THE famous duo is back six years after their last adventure. Following years of growing apart, Harold Lee (played by John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) have replaced each other with new friends and are preparing for their respective Yuletide celebrations. Previous installments took on race and politics. Completing the trifecta of taboo subjects, this go-round they’re tackling religion, specifically the glory of Christmas.
To Todd Strauss-Schulson, who makes his feature film directorial debut, getting involved in this movie is a dream come true.
“I’m a big fan of these movies, and it feels like I’m making short films, and it’s a buddy comedy so I booked it and it was really excited.”
Screenwriters Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who have written all three films, also serve as co-producers on the third. Conceptualizing for the third film is not really rocket-science. “It really just comes from the movies that we are really fans of since we are in high school. When creating Harold and Kumar, the thing that is most important to us is the lead characters going through an adventure that can be surreal” Jon said. “I think that when you are making a sequel to a movie that people like you have the challenge of meeting expectations while doing something different is something that we are trying to do. It is taking those characters and putting them into situations that are different to the previous movies.” Hayden adds.
Working together for the third time, John Cho and Kal Penn relieve the experience of seeing each other again. “It was a relief.” Jon said. “We get along in real life and there were gaps but it was nice to see each other” Kal added. “It was strange because we filmed into the first week apart from one another compared to the previous movies.”
Neil Patrick Harris, who returns as the inimitable NPH – surprisingly full of life since Harold and Kumar last saw him – adds, “These movies are so random and so preposterous; you never know what’s going to happen. It’s quite the ride.”
Pushing the envelope is the staples in the Harold and Kumar series. Hayden shared, “We like to play around in ways that are surprising and really go for it. The warm and fuzziness of Christmas is so childlike and putting the Harold and Kumar sensibility into that particular holiday we felt will lead to great comedy”. ”I think the audience wants us to push. The balance of it can be challenging though” Todd adds.
Despite all the traditional trappings, “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” is not your standard Christmas movie. Strauss-Schulson says, “You can get your holiday movie fix, but it’s wrapped in an adventure where, naturally, anything can go wrong, does go wrong.” One thing always turns out right however. No matter how much trouble Harold and Kumar get into, their friendship prevails. And the camaraderie remains intact – between them and their audience.
“A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas” comes out in theaters November 4.