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Nicol Paone
Kat Dennings, Malin Akerman, Jane Seymour
Writing Credits:
Nicol Paone

Along with their crew of close friends and acquaintances, Abby and Molly host a dysfunctional, comical and chaotic Thanksgiving dinner.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 10/27/2020

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Nicol Paone and Producer/Actor Malin Akerman
• “Serving Up Insanity” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• Previews


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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Friendsgiving [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 21, 2020)

Stuck between the flashier holidays of Halloween and Christmas, poor Thanksgiving doesn’t get a lot of love from the movies. With 2020’s Friendsgiving, however, we find an attempt to broaden those cinematic horizons.

Recently dumped by her girlfriend, Abby (Kat Dennings) wants a quiet Thanksgiving. As such, she decides to make it a small affair that she plans to share solely with her pal Molly (Malin Akerman).

However, Abby’s hopes become dashed when Molly brings her new boyfriend Jeff (Jack Donnelly), her over-the-top mother Helen (Jane Seymour) and others. Matters deteriorate from there, as a slew of party-crashers blow up Abby’s dreams of a low-key holiday.

Immediately after the movie starts, we get a shot of Jeff clad in nothing but a holiday-themed “cock sock”. This inserts his Little Jeff inside a space meant to look like a turkey neck and head.

That’s what we call a “declaration of intent”.

Friendsgiving clearly wants to go down the bawdy “R”-rated feminist comedy vein essentially launched by 2011’s Bridesmaids. However, whereas Bridesmaids offered clever jokes, interesting characters and solid performances, Friendsgiving… doesn’t.

Less a movie and more a collection of goody comedic bits, Friendsgiving lacks consistency and any particular reason to keep the viewer with it. We get a slew of characters, none of whom ever develop into anything more than basic stereotypes.

Sure, Molly and Abby receive a bit more exploration, mainly via the differing ways they deal with recently-ended relationships. Those themes become the most prominent, but they feel like little more than windowdressing to try to convince the viewer that Friendsgiving offers real characters in a real movie.

Don’t fall for it, as the film just tosses out semi-random comedic bits without much actual connection. Formless and incoherent, the flick lives and dies with its attempts at hilarity.

Since virtually each one of its gags fails, “dies” wins that battle. Given the nature of the holiday, it doesn’t seem like it should be tough to find good laughs here, but Friendsgiving persistently follows the easiest path.

As such, we get lame characters in contrived situations that never threaten to either feel real or turn amusing. The actors work overtime to sell this tripe, and they fail.

While devoid of truly big names, Friendsgiving comes with a fairly solid cast. In addition to Akerman, Dennings, and Seymour, we find actors like Aisha Tyler, Christine Taylor, Deon Cole and Chelsea Peretti, so we see some talent.

Unfortunately, they fail to do anything with their thinly written characters. The jokes fall flat and the cast can’t find a way to redeem the terrible script.

Even at a mere 96 minutes, Friendsgiving feels too long and too uninspired. A mix of unlikable characters and lowest common denominator humor, this becomes a poor excuse for a holiday comedy.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

Friendsgiving appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong transfer.

Sharpness looked very good. Only mild softness materialized, which meant a tight, well-defined image most of the time.

I witnessed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the film lacked any print flaws.

In terms of palette, Friendsgiving went with a fairly amber sensibility, though it threw in some blues as well. Within the stylistic decisions, the hues seemed fine.

Blacks were deep and tight, and shadows looked smooth and clear. This turned into an appealing image.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it opted for a fairly standard “comedy mix” much of the time, though some elements opened up the action on occasion. Party moments and those with outrageous comedy brought out some dimensionality, and the mix used music as an active partner.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech seemed distinctive and concise, without roughness or brittleness.

Music was warm and full, as the movie used the songs and score in a bold manner. Effects showed good delineation and accuracy. This ended up as a satisfactory mix for a comedy.

A few extras appear here, and we find an audio commentary with writer/director Nicol Paone and producer/actor Malin Akerman. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and connected domains.

Though it gets better as it goes, this feels like a mediocre commentary, mainly because we get an awful lot of happy talk. Real-life besties Paone and Akerman offer good chemistry, and they dig a little deeper into the production during the film’s second half, but this remains a track without tons of informational value.

Serving Up Insanity runs 13 minutes, 26 seconds and brings notes from Paone, Akerman, and actors Deon Cole, Kat Dennings, Chelsea Peretti, Aisha Tyler, Jack Donnelly, Jane Seymour and Ryan Hansen.

“Serving” looks at the project’s roots and development, story and characters, cast and performances, and Paone’s work. Expect a lot of happy talk and not much insightful content.

A Gag Reel spans four minutes, 35 seconds and offers the usual mix of goofs and giggles, along with a little improv material. Some of this already appears during the end credits.

The disc opens with ads for Jay and Silent Bob Reboot and Guns Akimbo. No trailer for Friendsgiving appears here.

While Friendsgiving comes with the potential to provide a witty, insightful view of a relatable event, instead it goes for cheap laughs. It doesn’t succeed, as the end result feels obnoxious and idiotic. The Blu-ray brings good picture and audio along with a few bonus features. Even in the sparse genre of Thanksgiving movies, Friendsgiving doesn’t deserve your attention.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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