Netflix This – Holiday Edition: ‘The Ref’By
As Christmas approaches, I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for holiday movie recommendations. In the spirit of giving, I wanted to provide Movie Mashers with a rental suggestion of one of my favorite Christmas comedies, The Ref. The film stars Dennis Leary as Gus, a jewel theif who, after a snafu in his robbery scheme, is forced to kidnapp a horrifically unhappy married couple (played by Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) and hide out in their quiet Connecticut suburaban home until he can figure out his getaway. Only one problem, Lloyd’s (Spacey) family is on their way to have Christmas dinner. Shenanigans ensue.
What’s great about The Ref is it’s one of the, if not the first R-rated Christmas comedies, chock full of profanity-laced tyrads from our anti-hero, Gus, who indirectly helps Lloyd and Caroline (Davis) repair their troubled marriage while being held hostage, forcing them to work out their issues. Great line: after suffering from Lloyd and Caroline’s non-stop arguing over the most superficial bullshit, Gus sighs and says “great…I kidnapped my fucking parents.”
The film is filled with hilariously uncomfortable and awkward situations, as, when Lloyd’s family comes over, Gus pretends to be the couple’s therapist “Dr. Wong,” and tries his best to play the part, but he’s not very convincing…
Lloyd’s Mother: “So, Dr. Wong. Tell us about how your therapy is helping Lloyd and Caroline.”
Gus: “Well…marriage is a complex web…of complications. In order for a couple to maintain a good relationship, they must, uh, keep the highways of communication open” (downs his glass of wine)
Lloyd’s Sister-in-Law: “That’s funny, I heard something very similar on Oprah last week…”
The Ref is a very original and refreshing comedy. And one that is perfect when you’re curling up with a glass of eggnog next the fire, looking for some holiday laughter.
Check it out. Great flick.