21 November, 2006

Holiday Movies

I've got certain films I watch every year to get my psyched for the holiday season. I realised yesterday that my movie season officially starts tomorrow. Here's my list, but feel free to pile on with other suggestions:

Day Before Thanksgiving

Love, Actually
This is a new tradition, but it's one I'm sticking to. I realise this movie has been pummelled on both sides of the Atlantic and people hate it in droves. It has the distinction of being mocked (as Love, Indubitably) in several episodes of Arrested Development.

I can't help myself. I love it anyway. It's a great way to kick off the splurge of festivities by reminding you of all the different types of love in the world.


The Latest Harry Potter DVD
I'm not a football person. (My apologies, sir) In an odd way, the Harry Potter clan are like a home away from home for me, so sitting down to watch an HP movie is like inviting relatives over who won't bring burnt pecan pie and eat all the mashed potatoes.

The Season

Network television obliges by being thrown into massive reruns between Christmas and Thanksgiving. Well, either massive reruns or holiday-themed junk like Barry Aiken Lighting the Giant Squid At The Rockefeller White House. Yawn. I choose to load up on the following flicks.

Mixed Nuts
I have no idea why this isn't a holiday classic worshipped far and wide. Transvestites, serial killers, knitters and a suicide hotline--what more could you ask for in a Christmas movie?

It's A Wonderful Life
"No man is a failure who has friends". That's why I watch this. To feel like an abject failure. I have no friends. HA!
Actually that's not true. I watch this because half of my life feels like I'm fleeing from the tyranny of the hundreds of Mr. Potters out in the real world. I want to be George Bailey when I grow up. George is everybody. Who out there hasn't had a real and vibrant dream they've had to simmer down to a seemingly bleak reality? What better time to be reminded that sometimes the simple life is the best life than at Christmas?

My only complaint about this movie is actually from a seed planted by my mother. She complains (and rightly so) that as happily as the movie ends for George, Mr. Potter never has to give back the $8K he stole from Uncle Billy. That does irk me. But since the movie is fundamentally about how money doesn't matter I guess I'll let it slide.

The Godfather Saga
Like Meredith Gray, part of me is all dark and twisty. I defy you to find a better holiday family saga than these movies. They're all about family. Sure, it's a family that has people (and horses) killed with impunity. But it's a family movie, and the holidays are a family time.

The Lord of the Rings
Come on. Of COURSE you have to watch them at Christmas time. Although I give you permission to fast-forward the seemingly-endless Sam & Frodo stuff from the last movie. You may also fast-forward large chunks of the Merry and Pippen Riding Treebeard nonsense.

The Homecoming
This is another forgotten classic. It's the pilot TV movie for The Waltons, and focuses on Christmas Eve at Walton's Mountain. I still can't figure out why this one is not in heavy rotation at Christmastime. Thankfully I've got an old VHS--almost worn through--that I can pop in and enjoy.


At 9:17 AM, November 21, 2006, Anonymous bekah said...

Love, Actually is one of my very favorite movies ever. There's nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa infront of a warm fire and watching that movie. I think it's wonderful. Just this morning I was talking with my husband about how it's almost time to watch it, and I've had the "Christmas is all around us" song stuck in my head ever since.

At 9:22 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger jag said...

CHRIST-MAS is aul aroond us!

I was going to put Love Actually in last night, but I can't find my copy! Who did I lend it to? I'm having withdrawls! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

At 9:48 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

Ya know, I've not seen Love, Actually. Mayhaps this explains my tragic lack of a gf....

Anyway, you forgot to throw in Christmas Vacation. Classic!

At 10:08 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger John H said...

as we discussed before, Kat, if you could excise the Hugh Grant as P. Minister scenes, I think you have a nearly perfect movie in Love Actually.

L.Actually has definitely entered my canon of must-see-in-the-Christmas-Holiday-season movies.

At 10:09 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger John H said...

Michael - you might consider taking up the drums..it seemed to work wonders in Love Actually!

At 10:10 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

John, I'd keep the HG scenes and excise the little-boy scenes. Other than that, we agree!

Michael, either take up the drums or Portugese.

At 10:25 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger Malia said...

Hmmm...I'd forgotten about Love, Actually, I may have to pick that one up.

My holiday favs:
While You Were Sleeping - I had this recorded on VHS from a free Showtime weekend back when we were young marrieds. I pulled it out every year to watch sometime during this season. Last year, I accidently recorded over it! But a new DVD, via eBay, is on it's way to me right now!

A Christmas Story - FRA-GEE-LEE!!, You'll shoot your eye out!

Christmas Vacation - needs no comment!

At 10:33 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger JB said...

Home Alone 1 & 2.

When the old man's family comes home for Christmas at the end of the first one....a tear is coming to my eye just thinking about it.

At 10:36 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Ooohhh. I forgot about While You Were Sleeping. I love that movie! I think Bill Pullman is genuinely charming and handsome in it.

At 11:03 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger Sonia said...

Can't go wrong with "A Christmas Story". Seriously love that movie. Nostalgia. OH, and our newest holiday fave...."polar express" ::: tears ::::

At 11:05 AM, November 21, 2006, Blogger Slartibartfast said...

Gasp - I remember watching The Homecoming when it first aired. My mother cried.

Patricia O'Niel played the mom, as I recall, but most of the rest of the cast was the same.

The Waltons became must-see TV at my house, till John-Boy moved away.

At 1:04 PM, November 21, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

If taking up the drums will win my the phone numbers of single women, I'm all for it...

At 3:23 PM, November 21, 2006, Blogger bridgett said...

We watch My Man Godfrey...something about the forgotten men and learning to be fine whatever the circumstances just gets me in the right frame of mind. Or maybe it's just the tryptophan.

Maybe we should watch Love, Actually too.

At 3:51 PM, November 21, 2006, Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

You've nailed The Godfather saga right on the head .. it's not ALL about killing, but more about family loyalty ... I too can't think of anything better to watch for the holidays (except, if I'm feeling really wicked, Bad Santa)

At 9:43 PM, November 21, 2006, Blogger Allyson said...

My must watches are Love, Actually and Bernard and the Genie, although they've stopped playing B&tG on TV for some silly reason, and it doesn't seem to be available for sale or for rent unless you're willing to take a bootleg copy.

At 6:56 AM, November 22, 2006, Anonymous sista smiff said...

You can't miss with the Walton's. Ralph Waite was not the dad on this...Andrew Duggan. AND Cleavon Little was Hawthorne Dooley. Love it.

While You Were Sleeping-ahhh...one of my favorites. What a great cast, especially Glynis Johns "He takes pot" as the Grandmother, Peter Boyle and oh man, Bill Pullman...I have such a crush on his character in this movie.

It's A Wonderful Life...yes, yes, yes.

I'm going to do a post on my Christmas movies here pretty soon. I've got lots of Christmas posts up my sleeve..


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