It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, December means the theaters will be filled with Oscar contenders and end-of-the-year blockbusters. But it’s also the perfect time to revisit some of my favorite Christmas-set films. Not classics like “Frosty the Snowman” or “Miracle on 34th Street,” but something a little more…contemporary.
I waited until a few months ago to watch the fifth highest-grossing movie of all-time, the Disney musical “Frozen.” And, I’ll say, it turned out to be pretty good. Like the Disney movies of old. In fact, Disney musicals haven’t been that good since “Lilo & Stitch,” ten years ago…honestly! Catchy tunes, beautiful animation, terrific voice acting. For the first time in forever, I can proudly say that “Frozen” is the perfect snow day movie.
My favorite Christmas movie is also my favorite romantic-comedy. It’s near-perfect. “Love Actually” is hilarious, heartfelt, and full of stories and characters you can really get invested in. Emma Thompson gives an award-worthy turn, and Liam Neeson is a strong contender for Best Step-dad Ever. But it’s not all holiday cheer. Alan Rickman and Laura Linney (in separate stories) get into some really tragic and somber situations, but it’s all for the better of the movie. It mixes highs and lows to create a well-rounded and refreshing take on the holiday season — in Great Britain, which makes it all the more fun!
While “Die Hard” isn’t a Christmas movie per se, the holiday party-set film makes enough reference to make it relevant. Alan Rickman again stars (I didn’t plan this) as the evil Hans Gruber, while John McClane (Bruce Willis, obviously) tries to save his wife and couple dozen other hostages trapped on the top floor of a huge office building. The action is intense. Bruce Willis is iconic. Yipee-kai-ay.
Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer star in this comedic murder mystery, also set during the holidays. It’s beginning to look a lot like one suspect until WHAM! there’s a plot twist and the whole story turns upside-down. Actually, I don’t remember much about the plot. I guess that’s why I’m going to revisit it.
Jingle All the Way
Please tell me you’ve seen this one. Schwarzenegger and Sinbad fight for the last Turbo Man action figure to get for their sons for Christmas. Jake Lloyd plays Ahnold’s son. Jake Lloyd. Yeah, little Ani Skywalker! It’s so great! They all are! It’s terrible, but who cares! Happy Holidays, you lucky movie snobs.