I love a good Holiday film, especially when it’s in the way of a holiday special. This year, Netflix decided to release a Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) Holiday-like special with a great cast. And the star of the show is Bill Murray, hence A Very Murray Christmas.
You would think with a talented director like Sofia Coppola, a screenplay written by her, Bill Murray and Mitch Glazer (Scrooged) and cast including Paul Shaffer, Michael Cera, Rashida Jones, Jenny Lewis, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, George Clooney and Miley Cyrus, would be a hit. Unfortunately, A Very Murray Christmas is a giant lump of coal and waste of time.
The plot is hard to describe since there really isn’t any. Bill Murray plays himself in New York City, trapped in a snow storm at a hotel, waiting to host his own Christmas special, but all of the guest stars could not make it due to the storm. So, he does not want to go on, even though is team (Like Liz, played by Poehler) is telling him he must go on. As reluctant as he is, he decides to go on with Paul Shaffer as his accompanist. However, right off the bat things go bad, and he walks off his “stage.”
While deciding if he should leave the hotel or not, Bill Murray runs into Chris Rock at the hotel. He convinces him to come sing with him, but then the power goes out. So Bill spends time in restaurant with some random people like a waitress (Lewis), a sad Bride (Jones) and her cold-feet Groom (Schwartzman). Maya Rudolph is probably the best as a Lounge Singer.
During a song, Murray falls off his chair and knocks himself out. During this, he imagines he is performing with Miley Cyrus and, George Clooney is there as well. This turns into a bizarre sequence featuring an annoying performance from Cyrus and a pointless part for Clooney.
In the end, there is really not much to this special. The direction is nothing spectacular, the dialogue is terrible, and Bill Murray’s singing voice is like listening to nails on a chalkboard. I wish it would have turned out better because there is so much talent involved.
A Very Murray Christmas is a waste of time and a Holiday downer. I would expect much more from Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray. And Netflix for that matter. TV-MA