One of our family traditions is to spend all day at the movies on December 25th. But before then, we like to get in the mood by revisiting some of our favorite holiday films. We don't always get around to watching all of them, but the list includes:
It's a Wonderful Life
The first movie D and I saw together, the night we met. When we lived in the bay area, if we weren't out of town visiting someone, we would always go see the Stanford Theatre show on Christmas Eve. We just saw a live radio play production of this in Portland, which was intimate and entertaining and a great example of remixing* public-domain content to create new art.
The Long Kiss Goodnight
D loves this movie, for reasons I'm sure she will be happy to explain.
What can I say? It's a classic, and I'm a sentimental fool. Sure, the action scenes are great, but for me, the heart of the movie is when John McClane is in the bathroom, bandaging up his feet and talking on the radio with Sgt. Powell. That scene, and the whole story, are all about character. (This is also why I don't much care for any of the sequels.)
We just watched The Sure Thing, which D got from Netflix because she'd read about it being a tradition with Connie Willis' family. It wasn't bad, despite being totally '80s, but D noted that it didn't feel like a Christmas movie, even though it's about two college students taking a road trip from the east coast to California for the holidays. The premise was just that--a pretext--and the filmmakers didn't even try to integrate the trappings of the season with the story or the set dressing.
Your turn, readers: What are your favorite holiday films, and why?
* Speaking of which, anyone who cares about culture should support Creative Commons.
Total cliche but the Charlie Brown Christmas movie. I don't even know the title but the soundtrack is what delivers the feeling.
A friend was playing the score from the movie the other day. Made me want to go out and buy a piano (or at least electric keyboard) and learn it.
Besides "it's a wonderful life", I love the original "miracle on 34th street'. this year I learned the English translation of the little Dutch song sung in the movie, and it thrilled me.
Although I rarely count "Christmas in Connecticut" among my favorites, I really enjoyed this year seeing how much chemistry Barbara Stanwyck had with her leading man.
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