My Favorite Christmas Movie – Just Friends

The first time I saw this movie, it was at a test screening, a few months before the release. About half way through, the projector flamed out, and me and my buddies each ended up scoring free tickets for any movie at that theater. It was pretty sweet.

We were all pretty disappointed that we didn’t get to see the rest of, “Just Friends,” though. I don’t know about them, but I was sold on the movie – hook, line, and sinker – from the first frame. Ryan Reynolds in a fat-suit is comedy gold, as far as I’m concerned. It only gets better when you add in Boys 2 Men.

Before I rave about the cast and blow all the funny moments for you – let’s discuss the plot. Ryan Reynolds plays Chris Brander. When our story starts, Chris is a fat kid in high school, who’s in love with his best friend, Jamie Palamino, as played by Amy Smart.

Unfortunately for Chris, Jamie doesn’t see him that way. In short: he’s in the friend zone. After she discovers his feelings at a graduation party, and turns him down – Brander flees.

As he puts it –

“This town’s full of losers, and I’m pulling out of here to win!”

Yes, that’s a Bruce Springsteen line. This movie takes place in New Jersey.

Fast forward ten years, and Chris is a successful record executive. He’s also slaying ass. He does everything he can to not get put into the friend zone. He won’t do that again.

It happens to be Christmas time when we pick up with Chris, and he’s told by his boss, that he has to sign Samantha James, as played by Anna Faris. She’s a famous musician, but she’s also a complete nutjob. Oh, yeah, and she’s one of the funniest characters in the film.

Faris is fantastic. She steals every moment that she is on screen. She’s the catalyst of the whole movie, as well. She drags Chris onto her private plane, and then she puts some tin foil into the microwave, and starts a fire – forcing them to land.

Just so happens, they set down in New Jersey, not far from Chris’ childhood home. That’s when the movie truly picks up.

Also of note – Christopher Marquette plays Chris Brander’s younger brother, Mike. Marquette and Reynolds have a great dynamic. Their scenes are some of my favorite parts of this movie.

There’s also Chris Klein. He’s great in this, too. Everybody is, to be honest. This is my favorite Christmas movie – right ahead of “Bad Santa” – but it’s also one of my favorite comedies.

I laugh from beginning to end – every time I put it on.

Have you seen this movie? If so, let us know what you thought.

If not – well, what the hell are you waiting for?

Joseph Finnegan