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Christmas Movies

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Favorites: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, A Christmas Story. The Christmas Toy, House Without a Christmas Tree, and the usual classics (i.e. "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Small One", etc, though I guess those would all be considered "Christmas specials" rather than movies).

 

Least favorites: I can tolerate all of those Hallmark Christmas specials in the background but they all look the same to me and lack any real holiday appeal (and didn't they make a "movie" version of that horrible "Christmas Shoes" song? I can just imagine the nausea that would induce). I've never see the Jim Carrey "Grinch" but I just know I would hate it. I've only seen the first half of Elf, but I'm not exactly in a huge hurry to see the rest.

Edited by kickedinthehead

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[D]idn't they make a "movie" version of that horrible "Christmas Shoes" song? I can just imagine the nausea that would induce

 

Oh, yes, and the original recap of that movie over on the former TWoP is still one of the funniest things I've read (if you can get it to load).

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While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock. I watch it every Christmas Eve.

 

[D]idn't they make a "movie" version of that horrible "Christmas Shoes" song? I can just imagine the nausea that would induce

Patton Oswalt's comedy bit about the song is hilarious (Warning: Explicit Language)

 

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=comedian%20christmas%20shoes&qs=n&form=QBVR&pq=comedian%20christmas%20shoes&sc=0-0&sp=-1&sk=#view=detail&mid=5B924181E72A6DEF35195B924181E72A6DEF3519

Edited by topanga
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I too love holiday rom-coms like The Holiday, Love Actually and While You Were Sleeping.  I know I have 8 Women on my shelf so I'll have to give that one another watch.  

 

But, my secret guilty nobody-else-likes-it feature is Scrooge, the musical with Albert Finney.  Does it redeem me at all to tell you I fast forward through Tiny Tim and Isabel Fezziwigs' songs?

 

Edited to add that I also fast forward through the English guy goes to America storyline in Love Actually and practically all of The Family Stone.

Edited by Qoass
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I, too, am very agnostic, but I love the hell out of cheesy Christmas movies.

 

I pretty much watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation every year. I enjoy this movie the most, because it depicts the stereotypical American Christmas in a funny way. Relatives traveling to see you (forcing the kids to bunk together and having to comply with your relatives being weird), Clark's obsession with the lights (I drive house to house every year trying to find the tackiest display), etc.

 

I like Elf too much. I'll agree that it can get too Will Ferrell at times, but it is just a great overall Christmas film. The genuine naiveté and glee of Buddy was just great.

  • His excitement in the smallest thing: "You did it! Congratulations! World's best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody!"
  • On meeting the fake Santa: "You sit on a throne of lies!"
  • Real Santa is pretty cool too. "And if you see a sign that says "Peep Show", that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at the new toys before Christmas."

Though I do enjoy the movie as a whole, I get a little disturbed by Buddy as an adult. I don't know if I would have put the romance with Jovie (normal human) in there. It's just a little creepy.

 

One of my all time favourites has to be Borrowed Hearts.  So very sappy but I watch it every time it's on tv.

 I just re-watched this the other day, and I believe I am now an old. I find the little girl very tiresome now. She was just a very spoiled girl, and she never got punished for anything. Her mother never disciplined her. Cutting up the guy's cigars. Not cool. And when she ran out the second time? That was totally the little girl's fault.

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My favorites are Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. I have always loved the Home Alone house. I hope AMC does the story notes version like last year.

 

I used to adore Love Actually, and while I still enjoy much of it, but with each passing year there are more things that bother me.

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My all-time favorite Christmas movie (actually, one of my all-time anytime movies) is Remember the Night (1940), directed from an exquisite Preston Sturges script by the perpetually underrated Mitchell Leisen, and starring the fabulous Barbara Stanwyck as a jewel thief who is paroled into the custody of the assistant DA (Fred MacMurray) so he can take her to her family in Indiana for Christmas (yeah, just ignore the set-up).  It's funny and genuinely heartwarming (and has a killer of a scene when Stanwyck actually goes to her family home, and is rejected in the cruelest of fashions).  I love it so much - Stanwyck and MacMurray have great chemistry.

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I'm also a big fan of Love Actually minus two of the stories (the dude from Walking Dead and the one where the British guy goes to America), but I know that a lot of people don't like it and there have been all kinds of think pieces about how awful the movie is.

I hated Andrew Lincoln's storyline a little less after seeing the "Honest Trailer":

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I love Elf.  I have to watch it with my BFF each year.  So many things about the movie sends us into fits of giggles but our favorite part is when he jumps on the tree to place the star at the top.  We laugh so hard we stop breathing.  It's the best. 

 

There are parts of Love Actually that I enjoy and parts I don't so I can only watch it on DVD with the FF button ready to go. 

 

I do agree with the upthread opinions that Die Hard and While You Were Sleeping are my favorite Christmas movies.  I think I like them so much because Christmas is merely a part of the setting of the movie rather than the point and I'm weirdly able to connect with themes of the holiday (family, love, togetherness) in a way I don't with actual Christmas movies.

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I, too, am very agnostic, but I love the hell out of cheesy Christmas movies.

 

I pretty much watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation every year. I enjoy this movie the most, because it depicts the stereotypical American Christmas in a funny way. Relatives traveling to see you (forcing the kids to bunk together and having to comply with your relatives being weird), Clark's obsession with the lights (I drive house to house every year trying to find the tackiest display), etc.

 

I like Elf too much. I'll agree that it can get too Will Ferrell at times, but it is just a great overall Christmas film. The genuine naiveté and glee of Buddy was just great.

  • His excitement in the smallest thing: "You did it! Congratulations! World's best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody!"
  • On meeting the fake Santa: "You sit on a throne of lies!"
  • Real Santa is pretty cool too. "And if you see a sign that says "Peep Show", that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at the new toys before Christmas."

Though I do enjoy the movie as a whole, I get a little disturbed by Buddy as an adult. I don't know if I would have put the romance with Jovie (normal human) in there. It's just a little creepy.

 

 

The thing about Elf is that it's the only time where Will Ferrel's schtick works. It's the only time where he's expected to be a man-child (because I mean, if you spent your life in the North Pole, you'd be a man-child, too) and he plays up the really sweet parts of it instead of the obnoxious parts. I am 100% with you on the Jovie thing, though. He's basically a big kid and it's just weird that he has this romance with the girl. I guess it's part of growing up but it's almost like the romance stuff in Big, you know?

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My all time favourite probably has to be Grinch, both cartoon and Jim Carrey. There's just something about it that always gets me. 

 

I feel the same about Love Actually as most of you... I used to love it, now I'm sort of so-so on it. Still watch it (watching it now) but I don't rush to see it anymore. Rick Grimes storyline is one of my favs, only because I'm shallow. I actually don't care for the Hugh Grant storyline at all. 

 

One I still enjoy is The Family Stone which I know everyone just hates. I blame Rachel McAdams because I love pretty much everything she's in, but I like that the family is terrible. Like Love Actually, there are characters I enjoy and those I don't. But there are scenes that get me right in the feels.

 

A Christmas Story is a classic in my family. I don't even know if I like it anymore, but we watch it every year regardless. 

 

I too hate The Holiday and I don't know why. Possibly Cameron Diaz because I never liked her, but I love Kate Winslet. Such a disaster for me. 

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I love Elf the best. My wife loves it too. Its not just her favorite Chrismtas movie but her favorite movie. Kids also love it. It would have been easy for that movie to turn out a bit ridiculous if it wasn't so well acted.

It used to amuse me that Will Ferrel tries to have a tickle fight with Sonny Corleone.

Now it amuses me that Will Ferrel calls Tyrion Lannister an elf. And actually makes even more sense why he would be so pissed about it, given his role in GOTs.

A christmas story is good too. The first Home Alone is OK but I can't stand the later ones. However I noticed that Scarlett Johansson was in Home Alone 3.

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I love Elf! I think if I had to pick a movie in the family, comedy friendly genre though I would have to go with The Santa Clause. My oldest just turned 5 and last year was his first Christmas where he really "got" Santa Claus. The movie really helped explain everything to him in his language and one that I could repeat. When he asks questions about S.C. I use that movie to answer them. We love Christmas in our house so I'll keep the notion alive as long as I can.

Currently he is practicing for his preschool Christmas play and he tends to be cranky in the mornings and get in "trouble" at school for not singing. Every morning I tell him, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear"!

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While I do enjoy most of the storylines in Love Actually, even if I hated everything else about it I would still watch for Bill Nighy.  He can do no wrong.

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Okay, the worst christmas movie of all time is Christmas with the Kranks, which is a valentine to religious oppression.  It's far worse than all those Little Willie Saves Christmas shows. 

My wife loves that movie for some reason and I really don't understand why. It really is terrible, and I have no idea why Tim Allen's neighbors give a crap if he goes away for Christmas.  Maybe it is just because when I was a kid we did go away for Christmas a couple of times, and it was no big deal. 

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I like A Christmas Tale a sort of French Altman film with Catherine Deneauve as matriarch to a large upper middle class family, who is diagnosed with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant from one of her brood to get well, and unsurprisingly for the French a little leukemia isn't going to get tin the way of "life", so that bit drives the film w/o hanging over it. Beyond that it is virtually plot less, and has no neat resolution, you just meet a bunch of entertainingly flawed people, and I like it because it so casually but vividly captures the chaotic rhythms of the holidays in my family. Matthieu Amalric is particularly great as the black sheep the rest of the family loves to hate, hates to love.

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I was flipping through the channels last night and found The Santa Clause and was reminded how fun I thought that one and The Santa Clause II were.  At first, I thought they looked too ridiculous, but I had kids the right age and they wanted to see it, so I brought them and was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. 

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While I do enjoy most of the storylines in Love Actually, even if I hated everything else about it I would still watch for Bill Nighy.  He can do no wrong.

I really wish the whole movie had been about his character; he was a hoot.  Most of the rest of it sucked.

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Well, in our family White Christmas is a staple. It's kind of funny because it's really only the very end that's Christmas-y at all. Also, The Bishop's Wife because it's Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven. My mother loves it and it took a good long time for the rest of us to see it because it certainly wasn't a regular movie during the Christmas season back in the day (read: the 70s and 80s.) But it's sweet and even for one such as me that has little use for organized religion I find it more feel good than LOVE JESUS DAMMIT!

 

Elf is a fun one particularly because most of my family didn't think they'd like it and ended up LOVING it. I can't wait to play it this year and point out Peter Dinklage. "Look! It's Tyrion Lannister!!"

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Well, in our family White Christmas is a staple. 

 

Mine too!  I can't say it's my favorite Christmas movie, but nothing gets the holiday spirit going like Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye's performance of "Sisters."

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White Christmas fascinates me for many reasons: Bing Crosby's squicky romancing of a 25-years-younger Rosemary Clooney, strapping soldiers singing "because we LOVE him, we LOVE him" and Vera Ellen's so incredibly tiny waist.  But most of all, I just want to spend a few seconds in a world where adults still wear matching pajama sets with fancy robes and slippers to eat a midnight snack of liverwurst sandwiches and buttermilk.

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Bing Crosby's squicky romancing of a 25-years-younger Rosemary Clooney

 

I've always liked older men (though not Bing specifically) so I never found that squicky.  But the pajama set thing, that's great.

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Love, Actually is one of my all time favorites, and any version of A Christmas Carol. One that we watch every year, hubby and I, is an old Bogart movie with Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov, called We're No Angels.  So funny, so sweet.  It never shows on television so if you can rent or borrow a copy (ours is on VHS!) I highly recommend it.  Teaching elementary school makes it practically mandatory that I see every single animated movie ever made.  I absolutely don't get Frozen, don't like it and don't see how it ties into Christmas at all except for the snow.  Nevertheless, our classes are planning for themed holiday parties, the songs are slated for the sing-a-long and people are talking about how they are adding it to their holiday lineup.  Give me Rudolph over Elsa and Anna any day!

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To me there's no comparing any version of A Christmas Carol w/the Alistair Sim version. It's far & away heads above the rest.

Though i do love the Mr. Magoo version on occasion.

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I too love holiday rom-coms like The Holiday, Love Actually and While You Were Sleeping.  I know I have 8 Women on my shelf so I'll have to give that one another watch.  

 

But, my secret guilty nobody-else-likes-it feature is Scrooge, the musical with Albert Finney.  Does it redeem me at all to tell you I fast forward through Tiny Tim and Isabel Fezziwigs' songs?

 

Edited to add that I also fast forward through the English guy goes to America storyline in Love Actually and practically all of The Family Stone.

I love the musical Scrooge, too! "December the 25th" and Thank You Very Much" are my favorite tunes.   

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Well, it's about love, actually.

Sorry, I had to.

Basically a bunch of British people and Laura Linney all have love stories of varying success that intertwine because it makes it all seem deep.

I do always get somewhat misty at the airport scenes when real people are greeting their loved ones.

Edited by Janet Snakehole

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I love the musical Scrooge, too! "December the 25th" and Thank You Very Much" are my favorite tunes.   

Thank you Very Much is about Scrooge being DEAD. It's Christmas Future and They're thanking him for dropping DEAD. It's a wonderful and fun song out of context, but in the film....ik!

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There's a musical version of A Christmas Carol.  How did I not ever see this?  I really enjoy Scrooged.  

 

The thing about Love Actually is that the variety in story telling allows the viewer to find stories they enjoy even if they don't like other parts of the movie.  I hate the guy who wants to find American girls for sex, poor Laura Linney's plot, and the whole Alan Rickman cheating storyline but I love the Liam Neeson father/son story,  Colin Firth's story,  Hugh Grant dancing makes the sun shine etc...  It's a flawed movie but enough of it works to make me stop and watch whenever it's on.  Plus, I can fast forward through the plots I don't care about.  It has something that other movies who've tried to replicate the formula (Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve) haven't managed.

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strapping soldiers singing "because we LOVE him, we LOVE him"

 

It's a MANLY love! Because it's from war! It's totes okay to say you love your brothers in arms after you've been carrying guns and being bombed together.

 

Ah, the fifties.

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Thank you Very Much is about Scrooge being DEAD. It's Christmas Future and They're thanking him for dropping DEAD. It's a wonderful and fun song out of context, but in the film....ik!

I'm aware of the context and I still like it.  

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I think next year I'm going to start a Christmas movie drinking game - spot the Canadian actors.  If I watch several in a row I can also play "hey look, it's that person again who seems to make a lot of Christmas movies" ... Haylie Duff and Eric Keenleyside I'm looking at you.  I know there are lots of others but these two come to mind first.

 

I know none of the movies I watch are "classics" but they are fun to watch and mock!  It also seems as if Canada is the place to film them in.

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I adore that movie and could watch it on a loop at Christmas. Cousin Eddie, the squirrel in the tree, Grandma singing the national anthem as the sewer blows up and sends plastic Santa and the reindeer airborn, Clark's melt down in the living room when he doesn't get his bonus, it goes on and on.

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I think next year I'm going to start a Christmas movie drinking game - spot the Canadian actors. If I watch several in a row I can also play "hey look, it's that person again who seems to make a lot of Christmas movies" ... Haylie Duff and Eric Keenleyside I'm looking at you. I know there are lots of others but these two come to mind first.

I know none of the movies I watch are "classics" but they are fun to watch and mock! It also seems as if Canada is the place to film them in.

The Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle movies are cute Canadian ones, I think. They have Debbie Reynolds from Everybody Loves Raymond as Mrs. Miracle.

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My fondness for A Christmas Story (although I haven't watched it in years) comes from listening as a kid to Jean Shepard's radio show every night.  Is anyone else old enough to remember this?  The movie basically strings together a number of the stories he would tell, with these being classics that he'd repeat every year.  It was a syndicates show, 10pm WOR radio in the NYC area.

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My must sees: A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version only), It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and A Christmas Story - anything else is a bonus!

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I note that there is almost no love in this forum expressed for The Polar Express.

 

The reading of that story on Xmas Eve in our family gathering is a highlight of the season for me.  I was thrilled to learn Tom Hanks was taking the project on and believed it would be a fantastic addition to the genre.  It ended up being shockingly cold.  The choice to use the F/X style they went with doomed it, in my opinion.

 

I so wanted to hear that bell.  Alas, 'tis silent for me.

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The Polar Express went into that "uncanny valley" to me with the animation.  That animated version of Tom Hanks is terrifying.

A friend and I call it "that creepy Tom Hanks movie".  I loved the book, but the movie is just so wrong.

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I was just explaning to my roommate last night (while he was watching The Polar Express) what the "uncanny valley" is, because that movie is a perfect example.

Edited by jcin617

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For those that think "Love Actually" is too sappy/sweet/predictable, I'm warning you about "Best Man Holiday". I really wanted to like it (I have not seen the original) but it was too cookie cutter for me. "Love Actually" is my fav holiday movie. I love Elf, NL Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story and the Grinch (JC version) but they are wearing on me. Polar Express is a freaky train wreck (excuse the pun) that I can't keep my eyes off of. We need some new Christmas Classics please!

Oh yeah I love The Holiday too! I need to buy it haven't seen it in a few years.

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For those that think "Love Actually" is too sappy/sweet/predictable, I'm warning you about "Best Man Holiday". I really wanted to like it (I have not seen the original) but it was too cookie cutter for me.

 

TBMH had to be one of the most unnecessary sequels ever.  The first one was only OK, and I don't know anyone who was clamoring to know what happened next.  And it was way too treacly, especially the ending.  

 

I tend to enjoy comedies, so Christmas Vacation, Scrooged, and A Christmas Story are great.  I would also include While You Were Sleeping and Bad Santa.  Bad Santa is bittersweet since we've lost John Ritter and Bernie Mac, but it's still hilarious.

 

I have a weakness for adaptations, so I love Ms. Scrooge (with Cicely Tyson), A Diva's Christmas Carol with Vanessa Williams.

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When I was a kid, every Christmas they'd play the Japanese anime version of The Little Mermaid.  Hardly a Christmas film, but it was always included in the Christmas specials.  It was tragic and it broke my little heart year after year, but I loved it.  

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