A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas

For the Harold and Kumar movies, it’s always been about the journey. Their ultimate goal (saving Christmas) or destination (getting to White Castle) is always an afterthought to the sheer lunacy they have to go through to get there. And in this one, there’s a nightmarish claymation sequence, a drug-addled infant, ruthless gangsters, a Rockette performance, a Christmas-sweater wearing Danny Trejo, waffle-making robots and 3D sequences worthy of the format (that is, a lot of things get thrown at the audience).

After White Castle and Guantanamo Bay, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) have grown apart. No longer best friends, Harold is living a decent middle-class life with a nice house, good job, and his loving wife Maria (Paula Garces). He’s hosting her family for Christmas to win over her cold (but holiday-loving) father (Danny Trejo). Meanwhile, Kumar hasn’t really changed from the first film – he stills lives in a dirty apartment with marijuana paraphernalia lying around, his girlfriend has dumped him because she can’t stand how juvenile he is, and he has no motivation to get a real job or settle down. Their lives are polar opposites.

And then, a magic package arrives on Kumar’s doorstep for Harold, they reunite, Danny Trejo’s Christmas tree is ruined, and they have only about six hours to replace it before the family gets home from midnight mass.

What I like about these movies is that the plot always exists on a strict timeline (excepting Guantanamo Bay, which I haven’t seen). Like the first film, the entirety of the movie takes place over one night. It’s always a good idea to have strict rules and boundaries to follow within any film’s universe – especially for comedy. The jokes are grounded in a central location – New York – and the set pieces have to be somewhat organically related for continuity. All comedies should follow this template – or make it even stricter (a one room comedy would be something that hasn’t been dished out lately).

The jokes come fast and quick, and there are a few instances of meta-humour regarding the film’s 3D format. My favourite joke would have to be a twisted take on A Christmas Story‘s stuck tongue sequence, or Matrix joke with a coked up baby that’s funny, rather than dated. Oh, and Neil Patrick Harris makes another cameo that’s awfully creepy and yet somehow amazing.

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas is funny. Very funny. It’s also has a surprising amount of heart and sentimentality to really earn the moniker of being a holiday movie – and it might just be worthy of being dusted off once a year to watch alongside A Christmas Story, Home Alone, and It’s a Wonderful Life – at least for a bit of counter-programming.

Grade: B

Sidenote: Amir Blumenfeld of College Humour plays a large role in the movie as Kumar’s new best friend. I really like him in the College Humour videos and website, but he just didn’t work for me in this movie. While Harold and Kumar are believable as characters (never have they been one-note stoners, the characters are just guys who incidentally like to get stoned) Amir’s character is flat – defined completely by his quest for sex, a character done countless times before.

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One Response to A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas

  1. Jew says:

    Despite myself being 100% Jewish, I absolutely loved your review and this movie. However, this should not have deserved a B. This should have deserved an A++.

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