Editorial By Bethany Solomon
Everyone loves a good holiday movie. In fact, you can start to see seasonal films as early as October on any cable or satellite package; but there are so many films that have been made over the years, prioritizing your favorites becomes difficult. I’d like to give you a guide that will highlight the best films to watch for the specific moods or occasions you may be enduring this holiday season.
When A Good Comedy Would Hit the Spot…..
When you are having a stressful day or you are just in the mood to laugh, there are a number of Christmas movies that claim to be comedic. These films are truly funny and will not waste your time with cheesy and “fakey” humor.
“Christmas Vacation”— If you haven’t seen this classic National Lampoon’s narration of the Griswold family, you have seriously been neglected. Made in 1989, this chapter of the famous fictional family tells the story of how patriarch Clark Griswold wants nothing more than a big, old fashioned family Christmas. He invites not only his side of the family, but also his wife’s. The two sides clash and Clark loses his wits as he tries to keep the holiday perfect. It is a priceless example of holiday stress, which is great entertainment for adult viewers.
“The Ref”—This film may not be as well known, but does not fail to deliver a unique and hilarious tale that is although eccentric, but also relatable in family tensions and unforgiven incidents that arise when families quarrel at Christmas. Gus, a cat burglar who has taken a couple hostage in their home on Christmas Eve, is thrown into a comedic and insane situation of family bickering and dysfunction. This too, is a film best viewed by mature audiences.
While On A Date….
Sometimes it can be difficult to find a movie that both people involved in a date will be interested in. It could be too corny for one, too scary for another, or may just not appeal to the personalities of either. Therefore, here are the most romantic and entertaining films that will put everyone in the holiday mind-set.
“Just Friends”— This movie introduces us to a boy and girl who were best friends in high school. The boy of course is in love with the girl and is scarred for life when she rejects him. After graduation, he moves to the big city and gets a makeover. He loses a bunch of weight, becomes rich with a prestigious job in the music industry, and when confronted with her again years later tries to win her over again. In the process, he embarrasses himself time and time again as if he has reverted back to his teenage nerdy self.
“Love Actually”—Narrating stories from different sets of characters in London, England, this film shows us different outcomes of love, different types of love, and all of the various hilarities that come with the emotion.
When Only The Classics Will Do….
“It’s a Wonderful Life”—If you need a synopsis for this film, you have been living under a rock for too long. This movie is an instant pick-me-up that will make you appreciate all of the people and things that you already have. It is difficult to watch this movie without going through every display of emotion. Laughing, crying, you’ll do it all.
“White Christmas”— A classic musical that follows two entertainers and their adventures in finding love and helping out an old army friend. Bing Crosby sings the traditional holiday song of the same name, and dances along with such actors as Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney. It is simply heart-warming.
“Holiday Affair”— This film is more of a hidden gem. Unless you watch Turner Classic Movies around this time of year, you are more unlikely to have heard of it. In this story, Robert Mitchum’s character Steve Mason meets Connie Ennis (played by Janet Leigh) under odd and hilarious circumstances. Steve befriends Connie’s son, and by the end of the film is in love with Connie who is already in a serious relationship with another man. I highly recommend you see this if you already haven’t.
To Watch With The Whole Family…..
“Home Alone” I and II— I realize that an entire saga was created after the original was made, but I am BEGGING you—Do NOT watch it if Macaulay Culkin does not star in it. Not only does he play the best protagonist, but the films with him also have better antagonists, cast in general, dialogue, and plot.
“Frosty the Snowman”— Who doesn’t know the whole song by heart? The original 1969 film brought the character in every child’s heart and every child since. The animations are adorable, and Jimmy Durante narrates the tale and sings the theme song. What more could you want from a children’s movie?
“Miracle On 34th Street”—Although I prefer the original 1947 version with Maureen O’Hara, if you insist on watching the 1994 remake that is fine since it has Richard Attenborough (the old guy in Jurassic Park). A little girl who has been raised like a little adult finally starts to believe in Santa Claus and the magic of Christmas. Either version is a great rendition of the story.
“Fred Claus”—This 2007 film is NOT about Santa, but rather is irresponsible brother Fred. This movie is hilarious but is not just for adults. It is witty and funny and has a meaningful message. It stars Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, and Kevin Spacey.
I hope this guide helps you in choosing enjoyable holiday films that correlate with whatever mood you may be in. Have a wonderful and safe winter break!