It’s CHRISTMAAAAAAAS!!!! Well okay, Christmas Eve. For me it’s the first day of my three day Christmas celebrations. I do all my “religious” stuff for Yule, so for me Christmas is when I get to relax and enjoy myself. We all have traditions, those things that we do each year that for us, are the spirit of the holidays. For me a big part of that are the films I watch.
Last night I watched the first two Die Hard films. Today is all about the Christmas themed films aimed at grown-ups……with one exception, more about that later. I’ll be choosing what to watch form this list:
The Family Stone – For anyone who views holiday gatherings with equal parts joy and dread, The Family Stone offers plenty of comedy to identify with. A story about an annual holiday gathering of an unconventional New England family. Before the holidays are done, relationships will unravel while new ones are formed, secrets will be revealed and the Stone family will come together through its extraordinary capacity for love. – Sometimes it’s awkward, and VERY uncomfortable but it is also heart-warming and by the end will make you want to hug your family.
Four Christmases – Kate and Brad, are a San Francisco couple whose exotic Christmas holiday plans are scuppered by fog. The pair then face the very scenario they had been trying to avoid: the obligatory family Christmas. Owing to the divorces of both their sets of parents, the couple are obliged to attend no less than four festive gatherings, a process that leads them to examine both the past and the future in more detail than either of them finds comfortable. – Lots of fun, and funny. Anyone with an extended family will recognise the difficulties.
The Holiday – Iris (Winslet) is in love with a man who is about to marry another woman. Across the globe, Amanda (Diaz) realises the man she lives with has been unfaithful. Two women who have never met and live 6000 miles apart, find themselves in the exact same place. They meet online at a home exchange website and impulsively switch homes for the holiday. Iris moves into Amanda’s L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda arrives in the snow-covered English countryside. Shortly after arriving at their destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects: a new romance. – I LOVE this film…..I will even watch it in summer. It’s cute, sweet, and Iris gets “gumption”.
Love Actually – The hilarious Love Actually explores the ups and downs of relationships in the weeks building up to Christmas. Boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, fathers and sons and rock stars and managers all combine to make Love Actually not just one story but ten very different ones. Because if you look hard enough you will find that love actually is all around. – It’s not perfect, and it definitely has some problematic parts but it’s still a feel good Christmas film.
Surviving Christmas – A lonely, obnoxious young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him. – Funny and cute, somewhat predictable but delivers everything you want in a Christmas film.
Scrooged – Hilarious spin on Dickens’ classic novel, A Christmas Carol. Bill Murray is television executive Frank Cross, the meanest, most selfish man on Earth. He will stop at nothing to increase his network’s ratings, even if it means that his staff works on Christmas Eve. It will take three spirits (the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future) to show Frank that he needs to change. –
Trading Places – A highly respected businessman and a wise-cracking street bum are forced to trade places as part of a degenerate bet between two monarchs of Wall Street. – It’s sad, it’s funny, it’s ridiculous.
White Christmas – Crosby and Kaye are song-and-dance men who hook up, romantically and professionally, with a “sister” act (Clooney and Vera-Ellen) to put on a Big Show to benefit the struggling ski-resort lodge run by the beloved old retired general (Dean Jagger) of their WWII Army outfit. – Not much of a plot but really this film is all about the music. Enjoy.
Krampus – When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive. – It’s dark, it’s creepy, in places it is terrifying. Not your conventional Christmas film but still really good.
And my only Christmas Eve kids film (this is the only definite watch):
Miracle on 34th Street – Tells the heart-warming story of a young girl’s desire for a family, complete with a father and a baby brother. The girl confides in Kris Kringle, the kindly old man who is Santa in the department store managed by her mother. However, he believes he is the real Santa Claus and a rival retailer uses this belief to try and discredit him. Leading to a court case in which Kringle and his lawyer try to prove that he is the real thing.
This is possibly my all time favourite Christmas film, even in the depths of my depression when I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, this film never fails to lift me up, and make me happy. It’s the film I always watch before bed on Christmas Eve.
What are your favourite Christmas films and traditions?
You can read my Christmas film reviews here.
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