Five Favorite Christmas Films
After reading a friend’s blog post on her favorite Christmas movies, I was inspired to do some writing of my own and create a similar list. I only wish that ours didn’t overlap so heavily. After all, originality is always a point of pride with me.
1. Love Actually
This star-studded, Christmas-themed film is a pastiche of numerous different love stories. From Colin Firth (delicious) being in love with a maid that once worked with him to Liam Neeson’s really horny son, this movie is packed with wonderful feel-good moments. Ultimately, though, one love story in particular attracts me to this film again and again.
The ever charming Alan Rickman stars in this film as an office manager who buys a gold necklace and, instead of giving it to his wife, he gives it to his secretary. Naturally, the wife finds out. One could argue, and I would, that this- in fact- is the greatest love story out of all of them. The wife loves her husband and children so much that she is willing to overlook his terrible sin and continue the relationship. Personally, I would have dumped Alan Rickman, but she doesn’t. True love: what more is Christmas about?
2. White Christmas
I took some time considering whether I should go choose this or Irving Berlin’s slightly earlier songbook film Holiday Inn, but ultimately chose this one on the grounds that it isn’t as racist.
I jest, of course. I get really mad every time I see the black-faced routine in Holiday Inn. Anyway, there are two fantastic love stories in here and they both come with great music. Everyone knows this one, so I’ll keep it short. I dare you not to cry when the snow finally falls in Vermont.
3. Meet Me in St. Louis
OK. You caught me. I’m cheating a little. This isn’t exactly a Christmas movie, but it does have Christmas in it, so it counts. Right?
Judy Garland, a young woman famous for a certain other musical, showcases some phenomenal acting and singing by playing Esther Smith, a young woman madly in love, but hit by tough times. Many people do not realize it, but this is actually where the Christmas standard “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” came from. Plus, with other great little ditties like “The Trolley Song,” which won a well-deserved Academy Award for best song, how can you go wrong? Maybe It’s something wrong with me, but I’m a sucker for just about every musical ever made, and this is no exception.
4. It’s a Wonderful Life
This seminal Christmas hit is more of a study on chaos theory than it is a Christmas film, but still I love it so. Anyway, you all know the story, so I’ll skimp there. Here’s the bottom line:
James Stewart does a great job (as always) starring as a banker who decides the world would be better off if he had never been born. Then, he gets taken through this alternate timeline by an angel. There you go! That’s the story. Sound familiar? If not, you may have been living on the planet Venus. I enjoy it anyway, and it makes me bawl, so there.
5. The Thing (1982)
OK. Now I’m really cheating, but there is lots of snow. So there.
Anyway, after spending so much time blabbing about the “Christmas spirit,” standing in line at the store waiting for the cashier to finish checking out the lady who bought the entire store’s worth of tacky Santa figurines, wrapping gifts with paper that seems to in fact be engineered to make wrapping impossible, and listening the the Chimpunks’ Christmas Song 87 times in a row, you really want to watch things die. That’s where Mr. Carpenter’s classic horror film comes in. There is enough blood and guts in here to make David Cronenberg cringe. Plus, it’s really scary. It may not make you feel all warm and fuzzy, but just imagine that the characters in this film are actually annoying Christmas shoppers. Instant stress relief!
So there’s my list. It’s a little unusual, but I think it does a good job of covering all my favorites. What’s yours?