It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the most insane and funny TV shows on air right now, so it’s no surprise that their straight-to-DVD Christmas special, A Very Sunny Christmas would follow in the same vein as the show. While most other Christmas specials aim to share some sort of moral set within their respective characters, A Very Sunny Christmas eschews all of that, presenting a fresh and insane perspective on Christmas.
For those who are unfamiliar with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, it’s a sitcom centered around for friends, Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Dee (Kaitlin Olson), Mac (Rob McElhenney), and Charlie (Charlie Day), and Dennis and Dee’s former father, Frank (Danny DeVito). Each episode is structured around some sort of idea that divides the characters into groups as they each explore the concept in their own ways. As is typical of the show, A Very Sunny Christmas presents the idea of what the true meaning of Christmas is. For Mac and Charlie, they search for a “normal” Christmas tradition while Dennis and Dee attempt to teach Frank the “true” meaning of Christmas via a loose interpretation of A Christmas Carol.
Directed by series mainstay and Wonder Years alum, Fred Savage, A Very Sunny Christmas stays true to the series’ tone. Bloody mall Santa attacks, Christmas prostitution, and an endearing talking robot all add into the festive, It’s Always Sunny tone. As is expected of all straight-to-DVD movies/TV show specials, A Very Sunny Christmas appeals to diehard fans of the series. Unfortunately, this may turn away any prospective viewers. However, it’s properly self-contained and is a great starting point for anybody interested in the Paddy’s Pub gang and their absurd shenanigans.
A Very Sunny Christmas does diverge from what’s expected of an extended It’s Always Sunny special with a well-animated claymation sequence. Honestly, the high point of the whole special is this scene. I’m not saying that the rest of the special is lacking, it’s just that it’s pretty much the typical status quo from the gang. However, the claymation scene heightens the special. The moment you see Frank as a little clay model is hysterical. It may just be me, but I always love seeing loved and cherished characters in various forms and mediums. Of course, no Christmas special is without a good sing-along, and A Very Sunny Christmas doesn’t disappoint as the claymation scene includes a funny song detailing Frank’s demise by the hands of the gang.
However, since this is a straight-to-DVD special (ignoring the fact that it’s been included in the season five box set), it should be reviewed as a stand-alone title as opposed to a smaller inclusion of the overall series. In that sense, A Very Sunny Christmas has its fair share of funny moments. The problem, though, is that since it’s a part of a larger series, it may not appeal to those who haven’t watched an episode of It’s Always Sunny. But as stated earlier, it does prove to be a great introduction to the gang and the crazy antics they find constantly find themselves in. On the merits of the special itself, it’s an entertaining look at Christmas done the only way It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia can do.
Overall Score: 7.00 – Good. (7s are good, but not great. These films often have a stereotypical plot or are great movies that have a few minor flaws. Fans of this movie’s genre might love it, but others will still enjoy seeing it in theaters.)
If you’ve never seen an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, A Very Sunny Christmas is a good place to start because it’s a straight-to-DVD special that you can buy or check out without having to commit to a full season. If you’re tired of the cliche Christmas specials full of morals and wisdom, then A Very Sunny Christmas might be exactly what you’re looking for.