Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Top 5: Holiday Movies That Don't Suck

That time of the year's here, like it or not. And that means holiday movies will be in heavy rotation on the boob tube. Some of the flicks are gawd-awful--anyone else see Christmas With The Kranks?--but there are a few gems in the genre.

Here is My Top 5: Holiday Movies That Don't Suck

Trading Places: A holiday classic that doesn't feel like a Christmas movie. The scene with Dan Akroyd as a disgruntled and drunk Santa made the movie great.

Bad Santa: The uncensored, unrated version makes me laugh 'til I nearly puke. And that's what Christmas is all about, isn't it kids?

Gina's Very Merry Christmas Orgy: Um...not sure how that got into the list.

A Christmas Story: No matter how many times I've seen it, I'm compelled to watch it every year. It's not tradition; it's just that good.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: My all-time favorite Christmas movie until the release of Bad Santa, watching Randy Quaid get under Chevy Chase's skin is like witnessing a Christmas miracle.


Ian C. said...

It's not a Christmas movie, but 'Home for the Holidays' is my favorite holiday movie. One of Robert Downey, Jr's best performances!

Tasha said...

What about "Its A Wonderful Life"? I know its sappy and old and a little ridiculous but it makes me cry every time. The premise of the movie is what always gets me. George Bailey wishes he'd never been born but an angel shows him how he's affected everyone in a positive way throughout his life. Though I don't believe in God or Angels I do believe that we have a purpose and that the way our lives intertwine is a part of that purpose. There have been a few times in my life that someone-whether a close friend , relative, or complete stranger- lifted me from despair by an act of kindness or assisted me in realizing my own worth similar to the story told in the movie, if in somewhat less dramatic a fashion. "It's a Wonderful Life" is a holiday movie that doesn't suck.... unless you hate Jimmy Stewart, in which case you might just wish he'd drowned in Bedford Falls sans divine intervention.

JDB said...

The girlfriend makes me watch Christmas Vacation every year, so I get a bit sick of it. How about Scrooged? Can't beat Mary-Lou Retton as Tiny Tim!

primalscreamx said...

ooh... I have a sick relationship with It's A Wonderful Life.
Here's my take...
George Bailey is a dreamer whose dreams never, ever come true. Instead of becoming the worldly architect and builder he hopes to be and could be, he gets to manage a penny-ante building and loan in a backwoods nowhere. His hopes are crushed by circumstance, poverty and his burdensome sense of responsibility.
Everything in his life is secondhand. His house, his car and even his wife are all hand-me-downs (Sam Wainwright laughingly jokes that George stole Mary, but we know better, don't we?). Ruined by the incompetence of his uncle and the evil machinations of the local boss, he decides to end his life. He's rescued by an angel who shows him that it really doesn't matter what he wants. He has to get back to work. You see, God can not be bothered to save small children (Harry Bailey and the kid the druggist Gower almost poisons), protect the innocent (essentially the town of Bedford Falls) or stop fascism (the Nazis and the Japanese of World War 2, who aren't killed by Harry, Bert, Ernie and everybody else but George), but has to rely on poor George who always does the right thing always at great personal cost. If George steps down from his very important role as whipping boy for the universe, everything will come apart. Nice old Nick will become an asshole. Ernie the cab driver's wife will leave him, and Violet will become a whore. Meanwhile, his wife will have to get a job as a librarian and the town will have some nightlife for a change.
His reward for deciding to put the yoke back on is town bails him out of his financial mess. Potter, by the way, gets clean away and is 5K richer. Probably, he takes the money and starts a white slavery ring. George, however, still has to live in a crappy house with a family he resents and work at a job he undeniably hates.
Even the damned angel uses George to get something he wants by forcing George back into his snug little peg hole of a life.
It's a miserable movie. Contrary to being uplifting. It's only happy, if you go along with the rest of the town and forget George Bailey wanted to be anything other than a karmic slave to the town of Bedford Falls.

Amy said...

I was forced to review "Christmas with the Kranks," and I agree with you -- it was gawd-awful. However, it was marginally better than "Jack Frost" (the Michael Keaton one, not the awesomely cheestastic one about the killer snowman).

I also love "A Christmas Story." My whole family does. In fact, when my cousin got a coonskin cap from someone, he referred to it as his "Scut Farkus hat." I think he was 4 at the time.

Another Christmas movie I watch almost every year is the cheesetastic made-for-VH1 "A Diva's Christmas Carol" with Vanessa Williams. The Ghost of Christmas Future is a "Behind the Music" episode (whatever happened to those?)-- what is more ridiculously awesome than that?

I have to completely disagree with Tasha on "It's a Wonderful Life." The premise of the movie is exactly why I hate it. I think the whole "Look how horrible the world would be if you'd never been born" thing is bullshit. Let's face it, just like not all of us are destined to do great things in life, not all of us are going to make much of an impact on the world when we leave it.