It just doesn't get any better than this. Wacky hijinks, silly misunderstandings, music and dance numbers, romance, beautiful scenery, and the clothes. Oh, the clothes. I myself live in jeans, but I love the days of old when people would dress up just to go to the grocery store or to travel. No one wore heinous pajama pants on an airplane back then. Part of the appeal is seeing the clothes on Vera-Ellen's teeny, tiny waist, though it's sad that she had that waist due to anorexia. With a cast like Vera-Ellen, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Bing Crosby, you just can't go wrong.
2. Christmas in Connecticut
More wacky hijinks, silly misunderstandings, deliberate deceptions, comedy, and an amazing house in the country at Christmastime make this movie worthwhile. Be sure to watch the original version with Barbara Stanwyck: don't bother with the 1992 remake. Stinker. Anyway, this is about a woman who pretends to be an amazing homemaker who lives in the country with her amazing family. In reality, she is a single gal in an apartment who finds herself in a bind when her editor invites a soldier to spend Christmas at her farm. See how this could all go wrong? It's a very sweet and innocent story with a lot of fun thrown it.
This isn't a classic movie per se, but I can see that it might be a classic some day. Love Actually is a British film set at Christmastime with a spectacular ensemble cast. The basic theme is love, but it isn't just romantic love. It's love between friends, business partners, spouses, siblings, and even unrequited love. The relationships are so realistic, sometimes awkwardly so, but it always makes me care more for the characters. I also love movies that link all the characters together by interweaving their stories, especially when it's done so seamlessly.
I am not normally a fan of ridiculous humor. My brother and I weren't allowed to watch the Three Stooges when we were kids because my mom thought they were too stupid, so I don't think my physical humor bone really ever developed. I was surprised to find that I really loved Elf the first time I saw it because it's not really refined humor. The thing I like about it is how innocent it all is: Buddy is sweet, enthusiastic, joyous, and full of faith. How can you not love a giant human/elf like that?? Plus, one of my most favorite celebs in the world is in Elf, Ms. Zooey Deschanel. She is beyond brilliant. Toats.
5. A Christmas Story
Growing up near Hammond, IN, which was the model for the fictitious town of Hohman, IN, in the movie, there is something soothing about watching Ralphie, Randy, and the Bumpuses' hounds. There really isn't anything like growing up in a small town and enjoying a small town Christmas. And Ralphie is sort of the every-kid: we have all dealt with clueless parents, bullies like Scut Farkus, and triple-dog dares. We root for him to get his Red-Ryder-carbine-action-two-hundred-shot-Range-Model-air-rifle-with-a-compass-and-this-thing-which-tells-time-built-right-in-to-the-stock because he's so likeable and earnest and real. We all had something we wished for as a kid, no matter how ridiculous it was. My most serious dream gifts ranged from a dollhouse to a puppy to a gold, shiny, metal belt with a lion's head on the buckle. So weird, I know, but it makes Raphie and his quest so much more honest to me.
Wishing you all a happy holiday season!
And please don't shoot your eye out.