Everybody loves a good holiday film. At least, everyone loves a a great holiday film. Here is Adam Z’s list of the top 10 holiday films, and it quite an eclectic mix. It includes comedies, classics, shorts, and more. Check it out:
10. Bad Santa
Never has bad been so, so good! Raunchy and crude are not usually terms used to describe Christmas movies, and this one is not for the kiddies. Nonetheless, Billy Bob Thornton is brilliant in the role of a thieving department store Santa who starts the film as a self-hating loser, but in the end regains his soul when he befriends a poor, outcast boy who despite all indications to the contrary, believes in the goodness of old St. Nick. Too bad there isn’t a scene we could show you that didn’t have foul language in it – so here is the trailer.
9. Planes Trains and Automobiles
This epic road trip movie staring Steve Martin and the late, great, John Candy is as heart- tugging as it is gut-busting funny. Martin is trying to get home for the holidays and circumstances beyond his control force him to hitch his wagon to shower ring salesman Candy’s wagon. The ride is laugh-out-loud funny, until it takes an unforeseen twist that makes this comedy a holiday-season classic.
8. Days Like This – Loneliness
I love animated shorts. This recently released Irish-made short, set in the holiday season, is so simple and poignant that it had to make the list. The animation style is haunting and the story captures the melancholy that is often the dark underbelly of the ho-ho-ho season.
7. A Very Buzzy Christmas
One of my all-time favorite holiday stories is Dickens’ Christmas Carol. There have been all sorts of renditions of this classic tale. My favorite live-action version features George C. Scott. This new, animated short, made my short list, because, it is well done, captures the flavor of the times we live in and the back story of the couple that made it, makes the story even more heart-warming. I came across their story in my local newspaper. The husband was laid off and instead of wringing his hands he and his wife decided to follow their dream of making good and meaningful animation for kids.
6. The Family Man
When I first saw this movie I had no expectations of anything great. I was more than pleasantly surprised. Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni are great in this sometimes funny, sometimes sappy tale. With the help of some holiday magic, workaholic Cage gets a chance to see what life would be like if he had married his long-lost college sweetheart. He gets to find out which path is more fulfilling- financial success or emotional connection.
5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
This third offering in the Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) saga, is, for my money, the best in the series. Every-man Griswold just wants to give his family the best holiday ever, but his cheap boss, his crazy relatives and a mad squirrel threaten to destroy his dreams. This slapstick romp has a heart of gold that makes it one of my favorites.
4. Die Hard
Sometime laughs and tears just won’t cut it during the holidays. Sometime you are just in the mood for action. This franchise-starter from 1988, introduces the world to New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) as he comes to LA and fights a band of terrorists led by Alan Rickman. The action takes place on Christmas Eve and McClain is tasked with saving the day from that evil “Grinch” Rickman.
I can not imagine a top ten movie list without one of my favorite actors, Will Ferrell being represented. This 2003 offering is a sweet sugar plum of a movie about a boy raised by Santa who goes in search of his real family. This is a funny, heartwarming tale for the whole family
2. Groundhog Day
I will cut to the chase. This movie is comedy gold, wrapped up neatly in a wonderful holiday package. Bill Murray is an insensitive weatherman who gets stuck in a time warp until he learns what life and love are all about. This movie is funny, funny, but also deep… so watch out that first step, it’s a doozy!
1. It’s A Wonderful Life
As good as the other movies are on this list, the number one spot for me, was never in doubt. This black and white, uber-classic, is a Frank Capra masterpiece. I have seen it at least 10 times and I swear each time I see something new in it. Jimmy Stewart is perfection as a small town banker George Bailey, who through no fault of his own, finds himself on brink of financial ruin. Distraught over having let his dreams get away and letting his family down, he considers ending it all. That is until his guardian angel shows him how the world would have been a very different place without him.
List by Adam Z.