It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so I’m told, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without the Christmas movies we all know and love, which have become part of everyone’s family tradition over the last few decades. This is my top 5, in no particular order.
Gremlins roasting in an open microwave, gremlins nipping at your nose, Yuletide carols being sung by gremlins, and folks screaming and running for their lives. Er, something like that anyway. This most festive of monster movies has great fun ripping the trappings of Christmas to pieces and cackling gleefully all the way. It also has one of the great monologues about the tragedy of fathers who try to mimic Santa Claus, but let’s not dwell on any strange smells coming from the chimney, eh? Just be careful of any new pets you receive this year, and don’t feed the little blighters after midnight.
Michael Caine singing to a bunch of puppets: it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. The Muppets slot perfectly into Charles Dickens winter’s tale, but bring their own anarchic comedy stylings with them. Gonzo, who clearly has no place in the 19th century, does a creditable job as narrator, using language lifted directly from the book for the most part, and Caine somehow keeps a straight face to give us one of the most faithful movie Scrooges, and one who always convinces as he undergoes his transformation from miser to mensch.
There have been many spins on A Christmas Carol – but in movie terms at least this is the best. Ebeneezer Scrooge is transformed from cold-hearted businessman into yuppie TV exec, and made almost likeable despite his obnoxious behaviour by Bill Murray, on sardonic and sarcastic form. It’s so good that we don’t even mind the fact that it finishes up with a singalong song. Its dark and disgusting, but the main thing that is often missing from Christmas Carol’s, the heart, is dealt out with tack.
Basically a live-action cartoon with a John Hughes script, Home Alone may not be big or even clever but it’s a lot of fun and, in its own way, emphasises the importance of love and family just as much as It’s A Wonderful Life. As in Capra’s tale, being deprived of family and safety makes little tyke Macauley Culkin realise how much he needs them, and fending off burglars all alone gives him a unique appreciation of the Christmas spirit. Also, he gets to drop a hot iron on someone’s face, so that’s nice.
A recent entrant onto the Christmas chart, but one that went straight to the top of everyone’s affections and deserves to be there. When it screened on British TV one Sunday this December it trended worldwide on Twitter, such is its popularity and extraordinary quotability. Buddy the Elf is, along with Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell’s finest comedy creation, and he’s the most adorable movie character since we saw that You Tube video with the kitten in the tiny top hat. You’d have to be a cotton-headed ninnymuggins not to love this one.
So there we go The top 5. Did I miss anything off (Yes I know It’s a wonderful life is missing, but I havent seen it, I do plan to correct that this year.) If you think I have, post a comment or somthing, I dont care.
Coming Soon, The Top 5 Christmas Films, That Just Happen To Be Set At Christmas.