Merry Christmas, Fangirly readers! Or Happy Holidays to any varying denominational readers! I can’t think of a better way to geti n the holiday spirit than to continue my holiday series and detail my favorite Christmas movies for you. So let’s get into the countdown, shall we?
10. The Santa Clause (1994) – Ah, the 90s. Where Tim Allen was king and Judge Reinhold had a little more going for him other than Mock Trial with J. Reinhold. This one was definitely a childhood fav, but I had to relegate it to the tenth place because I was too young to understand the double meaning of the title so it will forever make me hesitate when I go to write Santa Claus’ name. Curses be upon you, Disney and your clever wordplay!
9. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – Before you look higher on the list, no, the black and white version is not there. And before you go on iMDb, yes, this is the Dylan McDermott version with the girl from Matilda and the grandpa from Jurassic Park. I’m just going to say it. I like this one, I will not apologize for that. If you want an apology, talk to my mom who bought me the VHS of this version and not the 1947 version when I was at the tender age of 7.
8. While You Were Sleeping (1995) – Ok, so not specifically marketed as a Christmas movie, but I still like watching during this time of year and it has all the attributes. Set during Christmas, check. Message about being around loved ones, check. Bill Pullman slipping on ice and ripping pants, check. Finding a new family in the least likely of places, check. Crazy coma hijinx, check. So not all of those are necessary to a Christmas movie, but they don’t hurt.
7. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) – Basically, I just love the Muppets. The only thing that could have possibly made this better: Muppet…wait for it…Babies. Nah, we’ll just leave it as is. And really I owe a lot to this movie. Michael Cain and Scrooge McDuck really introduced me to the concept of being a Scrooge.
6. Home Alone (1990) – Oddly enough, I like this movie more with age. I cry a lot more, too. I’m sorry but you would have to be a robot to not tear up when after hours in airports and on a van with John Candy, Kevin’s mom is finally able to see her son on Christmas morning. Then, you know, there’s the whole bad-guy-booby-trap thing that is going on in the rest of the movie. Awesome.
5. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – I know, you’re shocked. A movie that is usually number one on Christmas lists and I have it at number five. This is another one that I was introduced to later in life. It gets on the list because even if I only see the last five minutes, I will still weep openly and thoroughly.
4. Scrooged (1988) – Another one during which I cry (Wow, I have a problem). Nobody does curmedgeon-who-needs-to-change-his-ways-on-a-nationally-recognized-holiday better than Bill Murray. He has more funny lines than I have room to quote them, so just go watch the movie if you want a laugh (or a cry, look into that little boy’s eyes as he says “God bless us, everyone” and try to keep it in).
3. Elf (2003) – Easily one of my most quoted movies, and that’s 365 days out of the year, my friends. “Francisco, that’s fun to say”, “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”, “I like to whisper, too?”, “You sit on a throne of lies”, “Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad”, “You smell like beef and cheese.” I suppose I could keep going, but you get the gist and it’s really Will Ferrell’s delivery that makes the movie so funny. Bonus: This movie introduced me to Zooey Deschanel’s singing voice leading me to discover She & Him years back. Thanks, Elf!
2. Love Actually (2003) – Disclaimer: This movie only gets demoted to number two because it doesn’t quite ring “Christmas movie” like my number one choice does. Those of you who know me know that I love love love this movie, actually. I could go on for a whole blog post about how much I love this movie (hmmm….), but I’ll just say this: I cry every time during the airport footage at the very end, I love everyone in this movie, and I just love the accurate portrayal of …love. Sometimes it’s happy, sometimes it sucks, sometimes it’s romantic, sometimes it’s with family and friends. Just delightful. Never ceases to literally warm my heart. Yes, literally.
1. A Christmas Story (1983) – In my opinion, THE seminal Christmas classic. I could quote the whole thing, but so could most of you, I’m sure. This movie is forever a part of my concept of Christmas. Some families have decking the halls or caroling, my family has A Christmas Story.
So there you have it. Now you have a better understanding of my preferences in Christmas fare. Well, you know the drill. Did I miss anything? Would you have put one movie over the other? Don’t forget to check out my favorite Christmas specials and TV episodes and stay tuned for my favorite Christmas records!