Friday, December 17, 2010

movie magic.

Ahh, the traditions continue. As the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are being tucked away in the fridge, the natural progression towards all things Christmas ensues. The trees are propped up, strands of twinkly lights are draped along porch banisters, cookie exchanges are penciled in, and the wintry DVDs are popped into the players.

I'm probably atypical in the fact that I'm not huge on Christmas-specific movies, from a classic standpoint. Never seen "Miracle on 34th Street" or "It's A Wonderful Life," in 25 years, and I've lived to tell about it. I'm sure I'll get around to seeing them both one day, but as for now, it's not a pressing issue.

Now, now--before I jump ahead of myself, tribute must be paid to the cinematic achievements I dutifully returned to year after year as a wee one. The animated, original "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" is still one of my absolute favorites, and how could you NOT love the claymation versions of Frosty and Rudolph? Yes, yes, this is all pre-Pixar, but that's just another reason to indulge.

Insert my sidenote: I have seen "The Christmas Story" far too many times for one lifetime. TNT should consider maybe NOT airing it for 24 hours straight. Maybe it's just an environmental thing, where I remember the same scenes recurring over Christmas Eve and well into the morning of Christmas, throughout entirely too many years of my childhood, but it's definitely NOT on my must-see list for this season. OVERKILL, people.

[just say NO.]

In other news, my friend Lauren had NEVER IN HER LIFE seen "Christmas Vacation." How, you might ask? No clue. Needless to say, that one is at the top of my list. And I may or may not have seen it no fewer than five times this month.

A classic tale of the before and after of that mounting anticipation and excitement around another glittery holiday season... come on--everyone can sympathize with that process. If somehow, you've managed to get through your annual festivities without having ever witnessed the brilliance that is this film, do yourself a favor and go get it tonight. Seriously. You can't NOT laugh... and get ready to add a lengthy list of quality quotes to your arsenal.

Here are my remaining top picks:

[Adorable and funny family flick about a Christmas trip gone awry. The original is the best, Home Alone 2 ain't bad, but the 3rd one? No. Stay away.]

[BEST MOVIE EVER for sports fanatics. Not a Christmas movie, per se, but the hockey gist makes me envious of that Boston/Wisconsin rivalry, the snow plows and ice rinks included. Kurt Russell is also amazing in this one.]

[One of my all-time faves, period. Such a sweet, coming-of-age movie for any gal, complete with family drama and beautiful scenery. As many times as I've seen it, I don't typically sit through it, eyes glued to the TV for the full 2+ hours of rolling time... however, it's pretty amazing to put on while you're wrapping presents/gabbing with the boyfriend/online shopping. Trust.]

[Hysterical and heart-warming. Again, one of my year-round favorites too, this one is especially beautiful and enjoyable at Christmastime. Chronicles the relationships of 10(ish) people in London throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas. While it didn't win an Oscar, I love the story lines and think it's absolutely brilliant.]

[My favorite "new" classic. Every performance in this movie is STELLAR. While the cast of characters is a little lofty (five kids who are all SO UNIMAGINABLY DIFFERENT--i.e. the sweet-deaf-gay son in an interracial relationship, the overachieving oldest son, the bratty youngest daughter who has an opinion about everything, the respectable older daughter who doesn't have an opinion on anything, and the lackadaisical burnout son who has to be admonished about not going nude on Christmas), I'd be lying if I said it wasn't my inspiration behind wanting five kids! Sorry, boyfriend. Meanwhile, the movie is genius. Take a close-knit, progressive, Suburban family, and throw in the initial meeting of the overachiever's girlfriend and a potential proposal... with some twists along the way. I could watch this one over and over and over again. Okay, so maybe I have.]

Which movies do you watch repeatedly when you're snuggled up by the fire?

1 comment:

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas movies!!!!!! Home Alone is so great, and agree, the original is the BEST!!!!!!! I’m so glad I watched Christmas Vacation; I am going to go buy it. And I just watched The Family Stone last week!!!! Wonderful, wonderful movie!!!!!! And thanks for the shout out, ha!!! :) Love ya, girl!


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