A droll, cheerless special that feels like an overlong "Saturday Night Live" sketch with no punchline. Combine Sofia Coppola's "soft" directorial approach in terms of visuals with some quietly ironic/self-referential tropes, and you have a film that thinks it can succeed simply because Bill Murray shows up and broods and sings for fifty-six minutes.
With a talented director marking time, hip celebrities doing vaguely indulgent riffs on life as show-biz insiders, a major new TV outlet exercising little editorial restraint, and everything done with an ironic-but-not-really-ironic-but-actually-very-ironic wink, how good could a 55 minute Netflix Christmas special be? To its credit, it's exactly that good. Bill Murray's melancholy gravitas gets top billing.
An unwarranted homage to Xmas variety specials. I had foolishly expected it to break the mold. A drunken, raging Murray would have been delicious on its own without the tired musical numbers and corny subplots erected solely for the songs.
An endearingly low-key work, but one that manages some surprising emotional honesty for a text this self-consciously artificial. As it rambles from one song to the next, guided by the lovable curmudgeon Bill Murray, pot-belly and droopy eyes attesting to the truth of his Christmas blues, moments of warmth and connection bubble to the surface, if only for an instant, to push away sadness and loneliness.