OH MY GOD ARE YOU GUYS AWARE THAT A MOVIE CAME OUT IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND AND THREE CALLED “LOVE ACTUALLY” AND PEOPLE HAVE THOUGHTS ABOUT IT? HAVE YOU HEARD OF THIS PHENOMENON? HAVE YOU DISCUSSED IT YOURSELF? AT A HOLIDAY PARTY OR PERHAPS WITH YOUR COWORKERS? DO YOU THINK THAT COLIN FIRTH APPRECIATES WOMEN? WAS HUGH GRANT A CONVINCING PRIME MINISTER? HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED RUINING SOMEONE’S LIFE THE WAY THAT ONE DUDE RUINS KEIRA KNIGHTLEY’S?????
Jesus Christ, it’s a (mediocre, in my opinion, but WHO CARES) movie about a bunch of people falling in love or some shit over Christmas. GET OVER IT. There are literally one thousand other movies set during Christmas, and there at least 8 that are actually enjoyable without sparking a Great Internet Debate About Turtlenecks. TO WIT:
1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
This is the best film about Christmas, the end, full stop. It has literally everything that you could ask for in a Christmas movie — family dysfunction, Beverly D’Angelo before she got fat, a critique of the season’s materialism, rabid squirrels, a heartwarming ending, yuppies, Brian Doyle Murray in a ball gag and a big red bow. I mean, what else could you possibly want? SERIOUSLY TELL ME WHAT ELSE YOU NEED IN A CHRISTMAS FILM. I admit that there may be some room to debate The Very Best Christmas Movie, since everyone has their own (questionable) personal taste, but if you happen to ever come across someone who doesn’t put this AT LEAST in their top five best Christmas movies, then you should immediately perform a citizen’s arrest and send them to jail.
2. A Muppet Christmas Carol
Not only is this the best adaptation of A Christmas Carol, it also holds a highly respected position in the Muppet Movie Canon. Gonzo and Rizzo’s friendship is one of the best relationships captured on film. Michael Caine is a national treasure and even though he is basically phoning it in for the entire movie, it works because duh he is Michael Caine. In fact, the only thing that prevents this movie from overtaking Christmas Vacation for the #1 spot is that weird song with Scrooge Of Christmas Past and his butterface girlfriend (sorry but it’s true) about how their love is gone or something. And then Michael Caine sings along with them and OH MY GOD IT IS SO CREEPY. But the rest of the movie is great. Also this was the first Muppet movie made after Jim Henson died and the first time there is a new voice playing Kermit, so think of this photo and now try watching the song with Kermit/Bob Cratchit and Robin/Tiny Tim and try not to cry. Are you watching it? Are you not crying? Congratulations, you’re a sociopath.
3. Trading Places
Is this a Christmas movie, or a movie that happens to take place during Christmas? I think it’s the former, which is why it’s included on this list. Die Hard is unequivocably the latter, and is therefore not a Christmas movie, so please feel free to direct your hate mail to 1234 Go Fuck Yourself Lane. Anyway, Trading Places is fantastic, with Eddie Murphy in all of his Raw greatness and Jamie Lee Curtis playing the most likeable prostitute since Pretty Woman. Unfortunately, each year, the number of people to whom I say “Merry New Year!” that have literally no idea what I’m talking about grows, and that is a tragedy. Watch this movie, millenials, and treasure the masterpieces from your past. Additionally, this is the only Christmas film of which I am aware that will explain to you important financial concepts. My entire knowledge of how the stock market operates comes from this movie, and I’m a securities lawyer.
4. Home Alone
If the McAllisters lived in a different suburb of Chicago, say, somewhere on the south side, the Department of Child and Family Services would have been called before the plane even got to Paris. Setting that fact aside, this is obviously a fantastic Christmas movie. And it probably gave more hope to privileged white children about rebelling against their parents than Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead, which doesn’t even talk about Christmas so it’s irrelevant at this juncture. I’m not entirely sure if I personally understand the cult-like status this movie has achieved in recent years, but I can accept it because, honestly, what’s not to love? Also, and this has nothing to do with Christmas except for the fact that Christmas is wonderful and so is what I’m about to tell you, Macauley Culkin’s most recent venture is a Velvet Underground-cover band called The Pizza Underground that plays shows in New York City. Macauley Culkin also looks like this now, so I can only assume he is playing the role of Nico. Lou Reed, your girlfriend, woof.
Scrooged is the only permutation of the “Christmas Carol” story that is still relevant in a post-Muppet Christmas Carol world. But that should not be viewed as an insult, as this movie, and especially Bill Murray’s performance in it, is worthy of an entire episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio. The script is also basically like someone decided to write a Ghostbusters fan fic where Venkman got really rich and really mean. Which is an enormous compliment, because what a great idea that is. The only way this movie could be better is if Slimer played the Ghost of Christmas Past.
6. The Family Stone
Are you one of those people who just LOVES spending the holidays with your family? Is everything Christmas-related in your mind filled with joy and love and merriment and delight? If so, congratulations, I hope you also enjoy living in your solid gold house and driving your rocket car. But let me fill you in on a little secret: for most people, Christmas fucking sucks. It’s sad, our families are insane, and the best present you can wish for under the tree is a lifetime prescription for Xanax. The Family Stone is an unapologetically sad Christmas movie, which makes it a realistic Christmas movie, which makes it a GREAT Christmas movie.
7. A Christmas Story
I’ve never seen this movie, which, given how often it is broadcast, I view as my crowning personal achievement.
8. A Claymation Christmas Celebration
I know that a lot of people find the Claymation Christmas special really annoying, and it is, in fact, really annoying, but I think that is part of it’s charm. Moreover, from ages 7 through 9, I honestly thought that the song really was about going waffling on Christmas Eve, which sounds pretty great if you think about it.
Now go home, make some popcorn, drink some mulled wine, and forget that The Love Actually Internet Debate of 2013 ever existed. There are more than enough other Christmas movies to keep you going until December 26th.