We all know Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol. A somewhat awful person is visited by the ghosts of past, present and future in hopes that they will learn from their mistakes and become a better person. Spirited is the modernized version. Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) is considered to be irredeemable; he doesn’t care what anybody thinks about him. But Present (Will Ferrell) wants to give Clint a chance to turn things around. And so begins a most magical adventure…

I feel like we’ve been waiting for Spirited to release for forever. It’s been sitting in the coming soon section of Apple TV+ all year long. Luckily it did not disappoint.

Although it took some time for me to become invested in the story, once I got there, it was all smooth sailing for me. I wanted to know why Clint was such an asshole and I doubted whether or not he really could change. It was such a breath of fresh air to have Reynolds play a different kind of character. The same can be said for Ferrell. He didn’t bother me like he usually does and his scenes with Reynolds were so entertaining.

The film would not be complete without Octavia Spencer. As Kimberly was a great addition not only as Clint’s work colleague, but also as a love interest for Present. I also loved seeing the different ghosts. I wish Past (Sunita Mani) had been featured more as I found her important to the story. Yet-To-Come (Loren G. Woods and Tracy Morgan respectively) was probably my favorite due to the fact that his looks and voice did not match whatsoever. And then of course there was Marley (Patrick Page) who audiences may remember from the original.

Turning this into a musical was a brilliant idea. The songs were catchy and the choreography exceptional. Combine the two with a Christmas backdrop and you have a winner. I may have been unsure about some of the actors’ singing talents, but I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised.

Overall, Spirited is a holiday treat for the whole family to enjoy. Despite the slow start, it really picks up and whisks you away for two hours. It has a good moral and some twists along the way that keep you on the edge of your seat.

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

Christmas With You

Pop star Angelina (Aimee Garcia) used to be on top of the world, but she hasn’t felt that way lately. When the head of her label suggests she write a Christmas song, Angelina is beside herself. Ever since her mom passed away a couple years ago, she’s struggled to find the holiday spirit. But when she stumbles upon a video of one of her fans on social media, Angelina feels her luck may be changing. Cristina (Deja Monique Cruz) and her dad Miguel (Freddie Prince Jr.) are surprised when the superstar seeks them out. Learning that Miguel writes music, Angelina believes that all her problems will soon be over.

I had high expectations for my second Christmas film of the season, though if I’m being honest, I really wanted to watch this because of Freddie Prinze Jr. My teenage heart could hardly contain itself when news broke that he was finally coming back to the silver screen. A heartthrob then and now, I enjoyed nothing more than being able to watch him for an hour and a half uninterrupted.

Having previously starred in Netflix’s Lucifer, being able to see Aimee Garcia in something new was a treat. The role of Angelina could have been an interesting one, but at times I felt like something was missing. It was as if the emotions weren’t as genuine enough and her lines didn’t quite meet the eyes. At least she can sing! I wish she had better chemistry with Prince Jr. too. The familial relationship between Miguel, Cristina and Frida (Socorro Santiago) was fine enough, but it felt all too familiar after having just watched Falling For Christmas a week ago. That being said, I did appreciate the heavy Latino influences and learning more about a quinceanera. Additionally, the role of Monique (Zenzi Williams), Angelina’s dutiful assistant provided some much needed comedic relief.

Christmas With You had all the ingredients for a fabulous holiday movie and while there were some cute moments, I expected more. The fact that the storyline was very similar to this year’s Marry Me didn’t help as that was such a home run for me.

Rating: ♥♥

Falling For Christmas

Hotel heiress Sierra Belmont (Lindsay Lohan) has it all. A fabulous wardrobe, the best staff on hand and a handsome fiancé Tad (George Young). While out on a skiing trip, Sierra falls off the mountain, hits her head and loses her memory. When lodge owner Jake Russell (Chord Overstreet) finds her, he, his daughter Avy (Olivia Perez) and mother in law Alejandra (Alejandra Flores) take her in.

To start off the festive season with Falling For Christmas seemed fitting, especially as it was Lindsay Lohan’s triumphant return to acting! Not starring in a feature film since 2007, I was more than ready to have her back on the big screen. The charisma and charm she oozed was always refreshing, not to mention the fact that she was an idol to me growing up. I’m so glad that she got her life back on track and is now starring in movies again. Not only is she acting again, she is also back to singing too. Fans should keep their eyes peeled for the perfect Mean Girls throwback. If you know, you know.

While the movie had a lot of funny moments, at the forefront was the budding love story between Sierra and Jake. I thought the chemistry between Lohan and Overstreet was cute. Seeing how welcoming he was to her and how patient he was in regards to her getting her memory back was lovely to watch. The way in which they both interacted with Avy was cute too. In addition, the inclusion of Avy’s maternal grandmother was a nice touch; I thought the four of them made such an adorable little family.

Everything about this movie screamed Christmas. From the snowy mountains to the extravagant decorations , I was instantly transported to a happier place. It may only be the middle of November, but it’s never too early if you ask me. Falling For Christmas had everything a holiday movie is supposed to have: romance, comedy and warm and fuzzy feelings. This is one I will be adding to my annual rewatch list for sure.

Rating: ♥♥♥

Single All The Way

Tired of his family’s judgement on his single status, Peter (Michael Urie) begs his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to come home with him for Christmas so they can pretend to be in a relationship. The plan seems perfect since everyone in Peter’s family thinks they should end up together anyway, until his mom Carole (Kathy Najimy) interferes and sets him up on a blind date with her trainer James (Luke Macfarlane), causing everything to go haywire.

Single All The Way is a great holiday rom-com and I love that it is Netflix’s first with same sex representation. Despite the predictable storyline, I was still swept up in the joy of it all. The scene, in particular, of Peter dancing with his two nieces to my favorite Christmas song My Only Wish (This Year) by Britney Spears will live rent free in my mind for months to come.

I have to give a special shout out to the cast. Not only was the chemistry between Michael Urie and Philemon Chambers adorable, but some of the supporting members were too good for words. Kathy Najimy shined as Peter’s mom. I loved her meddlesome ways and how supportive she was of her son. Jennifer Roberston of Schitt’s Creek fame was hilarious as Peter’s sister Lisa and who could forget Jennifer Coolidge as Peter’s aunt Sandy? The woman is amazing in everything she does and this was no exception.

Everything about Single All The Way was perfect and just what we need for this time of the year. There may not be anything special about it, however, it will leave you feeling all warm in fuzzy inside.

Rating: ♥♥♥