“Happy Holidays” is a black and white comedy that tackles lightweight material like politics, social issues, family, faith and more which are hashed over by three friends who have an unexpected reunion right before Christmas. They all have their own issues, and they have all changed a bit since high school, but it doesn’t take too long for them to get back into the swing of things. Unfortunately, those changes they’ve gone through may end up destroying their friendship.
There are some laughs here. As far as comedies go, this one is aimed strictly at adults. Not because it is profane, but because the comedy comes more from observations of life instead of sight gags and pratfalls. That works in its favor. The laughs flow more naturally, and they make audiences feel like they know these guys and may have sat in on some of their conversations in the past. Unfortunately, these friends aren’t that interesting, and that’s where the film falters.
Relating to these characters is easy. We all know people like this. We also don’t care about them. They complain too much and refuse to see that most of their problems are of their own doing. That makes for strained friendships in real life and annoyance in a movie — unless it is handled properly. Here it is handled realistically, and that does not always make for a good story.
There are many films that are far worse than this. Hundreds, actually. If you watch this one, you will see a beautifully shot feature that sometimes works exceedingly well. If you avoid it, though, your life will proceed as normal as nothing here is strong enough to have any lasting impact or deep personal meaning.