Friendsgiving is a 2020 comedy film written & directed by actress Nicol Paone (The Heartbreak Kid, Eagle Eye, Funny People, This is 40, & Chick Fight) in her directorial debut. It was produced by Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder, Zoolander 1/2, Dodgeball, 30 Minutes or Less, The Ruins, & Blades of Glory) for Red Hour Productions. Abby (played by: Kat Dennings from 2 Broke Girls, Thor franchise, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, & Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) is looking forward to a laid-back Thanksgiving with her best friend Molly (played by: Malin Akerman from Watchmen, The Final Girls, The Heartbreak Kid, & Rampage) after both women have recently gone through rough break ups. The best friends’ plans for a quiet turkey dinner go up in smoke when they’re joined by Molly’s new boyfriend Jeff (played by: Jack Donnelly from Atlantis & House of Anubis) & her flamboyant mother Helen (played by: Jane Seymour from Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, Smallville, Wedding Crashers, & Live and Let Die). Throw in some party crashers including Molly’s old flame Gunnar (played by: Ryan Hansen from Veronica Mars, Fantasy Island, 2 Broke Girls, & Chips), a wannabe shaman Claire (played by: Chelsea Peretti from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Game Night, The Photograph, & Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping), Lauren (played by: Aisha Tyler from Friends, Criminal Minds, 24, & Death Sentence), Brianne (played by: Christine Taylor from the Brady Bunch franchise, The Craft, The Wedding Singer, & Night of the Demons 2), & a trio of Fairy Gay Mothers (played by: Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes, & Fortune Feimster). It’s a recipe for a comically chaotic holiday no one will ever forget-even if they wanted to.
Friendsgiving came out of nowhere. I never heard of this comedy until the press release was announced & the cast grabbed my attention right away. Producer Ben Stiller pulled some strings & put together a quality group of actresses for a lower budget feature with not that much promotion. Thanksgiving actually hasn’t been used as much as you would think in movies over the years. It’s the perfect situation for a crazy comedy with friends & family. The script was solid for the most part & it did have more than a few laugh out loud moments with some hilarious scenarios. It had a few characters that really had no business being there & they kinda wasted space with the great set up it already had. The Abby dating subplot was one of the main ones that I felt was kinda useless & fell flat when it came to the comedy in this. I love Christine Taylor & I haven’t seen her in anything in a long time but I hated her character in this. They tried too hard with that role, it wasn’t funny at all. It just ended up being really annoying after it was all done. Besides that, I thought Friendsgiving was better than expected. Like I said before, it was refreshing to see a brand new Thanksgiving related feature because they don’t make enough of those. Women will love this one especially with it’s strong female cast. Kat Dennings, Malin Akerman, Jane Seymour, & Aisha Tyler were all great in this. Kat Dennings & Aisha Tyler making out was a nice bonus.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Lionsgate! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer looks great on blu ray. It mainly focuses on big location & it’s a nice spot for the movie. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is solid. Don’t expect anything crazy because it’s not that type of film. All of the dialogue is crystal clear & the music has a killer boost to it. It has English SDH & Spanish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Lionsgate! It has an “Audio Commentary” with director Nicol Paone & lead actress Malin Akerman. They chat about their experience & the production for Friendsgiving. They talk about the script & it actually being loosely inspired by real events. They breakdown all the characters & main roles in this. They go over the cast & what they brought to this feature. They tell a few stories related to this. They bring up their favorite scenes & discuss what’s going on with them. It’s a fun track with a decent amount of information about Friendsgiving. “Making Friendsgiving: Serving Up Insanity” is a little over 13 minutes. It has interviews with director Nicol Paone, actors Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, Aisha Tyler, Jane Seymour, & various members of the cast. Nicol Paone & Malin Akerman chat about being friends in real life & this being loosely inspired by true events. They talk about their experience on the production. They say they were looking for the best group of actors & comedians for this. They bring up working with the director for this comedy. They mention the cast & the characters that they play. “Gag Reel” is a little over 4 minutes. It has some funny mistakes & outtakes from the film. It also includes a slipcover & a digital code. It’s available everywhere next week, CHECK IT OUT!!!!