it’s still 1942 or the college-aged guy playing music without any GODDAMN HEADPHONES FOR SOME REASON SO WE ALL HAVE TO HEAR IT…but after a while, it’s an exercise in futility and you’ll eventually decide it’s better to walk to your destination. So I’ve now given you that gift…you have the option to go for a nice walk. Maybe you’ll see a squirrel. They’re pretty cute.
After the power outage, we see Murray hop from person to person, all with a different story- the chefs are upset no one will eat their food before it goes bad; a bride is upset because no one was able to show up to her wedding; and Maya Rudolph is upset…because…I’m not sure- was I supposed to study before watching this film? Is there a class I missed? Anyway, spoiler alert, they all sing songs to pass the time and still…I am waiting for a bus.
This eventually leads to Bill Murray…dying? I think? Seriously, I’ve been confused this entire hour so maybe? He passed out on the floor in the hotel and wakes up to an all-white soundstage decorated with lights and lit trees with George Clooney and Miley Cyrus wandering around. We are soon treated to more songs, including one of my favorites, “Silent Night” sung by Cyrus. Say what you will- I know the girl’s worn a full bear suit or a neon dress of light tubes, but the girl’s got pipes. After a few more songs, this death dream/fantasy ends and Bill Murray awakes on Christmas Day in a hotel room and…that’s it.
FINAL WORDS: I will leave you with my exact-no bullshit-reaction as soon as it ended: WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?
This is going to be a long month, everybody. Get your gin ready.