Well International Friends, it is upon this most festive of holidays that we are flooded with Christmas Movies. In the regular fashion of the Movie Blog, I thought I would compile a list of my personal Best 10 Christmas Movies off the top of my head.
10. Christmas Vacation The Griswalds just never catch a break, and yet they seem to come out on top in the end anyways. This being the third of the National Lampoon’s Vacation series, and finally we get to see some Christmas action. I just love watching this guy fail. Chevy Chase can embody that moment of utter defeat in just one blank stare set specifically at 3.5 seconds in length that just makes you wonder if your life is in danger for witnessing it.
9. White Christmas This movie just makes me wish I lived in the mid 50s so I could be as cool and smooth as Bing Crosby. That guy just gets all the ladies hearts a thumping and looks cool as ice doing it. Guys were Guys, and the Girls were Dolls. This has more musical numbers than most modern musicals and it is the first classic black and white on my list, but it wont be the last.
8. Nightmare Before Christmas There are not enough true Halloween movies. Horrors are popular at that time of year, but very few of them are actually about Halloween itself. Jack knows it and decides to take over Christmas as they have the better time slot. Clever music, creative stop motion animation and a twist we didn’t see coming makes this Burton film the top listed animated feature about Christmas on my list.
7. Miracle On 34th Street As far as the classics go, this one is likely the most heart tugging and amusing at the same time. Santa himself has to go on trial to prove he is who he says he is. Its a real Christmas miracle when some whackjob who claims to be the real Santa turns out to actually BE Santa. A diligent lawyer who decides to take on his case to defend him in court isn’t the only person to learn a handy lesson here. Watch this with your kids so you can explain why they couldn’t just look up his MySpace page for proof.
6. A Christmas Story This irreverent little take on Christmas showed us for once that it was OK that your life wasn’t like the perfect candy coated Christmas families of the Leave it to Beaver generation. Randy didn’t have a BBGun to take anyone’s eye out but he had a pink bunny pajamas. Your tongue WILL stick to the flagpole if its freezing. And Dad showed us that a fishnet clad lady’s leg does make a fine art deco lamp base. I am sure we learned other stuff in there too, but mostly just not to swear in front of your father.
5. Its a Wonderful Life Just when you think your life can’t be any shittier, remember that Clarence the angel taught us that your existence makes it less shitty for everyone else. He also teaches us how looking slightly tipsy actually makes you more adorable and cherub like. A brilliant tale of perspective illustrated with the charm and innocence of the classic black and white movies of the late 40s. You can watch this with your parents.
4. Die Hard Although this movie doesn’t revolve around the Christmas theme, it takes place at Christmas and puts a cop with marital problems at the wrong place at the right time. We cringe in unison as the barefooted hero dashes across a sea of broken glass but hell, when a tough guy is in love there is nothing that will stand in his way. Forevermore will we associate the true bliss of relationship sacrifice with the bold smarmy YippeeKiYay Muthafukker!
3. GremlinsAh the spirit of giving that keeps on giving with just the addition of water. Gremlins starts with a truly original gift idea that soon spirals out of control. Sure the muppets are a little dated and the comedy was really only considered funny in the 80s but this is one Spielberg film not to miss. These little troublesome goblins not only gave me nightmares, but Gizmo’s cute little song made even the toughest man exert a gentle “awwwww…”
2. The Santa Clause Tim Allen movies are always full of good moral lessons for the whole family. And the very premise of this movie is ripped from a pun on old St Nick’s name itself. How can you go wrong with that? I truly enjoy this franchise and I had no problem when they brought out a sequel adding another Clause to the deal, and a third giving him an Escape Clause. Pure feelgood genius. Best watched with warm chocolate chip cookies and milk.
And the Number One movie on my list of All Time Christmas Movies is…
1. Scrooged This list would not be complete if it were not for at least one variation of the classic Christmas Carol. Of course the most entertaining and downright enjoyable versions would be Bill Murray’s Scrooged. This film is Christmas Perfection. You get to see yourself in at least ONE of the characters and every other character is just someone else you know. Every scene makes me laugh. Every moment makes me feel the true joy of Christmas.
I am sure there are some I missed. What would you put on your top 10 Christmas movies?