Top Five Christmas Films
Christmas is unquestionably my favorite time of every year. The weather is cold, the focus is on family, the food is good, and we all gather together to celebrate and be thankful for the year that we’ve had.
Despite my deep love of this season, I’ve never been much for Christmas movies. Sure, there are a few that I’ve always enjoyed, but for the most part, my holiday films are rather non-traditional.
So I present to you, my five favorite Christmas films, some of which aren’t about Christmas at all.
#5 The Holiday
Yes, it co-stars the awful Cameron Diaz, and yes, I do fast forward through every bit of the scenes she is in when I watch this at home. Believe it or not, that still leaves a wonderful, uplifting movie about life and love and the holiday season.
Kate Winslet is just about the most adorable creature ever in the film, and her journey in the movie and the way she helps people around her is always a joy to watch. There’s a particular scene late in the film that I’m not too manly to admit always brings tears to my eyes.
#4 Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
I could argue that Gandalf is sort of like Santa Claus, but that would be silly, so instead I’ll just admit that this movie has nothing to do with Christmas. However, all the Lord of the Rings films released in the holiday season, and this one in particular was a big deal in my family. We all loaded up and went to the theater to enjoy the conclusion of this epic trilogy, in what was likely the first time we’d all gone to a movie together since my childhood. That makes this particular movie one I always associate with the Christmas sprit, and one I enjoy watching each December.
#3 A Christmas Story
The only pure Christmas movie on my list, this one just goes hand in hand with the holiday season. It’s become so iconic, and while seeing it on every channel this time of year does get annoying, it’s impossible to deny the charm and warmth of this goofy movie that so many of us first watched with our families.
#2 You’ve Got Mail
Yes, I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, and this may be the greatest romantic comedy of all time. It’s set around the holidays, so it’s not completely out of place on this list. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are fantastic as the unknowing pen pals who happen to be bitter rivals in the real world, and this is a movie that’s full of laughs, charm, warmth and all the other things that make Christmas such a magical time of the year.
#1 Die Hard
In my mind, this is unquestionably the big daddy of all Christmas films. My brother and I have watched this movie together around a hundred times, and it’s always one I make time for every December. The R rated action film set around a hostage situation at Nakatomi Plaza might not be your standard Christmas film, but for me and my brother it’s not quite Christmas without Jon McClane running around shooting bad guys.
For those shaking your heads right now, don’t forget, the movie takes place at Christmas time, and in a way is about the extraordinary lengths a husband goes through to spend Christmas with his wife. Those lengths just happen to be gunning down a skyscraper filled with bad guys.
This Weekend at the Theater
Only one new movie releases at the theater this weekend. Playing for Keeps is a romantic comedy starring Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel. Butler plays a washed up soccer star who’s trying to reconnect with the son and ex-wife that he hurt so much during his hard partying days as a superstar. The film has some great co-stars, such as Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta-Jones, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll do much business.
Releasing on home video this week is The Dark Knight Rises, Hope Springs and The Odd Life of Timothy Green.