Happy Christmas (film)

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Happy Christmas
Film poster
Directed byJoe Swanberg
Written byJoe Swanberg
Produced byJoe Swanberg
Alicia Van Couvering
Peter Gilbert
StarringAnna Kendrick
Melanie Lynskey
Mark Webber
Lena Dunham
CinematographyBen Richardson
Edited byJoe Swanberg
Lucky Coffee Productions
Distributed by
Release dates
  • January 19, 2014 (2014-01-19) (Sundance)
  • July 25, 2014 (2014-07-25) (United States)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$30,312[1]

Happy Christmas is a 2014 American comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by Joe Swanberg. It stars Swanberg, Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, and Lena Dunham. Like most of Swanberg's previous features, the film's dialogue was entirely improvised.[2]

The film had its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival (where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition)[3] on January 19, 2014.[4]

It was released on June 26, 2014, through video on demand prior to being released in a limited release July 25, 2014 in the United States by Magnolia Pictures.[5]


Irresponsible 20-something Jenny (Anna Kendrick) arrives in Chicago to live with her older brother Jeff (Joe Swanberg), a young filmmaker living a happy existence with his novelist wife Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) and their two-year-old son. Jenny's arrival shakes up their quiet domesticity as she and Jenny's friend from high school Carson (Lena Dunham) instigate an evolution in Kelly's life and career.



Magnolia Pictures and Paramount Pictures jointly acquired the distribution rights prior to the film's premiere screening, with Magnolia handling U.S. theatrical and VOD distribution and Paramount Home Media Distribution handling U.S. physical home entertainment and all international rights.[6] The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014.[7] The film was released on video on demand on June 26, 2014, before being released in a limited release on July 25, 2014.[8]


The film has been met with positive reviews. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 79 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Intelligent, well-acted, and satisfyingly low-key, Happy Christmas marks another step in prolific filmmaker Joe Swanberg's creative evolution."[9] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 70 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Happy Christmas (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  2. ^ "Joe Swanberg Talks HAPPY CHRISTMAS". Collider. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  3. ^ "Sundance: Paramount & Magnolia Team For 'Happy Christmas'". Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  4. ^ "Sundance: 'Happy Christmas' With Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham Picked Up by Magnolia, Paramount". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "Pre-Sundance, Magnolia and Paramount Scoop Up Joe Swanberg's 'Happy Christmas'". Archived from the original on January 24, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  7. ^ Peter Debruge (2014-01-27). "'Happy Christmas' Review: Joe Swanberg's Son Upstages Anna Kendrick". Variety. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  8. ^ Shetty, Sharan (2014-05-20). "Happy Christmas Trailer: Anna Kendrick and Lena Dunham star in Joe Swanberg's latest mumblecore film (VIDEO)". Slate.com. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  9. ^ "Happy Christmas (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 9, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  10. ^ "Happy Christmas Reviews". Metacritic. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-30.

External links[edit]