Wednesday, December 12, 2012

List: Top Christmas Films

Who doesn't like Christmas? Oh, right, quite a few people.

I am one of the world's most secular individuals. It is now family lore that when I was on Double Dare (I know! So awesome!) in 1992 I answered "A band" in response to the question: "What is Genesis?" But I still love the birth of baby Jesus, nonetheless.

If you know of another holiday which begins a full two months before the actual date of said holiday and expects, nay demands, that you drink egg nog (alcoholic heavy cream!), open gifts, and then pass out on the sofa after ingesting a year's worth of carbohydrates then you may protest. Otherwise, maybe you should just get down with the 'nog and zip your pie hole.

A friggen egg nog fountain! I want to go to there.

Things that are awesome about Christmas:
- Advent calendars.
- The fact that the Manimal, JoSi and I try to go to Rolf's and eat an entire suckling pig every year.
- Going on a Lohan holiday
- Plum pudding with BRANDY BUTTER. It's butter that gets you twisted. I will personally submit anyone who opposes plum pudding.
- People that go overboard with their christmas lights. Also, the person below who is my decorating hero.

The best thing about Christmas, though, is the movies. Now that I live in the Northern Hemisphere, I finally "get" holiday movies. What else are you going to do to convince yourself that staying inside because it's negative 29 degrees outside is fun? Growing up in Australia, I would have to spray fake snow in the windows and turn up the AC so I could enjoy my fillums. That's for the birds, yo!

But I'm not talking abut holiday themed garbage like Jingle All The Way (excepting, of course, the always welcomed inclusion of Sinbad) or the terrifying Michael Keaton abomination that is Jack Frost (complete with Hanson tie in video). No, I'm talking about the movies that make you glad to be alive during Noel. Without further preamble, allow me to regale you with my list of top Christmas movies for your viewing pleasure this holiday season:

1: Home Alone 1 and 2

Dedicated readers will know of my obsession with Home Alone. One Christmas, I wrote an ode to cultural touchstone and all around BAMF Roberts Blossom aka Old Man Marley (RIP).

What's not to like about the Home Alone franchise? It has holiday cheer, a house in the Chicago suburbs which dictated how I thought all American suburbs looked, and people getting hurt frequently. Plus, it's made by the auteur of all auteurs John Hughes and even has a cameo by my spirit animal, John Candy.

My hero: Fuller!

2. The Ref
Let's be honest here, I have been in a near-constant love affair with the 90s since I was in the 90s. This film, about a burglary gone wrong and the resultant insanity is vintage 90s gold. Its title refers to the job unfortunate cat burglar Denis Leary (at the height of his "look at me! I'm an angry guy! I like to scream and smoke cigarettes! Arrghhhdgdhdhhfh!!") has to play when he takes a family hostage on Christmas Eve. Of course, because it's set during the holidays, the family whose house he hides in is made up of the most annoying people known to man. Hilarity, naturally, ensues.
Bonus: The Ref also stars Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis (swoon!).

This Scandinavian feast and accompanying speech always reminds me of something my mum would do. She's always trying to make something "interesting" for special occasions rather than sticking with the classics. Inevitably we have to hear a sweet, but long winded, explanation about Tibetan Yak dip when we are all really just waiting for my stepdad to uncork his homemade honey mead from the shed. After that, we eat party pies until halfway through the bottle when we all spontaneously go blind and pass out.

Here you go - enjoy!

3. Die Hard 1 and 2:
My favorite thing about Die Hard 2 is the scene where we are introduced to Colonel Stuart because it is a literal representation of Manimal's morning routine:

*Sadly, I'm not joking.

But Die Hard 1 is king. Nothing says Christmas like watching Bruce Willis stomp all over Hans Gruber in a soiled wife beater. Nothing. It's also got Carl frickin' Winslow as the sidekick cop. This is what the baby Jesus watches on the couch when he's full of roast potatoes and brandy butter. Yipeekiyay motherfucker!

4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Oh, man. This is the ultimate holiday (OK, I know it's technically about Thanksgiving but whatever) movie because it's sappy and funny at the same time. It also has Steve Martin basically playing me, and John Candy (again!) as the Manimal-esque shower curtain ring salesman with the proverbial heart of gold, Del Griffith. The scene below is an uncannily accurate depiction of what happens to me if I don't get first shower.

*Disturbingly, this clip resides in an area of YouTube that is frequented by people searching for "hairy daddies". Steve Martin? Really?

Watching this movie was also when I first learned one of my all time favorite phrases, "My dogs are barking",  when Del takes his shoes off in a crowded plane. Shortly after, I also realized why those shoes are called Hush Puppies. Genius! Me and my brother, Dr. Poobelle, also say this absurdly often:

"I'm the real article."

The resolution of Trains, Planes and Automobiles is also on my list of embarrassing things that make me cry. I won't spoil it, but Del Griffith is a complicated fellow. I'd rather play Pick Up Sticks with my butt cheeks than not watch this movie at Yuletide.

So there you have it. I suppose you could spend your time watching Garfield: The Movie or  It's a Wonderful Life but really aren't the holidays about not flagellating yourself for being savagely submitted by another year of disappointment, and rather about living vicariously through a man beating seven types of snot out of a German villain? I think that's WJWD.

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