I thought it would be fun to interrupt my Christmas Carol reviews and give you all a quick list. I am a huge sucker for holiday films, not just Christmas Carol. It is tough to make a Christmas movie I don’t like (4 Christmases and The Grinch I’m talking to you). Even more mediocre films like This Christmas and The Family Stone I found charming in their own way. I even watch the Hallmark Christmas movies every Saturday night. Yes they are completely cheesy and silly but I enjoy them.
So what are the films I make sure I catch every Christmas?
Here goes in no particular order.
White Chrsitmas- Classic cast, Bing Crosby singing White Christmas can’t be beat, great music and dance throughout. Completely cheesy love story but I don’t care a bit!
Christmas Story- Hilarious narration, love the imagination segments of a boy who just wants a red rider air rifle for Christmas, very funny but also has real heart, the scene with the bully is so well acted it moves me every time.
Elf- the male equivalent of Enchanted with a fairytale creature having to make it in big city NYC, Will Farrell is hilarious, great supporting cast including James Caan, and real heart with all the laughs
Muppets Christmas Carol- My personal favorite non-traditional take on the story, will have to wait for my review.
Christmas Carol 1984- A solid very faithful adaptation. Will have to wait for my review!
Christmas Carol 1951- Read the review
Charlie Brown Christmas- Our friend Charlie Brown overthinking Christmas again, worrying about the commercialization, ends up directing the pageant and picking the lowliest tree for the school, great jazz music by Vince Guaraldi, I love the ending when Charlie realizes it is all about the Babe in Bethlehem.
Joyeux Noel- A less well known holiday film that is absolutely lovely, about a truce between the fighting lines during a WW1 Christmas.
Arthur Christmas- Probably my favorite Santa film along with Elf. The North Pole has gone commercial! But Santa’s younger son Arthur still believes in the old ways and when he finds out a little girl is not going to get her present he is devastated. I love the elfs and the voicework and the heart. Great film.
It’s a Wonderful Life- What do you say about this wonderful Frank Capra film that hasn’t already been said. A moving reminder that we are all important.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated short)- What is it about the 60s that could make good versions of Dr Seuss that nobody can seem to follow today? I’ve hated, hated, hated, hated, hated every contemporary Dr Seuss retelling. This animated classic is everything the Jim Carrey version was not. It’s fun, bright, simple in its message with great music sung by Thurl Ravenscroft
Mickey’s Christmas Carol- Read the review
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (and other stop motion shorts)- These are just charming stop motion stories.
Home Alone- The first comedy I saw in the theaters and I remember laughing my head off. Watched it again a few years ago and it still makes me laugh. It would have been my dream to be left at home like Kevin! (I always wanted to do things on my own, in my own way).
Meet Me in St Louis- Judy Garland is my Hollywood idol. I just love her and this is certainly one of her best performances. It is not strictly a Christmas movie but we get “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and it is perfection.
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation- Family stressing you out during the holidays? Perfect film to watch and get a good laugh while you are at it. The scene with the squirrel gets me every time and when they say pledge of allegiance for grace. Ha!
Love Actually- Not every plotline works but most of them do. I love Colin Firth in almost everything and he is great here, same with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Liam Nielsen, Kiera Knightly and more. I love a good romantic comedy and this is the Queen while still having real heart.
Shop Around the Corner/You’ve Got Mail- Anyone who follows my regular blog knows how important You’ve Got Mail is to me. I love Nora Ephron’s writing and think of her as my literary muse. People tend to discount it as fluff but not only is she incredibly witty but there is real heart their too. Shop Around the Corner is also lovely. Both are about people who hate each other in real life but in their writing they fall in love. Both are movies about work and change- 2 topics that always move me. If you think they are just another rom-com than I challenge you to watch them again and really pay attention to the writing. In the end, all I know is that I love them.
For a New Years movie I recommend When Harry Met Sally and The Apartment. Not that terrible Gary Marshall movie!