It’s that time of the year again where the mistletoe is out, Jingle Bells is blasting through shopping malls, and our tummies are preparing for all that glorious Christmas pudding! It is also that season where we snuggle up on the couch with loved ones, and perhaps watch our favorite Christmas movie classics. Read on for our top five.
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (1946)
To start off, let’s take it all the way back to the Forties. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ has become a staple movie for this season. It has garnered its fair share of criticism over the last seven decades, however, with Frank Capra making a few enemies during the movie’s production. It was judged for its illusory concept of life.
Despite not doing well in Box Office, with a loss of $525,000, it did thrive on television and remains a feel-good festive movie today.
Leonard Maltin stated to Vanity Fair:
“I remember one Christmas Eve when it was in the public domain, my wife and I played TV roulette with it. We literally kept changing channels and came upon it in different stage of its progress. And you can’t not watch. You can’t turn it off.”
Joe Dante’s 1984 American comedy horror film has been criticized for being inappropriate for its young audience, due to its merciless acts of violence and nasty elements.
Other reviewers have deemed it a true roller-coaster ride of hilarious mischief, making it wildly original and a classic of its time. I guess you cannot just ignore the cuteness of these little creatures either!
‘Die Hard’ (1988)
So, if you’re like me, you hear ‘Die Hard’ and wonder how on Earth this is a Christmas movie! It was released in July, but set during Christmas, where hero, John McClane, on his way to California to visit his children and try to win back his wife, is then caught in a Los Angeles skyscraper during a heist.
The debacle over whether this movie is a true Christmas Classic has had reviewers debating for years, but has recently been confirmed that it indeed is a Christmas story. Google trends even reflect that searches for “Die Hard” and “Christmas” peak every December!
This is surely the movie to go for if you’re looking for the right balance between action and sentimentality.
‘Home Alone’ (1990)
I cannot think of a true 90s kid that didn’t grow up watching the ‘Home Alone’ franchise. Although the movies have been criticized for being slightly far-fetched, with elements of violence, profanity and encouraging disrespectful behavior within kids, it’s lighthearted and has just the right dose of nostalgia to get you into that Christmas spirit!
‘Love Actually’ (2003)
What’s Christmas without a little merry Romance?
‘Love Actually’ has been shamed for being slightly shallow, with its characters also lacking depth.
A.O. Scott remarked in one of his reviews:
“A romantic comedy swollen to the length of an Oscar-trawling epic — nearly two and a quarter hours of cheekiness, diffidence and high-tone smirking — it is more like a record label’s greatest-hits compilation or a “very special” sitcom clip-reel show than an actual movie.”
However, despite the few critics, it remains a crowd favorite amongst many seeking a simple feel-good movie this season. Besides, a little Hugh Grant never hurt nobody.
Which is your favorite Christmas Classic?
Text: Crystal-Lee Ramlukan
Images: IMDb, Universal Pictures, io9, Warner Bros