Last night I cuddled up with one of my favorite littles and watched Elf. You can tell how engaging the story was because she actually cuddled the whole time! People all around me have been telling me for years how great this movie is, so last year I saw it and was charmed. Now I would like to share some of my own can’t miss holiday movies:
I have friends on both sides of the fence on this movie. Some of my friends, like Bryan, finds it creepy, My friend Bridgette says it is one of the best holiday movies (she is the one who introduced me to it!) My friends Shelby and Stephen are always quoting from the movie, and the phone scene is one of her favorites! What’s YOUR favorite color?
Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
This show debuted in 1965 and it has aired on broadcast television every year since then, making this year the 50th anniversary of the classic animated show. Not many people know that it was originally commissioned by Coca Cola and was produced on a shoestring budget in a matter of months. Many people favor the rousing speech Linus makes when telling the original Christmas story, but I confess my favorite part is the dancing. I think it would be really fun to do a flash mob of the dance scene at work (Barnes & Noble) to the song, “Linus and Lucy”. It’s been done before:
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Yes, I have a little crush on Jimmy Stewart. I saw this movie for the first time in college because my friend Michael told me I should. He loved how the story of true holiday spirit was told through a humble, simple man. George Bailey gave and gave and gave until he thought he had nothing left, only to find out that other people will give back if given a chance. I loved it and went home to tell my family about this great treasure. When gushing to my father about what a great movie it was, and how Michael helped me to discover it, he reminded me that he already extolled all its virtues to me years before, proving you should always listen to your parents.
The Holiday (2006)
This is the ultimate woman empowerment movie, IMHO. When their love lives fall apart, Amanda Woods and Iris Simpkins trade houses for Christmas week. In doing so, mousy Iris finds herself and her strength and blossoms in the California sunshine while hard-as-nails Amanda finds her heart melting in the snow covered countryside of Surrey, England. Finding love is secondary to finding themselves. And who doesn’t love Edward Burns, even in this movie where he is kind of a scumbag?
Love Actually (2003)
I do love this movie, actually. It is a collection of 10 different stories, intertwined in unlikely ways. Some people make fun of Love Actually, likening it to Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve, other holiday stories that bring a lot of starpower to the screen in crazy stories with tenuous connections, Haters are all over the internet, lambasting the storylines and talking about the improbability of the way they all tie up together so neatly, but I love how all the stories wind around each other. This movie ends with one of my favorite Beach Boys songs, God Only Knows, playing behind the final scene featuring real life families and friends greeting each other in Heathrow Airport. Here’s a scene from the wedding with one of my favorite Beatles songs:
It’s A Very Very Muppet Christmas (2002)
This is a retelling of It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Kermit and the Muppets with David Arquette playing the bumbling angel Daniel, sent from heaven by God (Whoppi Goldberg.) As with other muppet movies, there are a lots inside jokes to keep the adults interested. Pepe the king prawn will make you both laugh and cry.
Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000)
There are so many versions of A Christmas Carol that have been done over the years, from serious productions to vanity pieces (who could forget Ebbie starring Susan Lucci or Scrooged with Bill Murray?) My favorite one is with Vanessa Williams (as Ebony) and Kathy Griffin (as the Ghost of CHristmas Past) called Diva’s Christmas Carol, which premiered on VH-1 in 2000. In a nod to VH-1, Ebony’s Christmas future is shown not with a spirit, but through an episode of VH-1’s Behind The Music, in which her life is featured after her untimely demise. Vanessa Williams has always been a favorite of mine, even though her fall from grace as Miss America tarnished her reputation. Here’s the trailer for the movie:
Christmas With Holly (2012)
There are so many made for TV Christmas movies, it has become it’s own cottage industry. Several channels this holiday season seem to be dedicated exclusively to holiday movies (like Lifetime Channel and the Hallmark Channel.) There are a few that I do stop and enjoy if they’re on when I am channel surfing. My favorite is Christmas With Holly. It stars Sean Faris as a devoted uncle who becomes guardian to his young niece when her mother (his sister) dies suddenly. It is like Three Men and a Baby for the holidays. It is such a sweet story without being too saccharine.
Meet Me In St Louis (1944)
My favorite version of my favorite Christmas song makes its debut in this movie starring Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien. I think that Margaret O’Brien is the most believable young actress of that era and she is quite charming in this classic. A quaint look at upper middle class life in 1904, some would say it was a simpler life back then but there seems to be just as much drama then as there is today. This movie is where Vincente Minnelli met Judy Garland, and the rest is history.
Christmas Vacation (1989)
OK, so this one wasn’t on my favorites list, I just saw this movie for the first time this year. Now so many things people have said make sense to me – so many of the random quotes people parrot during the holiday season, the references to the cat, laugh out loud moments that you’ll just want to chug some eggnog or eat sweet potatoes right off the spoon. Thanks to the two Bryans, who lobbied to have this one added to the blog. Here is Clark’s freak out scene, complete with an impressive 30 word description of Clark’s boss Frank Shirley. Here you go, Chick! “Hallelujah, Holy shit. Where’s the Tylenol?”