I love movies. I love great movies, so bad they’re awesome movies, and generally movies in general. I love mindless comedies, a tightly-written drama, the coming-of-age teenage drama with more mindless nudity than is necessary (but appreciated). I won’t lie. I’m a boy trapped inside a delightful and sexy-as-fuck man’s body! Haha. There’s my Christmas present to myself: an ego boost beyond reason. And sometimes, I even love Christmas movies. So, for all my readers, new and old, hip and not-so-hip (feel free to define hip on your own terms – I love you all), here is a smattering of my favorite Christmas movies. Ranked of course. Because without a ranking system it would just be problematic for you to follow my lead and kowtow to my excellent choice in films! Or something like that.
Grab your eggnog, maybe some Turkish Delight or other candy of your choice, and get comfy. The ghost of Christmas in Dubai is about to get all movie nostalgic on your asses.
10. The Lord of the Rings trilogy – These movies all hit the theatres a week before Christmas and were the highlights of Christmas 2001, 2002, and 2003. Rank much higher on my list of favorite movies though. Deal with it.
9. A Nightmare Before Christmas – Genius. Tim Burton got it right with this one.
8. A Christmas Carol – The original one with Alistair Sim as Scrooge. Maybe the black and white does it, but it’s still the best version without Kermit the Frog in it.
7. Gremlins – Mogwai was a Christmas gift for his son. Hilarity and mayhem ensues. And no one follows rules at Christmas time.
6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – The animated version with Bela Legosi as the narrator. The live-action version with Jim Carrey is good, but doesn’t hold a candle to this one.
And now on to the top 5!!! The tension is palpable. Can’t you just feel it building inside you like you’re actually lying awake in your bed waiting for Santa himself to come to your house?? Can’t you?? Of course you can.
5. Christmas Vacation – Chevy Chase at his funniest. A great supporting cast. Fighting in-laws, distant relatives you’d rather keep distant, a dessert-of-the-month company gift. And no panty lines.
4. Love Actually – A Christmas movie full of hope, of promise, of betrayal, and of course, love. Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister of England. Alan Rickman as awesome as ever. And the coolest man on the planet, Bill Nighy, as an aging rock star succumbing to doing a cheesy Christmas cover of a classic song and making it, and the Christmas season, his own. Plus the latest Bilbo Baggins before he ventured to Middle Earth.
3. The Muppets Christmas Carol – If this film really needs a reason, please check into a hospital with padded walls. It stars more Oscar winners than the Twilight series combined … and Miss Piggy has more emotional range than Kirsten Stewart.
2. Bad Santa – We all wonder what it is really like being a mall santa. Thanks to this film, we don’t have to wonder anymore.
1. Die Hard – Set an office Christmas party, Bruce Willis goes all “yippee-ki-yay” on a bunch of heavily armed, well-funded, European terrorists hell bent on making Christmas as fun as standing in line returning gifts on Boxing Day! When the elevator opens and a dead bad guy is there, the words “Ho Ho Ho, Now I have a Machine Gun” written across his chest, you can’t help but get in the Christmas spirit.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include a couple of honorable mentions because of their prevalence in the Isitt household during the holidays. The Sound of Music was on every year, and when I first moved out to Saudi my older sister sent me a DVD copy just in case I’d miss it (I didn’t). And it’s hard to forget Dumb and Dumber. Set in winter, Jim Carrey’s character is actually called Lloyd Christmas, so using my other-worldly logic, surely that counts. I can tolerate Scrooged with Bill Murray, only because he was actually funny at that time. And dad and I would watch Platoon on Christmas Eve so that counts as well.
There you have it. Christmas according to the Penguin. It would be hard to watch all these films in one day (especially since the LOTR trilogy – extended edition of course – runs over 13 hours) but if you get a couple of them in, you’ll have a much happier Christmas Day.