After splitting up with her boyfriend just before the holidays, a young woman tries to start over, but her self-destructive behavior gets in the way.
Jenny comes to stay with her brother, his wife, and their adorable toddler son for Christmas. She then proceeds to get drunk, stoned, and be an overgrown selfish brat who causes upheaval in their lives, but also causes her sister-in-law to reevaluate her own needs.
Oh yeah, and there’s an entire subplot centered around writing a romance novel that is AMAZING.
Anna Kendrick as Jenny
Our Fake Girlfriend, who stars in our favorite movies, Pitch Perfect, Up In the Air, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2 (destined to be our next favorite movie), and Into the Woods – open now! And not to mention, she’s the best thing about the entire Twilight franchise. In anyone else’s hands, Jenny could be the absolute worst, but because it’s Anna, she still manages to be lovable.
Melanie Lynskey as Kelly
Melanie is one of those actresses who’s been in everything, and usually manages to elevate whatever she’s in. Case in point: Coyote Ugly. You’d also recognize her from The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Up In the Air. (And let’s just pretend that Two and a Half Men thing never happened.) As Kelly, she manages to strike the perfect note between being uptight, and just concerned. Her interactions with the other two women are the highlight of the movie.
Lena Dunham as Carson
You’ll know Lena from being famous all over the interwebs, or from her HBO show, Girls (which I don’t watch). I expected Lena’s character to be the bad influence friend, but she actually managed to be the better friend, with maybe a few boundary issues.
Joe Swanberg as Jeff
In addition to being the writer and director, Joe plays Jenny’s brother, Kevin. Joe is also responsible for the indie comedy, Drinking Buddies.
Jude Swanberg as Jude
Arguably, the star of the film, Jude is the cutest kid you’ve ever seen, and a complete riot.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Medium
This would be a good one to watch with your girlfriends, as it passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. You may not want to watch it with your 14 year-old sister, like I did, since it brought up some topics I’d like to pretend she doesn’t know about yet. Watch it with your significant other, but only if you don’t mind hearing about their crazy exes that were just like Jenny.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Watch the Eggnog (you don’t want to pull a Jenny)
I watched with a couple of glasses of wine, but then worried that I’m that sister.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Festive
It’s a Christmas movie, but nothing like the big budget Love, Actually, and The Family Stone that we’re used to. The only thing it really has in common with those are the awkward family interactions and the universal stress of the holidays. This is a super low-budget indie film, with mostly improvised dialogue. But, with just an 82 minute runtime, it’s an easy way to pass the time, while you’re hiding from your family in the guestroom.