At this point in my life, I consider myself to be a professional movie watcher. I like to think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to good and bad movies. Of course, there are tons of movies I haven’t seen. But I like to think I’m doing pretty well for someone who wasn’t allowed to see anything as a child. I didn’t see “Grease” or “Titanic” until I was 16. I have zero emotional attachment to “Hocus Pocus.” I still haven’t seen “Forrest Gump.” However considering these setbacks, I think I’m doing alright.
There is one movie genre that I know better than any other — Christmas movies. Christmas movies are the greatest movies of all time. Sometimes they’re bad and sometimes they’re so terribly awful that they’re kind of good. And sometimes, they’re truly magical.
Here are my top picks for holiday films this seasons.
“Miracle on 34th Street (1947)”
This is the best one. Ok, I could say that about every movie mentioned, but with this one, I would mean it. If you’ve never seen it, you are truly missing out. Doris Walker is in charge of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and when the man she hired to play Santa in the finale shows up drunk, she hires this random bearded man who says he can do it. Turns out, that random bearded man is the real Santa Claus and he ends up being the main Santa in Macy’s. He starts claiming to be the real Santa and everyone says he’s crazy and there’a a major lawsuit where no one wants to bring up the reality of Santa Claus because apparently children in the 1940s cared about legal cases. Yes, it’s as great as it sounds. This movie is also great because characters smoke cigarettes in bed and people shop at Gimbel’s. Also, the main character Susan spends the entire movie talking about how she wants a house with a yard even though she has a sick, spacious apartment on the Upper West Side. Like, Susan, count your blessings.
A classic. If you’ve ever sat around and thought, “Wow, I would like to see Will Ferrell wearing tights and a pointy hat!” or “I wonder what Zooey Deschanel looks like as a blonde?” then I have the perfect movie for you. You’ve probably already seen it, but if not, what’s wrong with you? Are you not interested in watching a grown man run around New York in an elf costume? Do you not enjoy watching someone eat spaghetti and syrup? Do you not appreciate kick-ass snowball fights in Central Park? I don’t know. Watch the movie. It’s a masterpiece.
“Love Actually (2003)”
Who is your favorite British actor or actress? He or she is in this movie. I guarantee it. This movie is so great because it’s 10 mini stories that all intertwine and merge together at the end. Everyone’s falling in love or getting heartbroken or partying in Wisconsin. This is the kind of movie you wouldn’t expect to work, but it does. Maybe it’s because it’s British or maybe it’s because it’s Christmas or maybe it’s because Professor Snape is in it. Somehow, it works and it’s now of the sweetest and most heartwarming Christmas movies around.
“The Holiday (2006)”
This one is about two women (Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet) who decide to switch homes for two weeks during Christmas. Diaz goes to Surrey and Winslet goes to L.A. In Surrey, Diaz’s character meets a Jude Law’s character and they totally fall in love. In L.A., Winslet’s character meets Jack Black’s character and they totally fall in love. It makes me smile every single time. Also, the movie features a lot of Jude Law hanging out with two little girls. Warning: it is the cutest thing you will ever see in your life.
“Home Alone (1990)” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)”
I hate to be that person, but Home Alone 2 is better than the original. There, I said it. Sure, the original makes way more sense. I guess you could theoretically leave your kid at home in Chicago while you go to Paris and not realize until you’d landed, and then not be able to get back until Christmas Day. It would also make sense that there would be two burglars interested in their nice home who were waiting until Christmas vacation to plan their attack. It’s a great plot, but it’s kind of a one time deal. Or so you would think.
Somehow, it happens again and it makes a lot less sense. I’m not sure how a kid could just get on a flight to New York accidentally when he was supposed to go to Miami. I guess this was pre-9/11, but it still seems a little far-fetched. Even crazier, he gets to stay at the Plaza Hotel because he cleverly convinces them that father is an important business man and he will be coming up later. To top it all off, the same burglars from the first movie are now in New York and apparently are still after this kid. Like, I’m pretty sure in real life Joe Pesci and the tall skinny guy have better things to do than stalk Macaulay Culkin, but apparently, they do not. As ridiculous as it is, I love it. I love New York and I love the little pigeon lady who says she hasn’t spoken to anyone in two years. Mostly, I someday think I’m going to be that lady, but that’s a completely different topic for another time. I also love the toy store and Mr. Duncan. This movie is completely ridiculous, and I love every second of it.