English actor Dan Stevens wants you to know he has range. That’s why he cannonballed out of the wildly popular and critically acclaimed TV drama Downton Abbey to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Presumably, that’s why he’s ping-ponged from playing the steamy baddie in Adam Wingard’s thriller The Guest, to the silly Sir Lancelot in the family-friendly romp Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, to the entitled prince-turned-brute in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, to the mentally unstable mutant at the heart of FX’s genre-defying superhero series Legion. But Stevens seems so intent on mixing it up, he doesn’t seem terribly concerned if the projects he picks are very good.
That’s how we get to The Man Who Invented Christmas, a spirited biopic that is a real movie despite how every frame of this trailer suggests it can’t possibly be.
Dan, why do you make it so hard to just love you?
Seriously, between the appallingly bad wigs, the ham-fisted eureka moments (“Humbug! Humbug! HUMBUUUUUUG!”) and the manufactured drama (“But you still don’t have an ending!”), this feels like a College Humor prank.
The Man Who Invented Christmas opens November 22nd. You’ve been warned.