Well folks, it’s December, and that means that Christmification is in full gear. It’s in stores, on the radio and hanging from your front door. And, guess what, you’re not going to escape it here, because at The Nugget we’re trendy and relevant and on the ball.
My festive topic of choice: Christmas movies. They’re the weiner dogs of the film world – most often annoying and irritatingly in your face but, for very short periods of time, they can be wonderfully unique and heartwarming. They signal memories of time spent with family and friends, of prioritizing pleasure over work. And, as you watch your classics over and over again, they begin to instill a sense of nostalgia, making the Christmastime feel accessible whenever or wherever you may be. So ’tis the season, here are my picks for greatest yuletide flicks.
5: Die Hard – What’s Christmas without a little skyscraper violence? It stars Bruce Willis while he was still rocking some sort of a hair-do, and helped cement his stereotype as a comedy-action star. Die Hard mixes melodramatic conflict, reconciled relationships and so-bad-they’re-good one liners – things no memorable Christmas should go without. Yippie-ki-yay!
4: Elf – Will Ferrell as a lovably naive human-elf – need I really say more? Elf proves Ferrell can be hilarious in any movie, even as an overgrown, out-of-place Christmas yuppie in a performance slightly more kid-friendly than his old school turn as an overgrown, out-of-place college yuppie.
3: Jack Frost – At once heartwarming and heartbreaking, Jack Frost stars Michael Keaton back from the dead as a magical snowman in a classic that packs all the feels. This movie has so many memorable scenes – the epic schoolyard snowball fight, the epic sled chase scene, the epic snow puns! Then, of course, there’s the hockey storyline. How can you not love a movie with an entire scene dedicated to learning how to take a snap shot?
2: Home Alone – I’m going to group both Home Alone movies together into the number two spot on my list (don’t even mention the others, apparently they’ve made five now). Re-watching these masterpieces is the greatest way for one to return to their childhood. My mother wouldn’t leave me alone in the kids aisle at Blockbuster let alone forget me at home before a family vacation but oh, what I would have done to be in Kevin McCallister’s mischievous shoes! The improbability of it all is outrageous, especially in the second film when Kevin gallivants about New York while terrorizing the world’s most incompetent, yet most physically resilient, criminals. That’s what makes Home Alone great, though, and I’m pencilling in a date with the pigeon lady as we speak.
1: A Christmas Story – I was surprised at how many people hadn’t seen this gem when I was telling them about this article. The story of little Ralphie Parker and his quest to get his fingers on the trigger of that legendary Red Ryder BB gun is one for the ages. In an overload of cinematic nostalgia, it touches on all of the distinctive characteristics of winter and Christmas as a child – dreaming about that one present that you’re not allowed to have, meeting Santa at the mall, being bundled up far warmer than necessary for a trip outside – and, it answers the age old question regarding what exactly happens when you stick your tongue to a frosty metal pole.