*** 1/2 (three and a half stars)
The prolific director Joe Swanberg and his improv-ready cast conjure up an engaging comedy about women probing their identity in "Happy Christmas." Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) and Jeff (played by Swanberg), married with a two-year-old (Swanberg’s scene-stealing son Jude), welcome Jeff’s screw-up sister Jenny (Anna Kendrick) to their Chicago home for Christmas. Jenny’s a mess, prone to binge-drinking and just over a break-up, but she’s also a creative spark that Kelly, a novelist stuck in her stay-at-home mom status, needs to get going. The byplay between Lynskey and Kendrick, with a boost from Lena Dunham as Jenny’s best friend, opens up funny and emotionally authentic conversations about the perils of women "having it all."
-- Sean P. Means
"Happy Christmas" screens again at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Redstone Cinema 2, Park City (Summit County residents have priority; pass holders and others need to wait list); Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the Eccles Theatre, Park City; and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Library Center Theatre, Park City.
|1.||Questions linger in Megan Huntsman investigation|
|2.||LDS leader, Obama meet to push for immigration reform|
|3.||Neon Trees’ Tyler Glenn proud to be gay and Mormon|
|4.||Atheist leader: ‘Mormonism demonstrates the power of indoctrination’|
|5.||Paul McCartney gets back to Utah — August 7 at EnergySolutions Arena|
|6.||Utah teacher on leave after asking kids to list genitalia slang|
|7.||Old, new acts headline 29 Red Butte concerts|
|8.||Dash-cam video documents shooting death of Utah officer|
|9.||Cannon: Share the gift of reading on World Book Night|