Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas, Baby: Lets Watch Some Flicks

Getting in the Christmas spirit is easy, as The Boss is jazzily crooning away to "Christmas, Baby Please Come Home" in my room right now (and promptly giving me inspiration for the title of this post).

I listen to Christmas carols all day at work, including, as I terrifyingly discovered today, a "Christmas carol" by Ali Lohan. Who knew that she sang? Although, I'm really okay with not being in the know about Ali Lohan

Anyway, some of the songs I have to listen to are obviously questionable, which is why I often run home to rinse all the bad away with my own selection of holiday classics. Right now I can't get enough of  Bing, Hanson's Snowed In, Clooney (Rosemary that is), and some modern day interpretations done by that class act Sufjan Stevens.

So much music to cram in and we can't forget about movies; I could never forget about this! Christmas lights, family, baking, music and merriment are great, but for all those other moments nothing beats a holiday movie or special.

I just tried to brainstorm what I thought would be a small collection of classics to mention, but it has grown rather large.

Keep reading for the movies I can't live without this Christmas.

Editors note: Just so you all don't think I'm nuts, I have left off many classics that I think are essential, but in an obvious way (The Grinch, Charlie Brown Christmas, It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story,etc), as to try and think of other choices. It is also extremely important to catch any of those as well.

So, now lets kick off this Christmas spectacular!

Christmas Can't Go On Unless I Watch...Little Women

If you LOVE Little Women, you know how I feel. Idolizing Jo March has never stopped (yes, apparently one of my idols is a book character) and simply thinking about any version of this story makes me equally excited and deeply depressed.

Not traditionally a Christmas movie, but I've grown into only watching it during this time and the mood of the newest incarnation perfectly captures Christmas for me. Plus Christian Bale as Laurie, booing Kristen Dunst as Amy, and Sarandon never gets old.

Also, have you heard this Thomas Newman score? One of my favorite things.

Oldies: Holiday Inn and White Christmas

Two for one movies starring Bing Crosby. Endlessly wonderful songs and performances can be seen in either of these movies and both also feature some amazing dancing scenes, with Fred Astaire doing the work in Holiday Inn.

Cocktail party trivia time: Did you know the song "White Christmas" was actually first sung by Crosby in Holiday Inn? He sure did! That guys voice levels me.

I'm A Woman So Kill Me...Love Actually

I feel like I spend a lot of my time defending this movie, why is that? Sure, some of the numerous storylines are not as memorable as others, but it all ends up working so well together! Also, there are far too many legit actors (Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, etc.) for this movie to be disregarded.

It is the rare "chick flick" (I do hate that term) that hits you with the love fuzzies, but also sticks you with some dramatic reality, which this kind of movie normally avoids. Queue up scenes with Linney and Thompson to find out why this is true.

(In search of a video to represent this movie, I was left me with nothing. Just Youtube searching Love Actually leaves you in an abyss of terrible tribute videos.)

Christmas Can Also Be Dirrty: Bad Santa

For those of you that have avoided watching this, please rent it now! If not for anything else but Cloris Leachman and this kid, whose name is Thurman Merman for God sakes. Comedy GOLD!

I can't even begin to explain how many times the phrase "can I make you some sandwiches?" is used around my house, which is followed by falling to the floor, uncontrollable laughter. Seriously.

Classic: The Snowman

We all have those memories that remind us of being a child; The Snowman is that for me.

Mostly known for the incredible music that has been covered by singers over the years (the song "Walking On The Air"), but this Oscar nominated short film should be watched in its entirety. From the beautiful animation, to the music that flows through the story without dialogue, it is a work of art.

Try and not cry at the end, just try.

I'm A Grown Up Now...Cue Nostalgia: Prancer

"Come see Prancer FLY at a theater near you!" I just laughed about this video for the last ten minutes. I have now composed myself.

Definitely the cheesiest pick, but I just can't deny Prancer in my life. A flick from the 1980s about a girl who loves Christmas more than anyone, and so much so that she believes a stray reindeer is one of Santa's own.

For anyone looking for a movie to remind you of why it's important to not forget your holiday spirit, this is the one. Because of this movie for my entire life I have wanted to take care of a sick reindeer in my barn (I don't have any of the things I just listed) and I'm still not giving up hope.

Guilty Pleasure Best Consumed Sans Diaz: The Holiday

I'm serious, some friends and I have watched this movie by fast forwarding through any scenes with Cameron Diaz (except when Jude Law and those glasses and his children are present), and the movie still makes sense! It also give you more time to enjoy the good parts with Winslet, Jack Black, and that old man who lives next door!

In another nerdy movie score note; does anyone enjoy this one as much as I do? Incredible (mad props Hans Zimmer)!

I'm also incredibly embarrassed by how sucked into this scene I get. "If you were a melody," yeah I eat that up.

Next, On A Very Special...My So Called Life 

After seeing every episode of the only season of My So Called Life many, many times, nothing sticks with me like their Christmas episode. Rickie's on the streets! There is a homeless girl/Angel played by 90's singer Juliana Hatfield! A show tackling abuse and teen homelessness! More intense than words can describe.

This clip won't make any sense to anyone who hasn't seen the show, but it will just make you want to consume the whole season over and over again.

Best Muppet Version of Classic Literature: A Muppet Christmas Carol

It's the Muppets in all their glory, and you can enjoy the story of A Christmas Carol without all those scary chain gang ghouls like in the original version. True story, that used to scare the crap out of me.

As a bonus, I will leave you all with a favorite Muppet moment of mine. Mostly because I still have a John Denver and the Muppet's Christmas CD from 3rd grade that features a rendition of this song. Jimmy Fallon is no Denver, but he is cuter.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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