Since movies are just about my favorite thing in the world, and Christmas would be my favorite time of year if there was no such thing as summer, what better joining of forces is there than the Christmas movie? In keeping with the theme this week here at The No Seatbelt Blog, I present to you five of my absolute favorite Christmas movies, and explain why you need to see them. Right now.
5) A Christmas Story– Yes, the movie that everyone claims to hate because all they can remember is “you’ll shoot your eye out!” is actually quite a fun film after it’s been on all day on Christmas. A young boy’s pursuit of a BB gun, a leg lamp, bunny pajamas, that boy getting his tongue stuck to an icy utility pole, and the workers in a Chinese restaurant singing “farararara” (wildly stereotypical, I know, but I can’t help but laugh every time) provide the makings of a strange but entertaining Christmas flick.
4) The Ref– One of my favorite Christmas movies, that I reviewed here for my film series “Ryan Remembers…”, stars Denis Leary as a professional cat burglar who on Christmas Eve bites off more than he can chew when he kidnaps the couple from hell, played brilliantly by Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis. What is Christmas without kidnapping, a nasty mother-in-law, a thief posing as a marriage counselor, and a drunken neighborhood Santa Claus getting knocked out?
3) Home Alone– This is an essential movie for anyone’s holiday viewing list. While it’s highly improbable that any parents would accidentally forget their child at home while they hop on a plane to France for Christmas, you have to suspend disbelief here and settle in for the fun as young Kevin McCallister fends off boredom, and defends his home against Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, who play a pair of idiotic burglars who call themselves “The Wet Bandits.” There’s no innuendo there – this is a family movie, you perverts.
2) Die Hard– If I could explain my rationale for this movie showing up on this list through a couple of memes that have been floating around, I’d go with the one that says “There are two kinds of people- those who think Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and there are those who are wrong,” or “It’s not Christmas until I see Hans Gruber fall off Nakatomi Plaza.” That really doesn’t explain anything though. How’s this? A bunch of terrorists take over Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve for a smash-and-grab heist, but they are thwarted by the one-man band known as John McClane, a New York cop who “got invited to the Christmas party by mistake.” I’ll just leave you with this – “now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho.”
1) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation– My absolute favorite Christmas movie of all-time tops this list, as the Christmas season is never complete without watching it…repeatedly. From the opening theme song to the patriotic singalong at the end, I thoroughly love every minute of Christmas Vacation, which assembles the Griswolds, the most dysfunctional family you could imagine for hilarious holiday hijinx. Everything you could want in a Christmas movie is here – annoying in-laws, kidnapping, fun with Christmas lights, fun with Christmas trees, plenty of physical comedy, and much more. Christmas Vacation is a highly-quotable, highly lovable mess of a movie that is a staple for me every year.
What are some of your favorite Christmas movies? Feel free to share your list in the comments section!