CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: ‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas’ Delivers Holiday Laughs
CHICAGO – “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” delivers exactly what fans should expect from it and even a bit more, as the actors who play the stoner icons have gotten noticeably better at their craft and the production team behind the film has gone all out in a quest to throw as many jokes as possible at the viewer in a barrage of attempts at hilarity. It’s one of those comedies in which if one joke falls flat for you (and more than one definitely will), it’s mere seconds before the writers are trying something different. Every time the film threatens to collapse, the sheer manic nature of the piece saves it.
Christmas has become such an over-the-top holiday (most stores already have their holiday swag out and Starbucks is making Peppermint Lattes closer to Halloween every year), that it makes sense that a comedy centered around the increasingly-insane holiday be over-the-top as well. Claymation, a drugged-out baby, Machete in Christmas sweaters, a lavish holiday number sung by Neil Patrick Harris, Santa himself with a severe head injury – “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” is admirably ridiculous. We don’t go to a 3D comedy sequel about a pair of stoner buddies for subtlety and the team behind this sequel, an improvement on “Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay,” understand that fact. It’s a stupid comedy, but in all the right ways.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” in our reviews section.|
Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) haven’t spoken in years. The uptight Harold still works a thankless job but worries more nowadays about impressing his intense father-in-law (Danny Trejo), a man obsessed with providing the perfect Christmas. He even brings his own Christmas tree. Living in the ‘burbs, trying to impress the in-laws, refraining from the wacky weed – Harold has settled down.
Of course, Kumar hasn’t done anything of the sort. The film opens with him smoking down with a mall Santa (Patton Oswalt) and shortly thereafter reveals that poor Kumar has gone downhill since he became estranged from the more conservative half of his partnership. He’s basically a slob pothead and he’s replace Harold with a remarkably annoying jerk named Adrian (Amir Blumenfeld). Adrian’s attempts at seducing a girl he met online along with a surprise package on Kumar’s door for Harold will reunite the two and send them on another bizarre adventure with a Christmas twist.
A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas
Photo credit: New Line Pictures