PHOTO: COLUMBIA PICTURES / GO
Sometimes, Christmas movies can be a bit too treacly-sweet and you just want to watch something... else.
Go is that something else. It's the Christmas movie for adults.
If you haven't already watched Go, I almost don't want to spoil it for you. But on the other hand, if you haven't already watched it I am super jealous, because I would love to watch it again for the first time.
Katie Holmes. Taye Diggs. Timothy Olyphant. Sarah Polley. Scott Wolf. Jane Krakaowski. And a bunch more people you know. They're all in this three-perspectives bumbling tale about grocery store workers Ronna (Polley), Claire (Holmes), and Mannie (Nathan Bexton).
It's Christmas Eve and Ronna is working because she's broke and needs to make rent. So she agrees to source some ecstasy for two men who ask her for it while she's working the checkout.
She gets the drugs, but when she goes in for the trade, she realizes something's not right, and is forced to improvise. The whole thing sets off a chain of events that gets very chaotic, very quickly.
It's funny, surprising, well-acted and really, just plain fun. I was worried I'd misremembered how much I liked it, but it's 92 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and has a Metacritic score of 72, which is not too shabby.
Most of the action takes place around a warehouse Christmas rave, and there's also a very funny Christmas dinner overseen by Krakowski.
Note: It's not one for the kids, though.
Made in 1999, Go is everything it felt like to be farewelling the '90s. It's got '90s teen stars (Holmes, Wolf, Clueless' Breckin Meyers) and rom-com stars (Jay Mohr, Taye Diggs), and people who aren't big yet but will be (Melissa McCarthy is in it) and it delivers on that seedy-'90s-hopelessness-vibe in a big way.
This is what being young as the 21st century came into view felt like. It's dark, a little unfinished, and exists in a world where people built their family from their friends.
I agonized over whether to pick this film, A Muppet Christmas Carol or Home Alone, as my underrated Christmas pick. I disqualified Home Alone, because it's not really underrated, and then I ruled out the wonderful Muppets for the same reason.
Go might not be the cheeriest movie you can watch, but it's a nod to the underbelly of Christmas—the complexities of family, the people who are doing it tough this time of year, the relationship stuff you're forced to face head-on—and it takes every bad thing and crazy consequence you can think up and serves up something worse. And it also somehow manages to be funny.
Watching Go was the first time it felt like Hollywood thought it was okay to not have a "conventional" Christmas. As an angsty teen, I loved that it wasn't happy elves, loving parents and a million presents.
Which, actually, is the same stuff I love about Home Alone and the good ol' Muppets.
The imperfect, slightly crazy spirit of finding a way to have a good time, no matter what (torturing burglars is not normal holiday fun, Kevin). The making the most of your circumstances thing (Kermit and Tiny Tim. I DIE.) Which, really is absolutely the spirit of Christmas: the celebration of the birth of a baby in a manger to parents wholly unprepared for his arrival. Talk about hectic.
So, if you're looking for something that will make you laugh, make you glad for the life you live, and make you forget that fight you had with your sister over the gravy, Go is the movie for you.
Watch it and pine for your youth, appreciate your friends, your family, your quirks and your flaws. Because no person and no holiday is perfect. It is just exactly what you make it, and who you chose to spend it with.
That's a Christmas message I can get behind 100 percent.
Now what are we doing for New Year's?