I’ll be honest with you. I don’t much care for Christmas specials. Especially the live variety ones. Most of the time the performers on them never felt like they wanted to be there. Yeah, they sung well and everything but they never expressed any joy or happiness for doing so. Now I really don’t know any if there were any behind the scenes scuffles in this Netflix original. But to me, everyone seems to be really enjoying themselves in this. Actors I never thought could sing blew me away and singers I thought could never act did the same. This is the kind of Holiday special that would be played on most major broadcast networks if streaming wasn’t so readily available. It’s a nice short film that also reunites director Sofia Coppola with actor Bill Murray (Lost in Translation) and I hope they get to work on another project soon. So what is this whole thing all about.
In the biggest snow storm of the year Bill Murray (himself) is set to tape a live Christmas special from his hotel in New York. However the special celebrity guests that were booked can no longer make it. His managers (Amy Pohler, Julie White) convince him to do the show anyways. Saying that they can just add them in during post. After a few disastrous live starts (one involving Chris Rock), the power goes off and leaves everyone inside stranded. While visiting a bar, Mr. Murray and Paul Shaffer meet up with a waitress(Jenny Lewis ) who informs them that there was a wedding planed for later that week. But with the power off all the food will go bad. Not waiting to let things go wrong. Mr. Murray with the help of the staff (David Johanson, Maya Rudolph, and the band Phoenix) tells the bride and groom (Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman) that they can combine their failed wedding plans with his failed show into one Christmas event.
The moments in the bar are among the best and that is where you get a lot of nice heartfelt moments. I really enjoyed when Rashida Jones and Jason Schwartzman sang Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw the Light” and that’s not even a Christmas song. Maya Rudolph was great with her performance of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and Pheonix’s cover of The Beach Boys track”Alone on Christmas Day” was also very good. It’s when we are introduced to George Clooney and Miley Cyrus that things fall a little sour. It’s not their performances because they were both really good, especially Miley. We like to give her shit because of certain things she does to make headlines,but the girl can sing and she looks very beautiful in this too. I just hate that they made it into a dream sequence and nothing else. After that the special ends and although it ends on a good and upbeat note. I somehow wish that both the dream and real life would combine somehow. At just over an hour. A Very Murray Christmas is good but not perfect special that will make you appreciate the friends and family in your life.
Overall 7.5 out of 10