Saturday, December 01, 2012

Christmas Movies

We often have a debate around here: 80s movie or a movie that happened to be made in the 80s?  Example: The Breakfast Club, Say Anything, Sixteen Candles, etc. = 80s movies; Die Hard = movie that happened to be made in the 80s.  The same can be said for Christmas movies.  There are "Christmas Movies" and then there are movies that happen to be set around Christmas.  Example: It's a Wonderful Life = Christmas Movie; Die Hard = (arguably) a movie that happens to be set around Christmas.

So if you need some suggestions of movies to watch this season...

 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  This movie never stops being funny.  Even though I can quote the whole damn thing.  I guess we can all relate to Clark Griswold and his big, Norman Rockwell-esque expectations that turn into dysfunctional Jerry Springer realities.  Been there.

A Christmas Story.  Remember when this move was sort of a cult classic, and they played it maybe once or twice all season?  Now there's a 24 hour marathon and tons of merchandise tie-ins.  But funny it is, as long as you limit your viewing to once or twice. "Oh f-uuuuuu-dge."

A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Classic.  There's nothing else to say - except that I really love how the Peanuts gang dances.

Bad Santa.  Actually, this is Rykert's favorite so I'm adding it for him.  It certainly isn't kid-friendly, but it's hysterical.  So if you like your Christmas cheer laced with a little dark humor, booze, and profanity, this is your movie.  I think of this movie every year when I'm lighting the candles in our luminaries during the city's big event (which by the way almost always happens on the coldest, wettest, windiest day of the year.)

The Grinch that Stole Christmas.
 The animated version not the Jim Carrey version.  Jim Carrey's grinch freaks me out, but the Whoville kids are pretty darn cute in both versions.  "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  Dr. Seuss was pretty much a genius.

 Love Actually.  I love this movie.  I also love Hugh Grant, even though I feel I shouldn't.  The movie follows a few different story lines during the Christmas season.  I always forget how much I like this movie until I start watching it again.

About a Boy
.  This is really more of a movie that takes place around Christmas (like Die Hard) rather than an actual "Christmas Movie".  But I'm keeping it on the list anyway, because it's actually one of my favorite movies ever and again, Hugh Grant. "I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes. Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour."

A Muppet Family Christmas.  There's also a Muppet Christmas Carol, but the Muppet Family Christmas is a lesser-known classic in its own right. This is the movie with the classic line: "Watch out for the icy patch!!"

Honorable Mention.

Elf.  I'm not sure that I've ever seen this movie from start to finish in one sitting.  But it's a promising newer addition to the Christmas genre.  Will Farrell is always funny, and I really like Zooey Deschanel, even though I just recently learned that she's not the same person as Katy Perry.

It's a Wonderful Life.  I know it's a classic, but it's just not my absolute favorite. I don't mind watching it every year, but I always think about how Bedford Falls is so unrealistically boring compared to Pottersville.  I know it's quite nostalgic for some, but I think it's a little over-rated as a "classic."  And I almost always fall asleep before the bell rings for Zuzu.  Aside: What do you think Zuzu's full name is?

Home Alone.  This is a film franchise that was ruined by bad sequels.  But honestly, the original isn't terrible.  Though, who forgets their child and doesn't realize it until they are out of the country.  "Merry Christmas ya filthy animal."

Other classics that should be mentioned: White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street

Not my favorites, but other movies that are either Christmas Movies or movies that happen to take place during Christmas: Die Hard, Gremlins.

And I also love a good marathon of classic tv sitcom Christmas specials.  Remember when Carol Brady lost her voice on Christmas Eve and Cindy, left unattended in the line for Santa, asked him for a cure?

Ok, so what did I miss.  I have to admit I've never seen The Polar Express, and I'm certain I've missed others.  What are you favorite Christmas movies?

2 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Rykert said...

The best Sitcom Christmas special ever is the "Married With Children" Christmas eipsode (circa 1990ish) with Sam Kinnison as Al's Guradian Angel. Initially believing that he failed his mission, the angel inadvertently convinces Al to keep on living, so that he can prevent the family that is the root of his torturous daily toil, from living a joyful, prosperous alternate life. Lessons abound.

Rykert said...

I still need to watch "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

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