5 Classic Movies Set a Holiday Mood
by Zelda Kimble
Director: Jon Favereau (2003)
I don’t consider it the holiday season until I have watched this film at least once.
Buddy, a human who accidentally makes his way into Santa’s workshop as a baby and is raised by elves, discovers his biological father is on the Naughty List and embarks on a journey to New York City to figure out who he really is. Will Ferrel is at his very best in this film, and I could argue that this is the greatest movie that he has ever made. A blonde Zooey Deschanel is an adorably jaded ingenue and there is not a weak link in the entire cast, everyone is truly fantastic. Nothing else gets me in the right holly-jolly mood quite like Elf. This family-appropriate flick is a MUST for you and yours this December.
Directors: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (2013)
Is this a Christmas movie? No, but I'm writing about holiday films to get you in a festive mood and I say Frozen counts! There’s so much snow (Disney artists even designed a specific computer program to animate it all) and at its core Frozen is a story about family love—and that’s truly what this season is about. Elsa is born with magic powers that allow her to manipulate ice and snow, when these powers endanger her little sister, Anna, Elsa isolates herself to keep her family and the subjects of Arendalle safe. On the day of Elsa’s coronation both sisters' lives change dramatically and nothing will ever be as it once was. Also if you haven't screamed/sung “Let It Go” at the top of your lungs AT LEAST once, you are severely missing out.
Director: Chris Colombus (1990)
Why bother watching Bruce Willis in Die Hard when you could be watching little Macauley Culkin pull off similar feats of ingenious engineering with less blood and much more seasonal decor? Kevin McCallister and his family are all set to go on a holiday trip to Paris when he acts up at dinner, is banished to the attic and consequently forgotten at home the next day. All alone, Kevin must outwit two robbers who are on a burglary spree while keeping the Christmas cheer and learning what family truly means to him. Catherine O’Hara, Moira Rose in the Emmy-winning Schitts Creek, plays Kevin’s mother and is a comedic genius with her portrayal of a worried mother who would do anything for her child. If you're into elaborate traps and giggling like it’s Christmas morning check this one out.
Director: Nancy Meyers (2006)
This movie is proof that casting directors deserve much more credit than they get. Jack Black a believable romantic lead? Only in this perfect holiday film. Not a single actor is out of place and everyone plays their parts phenomenally. Fed up with their typical routines Iris and Amanda, two very different women, decide to swap houses for the holiday season. Because this is a rom-com they both do fall in love and learn more about themselves, but it’s a fun, unique take on a classic storyline. If you’ve hit the eggnog a bit too hard to really value nuance, this movie is confectionary perfection—sweeter than candy canes with heart and a good dollop of humor for Santa’s sake. I dream of spending Christmas in the little cottage Kate Winslet’s character owns, and if I get to hook up with Jude Law too...Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to ME!
A Christmas Story
Director: Bob Clark (1983)
The classic to end all classics. You have heard a quote from this movie whether you like it or not. And for good reason, it is peak-vintage-holiday-fun, but you should revisit this film for more than the nostalgia factor. This movie is about a typical, suburban family in the 1940’s during the holiday season, which means it is a comedic, catastrophic, mess. Anyone who has spent the holidays with family can tell you that the best stories occur from the mundane, the average. We’ve all had hilarious holiday mishaps, but no film captures the maniacal glee of Christmas as a child quite like this one. Do yourselves a favor and take a trip down memory lane. The film stands the test of time and is a worthy holiday watch.