Joe Swanberg just cannot stop making movies. Since 2011, he has directed eleven feature films and does not look to be slowing down anytime soon. Last year marked Swanberg’s first real flirtation into the mainstream with Drinking Buddies, which featured Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick – by far the starriest cast he’s ever had. Now, a trailer has dropped for Swanberg’s latest, Happy Christmas, which finds him reuniting with Anna Kendrick once again. Could this be the beginning of a new phase in the director’s career?
The trailer for Happy Christmas certainly seems similar, tonally, to Drinking Buddies, but this time the focus is primarily on Kendrick. She plays Jenny, an immature young adult who moves in with her brother’s family and proceeds to shake up their idyllic life while simultaneously entering a relationship with the family’s baby-sitter/pot dealer. Joe Swanberg plays Jenny’s brother and his wife is played by Melanie Lynskey (who appears to be using her natural, New Zealand accent!). Rounding out the cast are Lena Dunham and Mark Webber.
Webber, if you might recall, previously worked with Anna Kendrick in 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, though they rarely shared any scenes together. Here, he plays Kendrick’s love interest, so it will be interesting to see what kind of chemistry they have together.
Happy Christmas first premiered at Sundance earlier this year and was warmly received, with most critics praising Swanberg’s growing maturity as a filmmaker. Anna Kendrick’s performance also had some positive notices and she really seems to enjoy working with the director. In fact, they have just wrapped up a third collaboration, Digging For Fire, which is set to release sometime next year.
In the meantime, you can catch Happy Christmas in theaters on July 25th. If you can’t wait that long, it will be available via VOD on June 26th.