Georgia asked about favorite Christmas movies – and yes, I do have some, although two of them may not be considered “Christmas-y” by some.
First, of course, is “It’s A Wonderful Life.” First saw it in 1984 as a dumb teen, and didn’t fully appreciate it. Now, of course, I can’t imagine a holiday season without it. Good ole George Bailey! So much to love about that movie, from Stewart’s performance, the “Buffalo Gal” song, the pool scene, Donna Reed, grubby Mr. Potter, the crow, “Hee Haw!”, lasso the moon, and of course George’s joyful race down Main Street in the snow. Speaking of George – don’t you love this scene, when he goes from near-rage to puzzlement to astonishment to delight in the span of a few seconds?
Second favorite Christmas movie is “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” It works as a perfect movie for both Halloween AND Christmas; we actually caught most of it last night on TV.
Third – and this is where it gets a bit non-traditional – is “The Long Kiss Goodnight.” Full of explosions, guns, improbable rescues, and some crackling-fun dialogue. Sam Jackson and Geena Davis – helluva team! And it does take place at Christmas time, there’s holiday music, lots of snow and lights, etc, so this (for me) counts as a Christmas movie!
As far as other popular Christmas movies…I know that “Elf” has somehow become a kind of modern classic – all of the young’uns at work quote from it all the time – and I’ve seen most of it at least a couple of times, and…nope. It has some cute scenes, but it just doesn’t work for me.
“A Christmas Story” is another one whose popularity baffles me. Never seen it all the way through, which may account for my lack of appreciation.
And “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” has some fun moments – the squirrel, the lights – but like the other “Vacation” movies, it’s too hit-or-miss to justify watching every year. Of course, my opinion may be tarnished by the fact that the Vacation team never took my advice in 1986 to create a “Vacation Down Under” entry in the series. Remember 1986? Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) and Yahoo Serious (WTF) were all the rage, Men At Work weren’t yet a distant memory…and the Griswolds in Australia could have been comedy gold.