Spirited Review – A modern twist based on the classic Charles Dickens story.


Spirited starring Ryan Reynolds have created a new interpretation for traditional Christmas stories. Photo Credit: 9to5Mac

On November 11th, 2022, Apple Tv+ released a modernized, musical version of A Christmas Carol. Focusing on The Ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell), trying to select one bad soul to be reformed by the three Christmas spirits, he ends up picking the wrong one. Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) is a terribly selfish businessman, who finds himself turning the tide on Present, leading him to reexamine his own past, present, and future.

This movie was amusing. It is a very fun and entertaining version of the classic Christmas tale by Charles Dickens. I feel that it can be enjoyed by everyone, even those who rarely like musicals. Please be aware that this movie has gratuitous swearing, and though it may be rated PG13+, it might be more rated PG15+. This review may contain spoilers from the movie, and if you haven’t watched it yet, I recommend doing so to form your own opinion.

Starting with reforming an entitled and obnoxious woman named Karen, the three Christmas ghosts, Past, Present, and Future save yet another Christmas spirit. Present struggles with his own future, all while trying to find a new darkened soul to spend the year working on. By accident, he discovers Clint Briggs and is determined to change him, even though Briggs is marked “unredeemable” on his ghostly file.

The film touches upon the extreme overconsumption we contribute to during the holidays, success isn’t always happy, the conflict of if people really change, and the terrible effects of social media and cyberbullying. There is so much going on at one time, yet it is so perfectly stacked, that you can easily follow all of the different topics.

The original songs and choreography were also well done, factoring in the fact that the two main actors are not singers, nor are they dancers. There was so much energy, and the visuals were enthralling at times. Ferrell and Reynolds perfectly encapsulated their characters with their witty banter, and the brotherly duo they were able to portray to us as the film went on. The rollercoaster from happy tap dancing, to the more emotional moments in the film, also played out really well, as it didn’t feel like whiplash when the emotions changed.

Though there were a few things that I didn’t enjoy as much. Some of the jokes are pretty corny in an attempt to stay relevant to what younger audiences find funny. The ending of the movie was decent but it felt like an unnatural turn for the characters to take. And, there was an innuendo involving the Ghost of Christmas Past and Briggs that was unnecessary, and it didn’t do much for the storyline.

Altogether, the film was spunky, and it’s a good one to watch if you’re feeling like binge-watching any type of Christmas movie. Of course, it’s not perfect, and other timeless holiday movies may outshine this film, but it’s fun to watch nonetheless.