In my first in a series of ‘get in the mood’ articles (the next will be an adults-only edition that will include numerous mentions of dairy products, Lou Bega’s Mambo No.5, and soggy McDonald’s french fries), I’m going to show you how to liven your Christmas spirit by way of a good, holiday-themed movie (please note : If none of these work for you, and you are stuck on the kid’s table at a family Christmas get together being pinched by your 11-year-old cousin, who insists on quizzing you about the first time you flashed yourself to a person of the opposite sex (happens to me every.damn.year), then I do encourage drinking and later, coming by the beach house to join us for a spiked-pudding version of Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’).
Now these five Christmas movies mightn’t necessarily be your favourites, but they’re five of my go-to picks around this time of year.
And before you get reading, I just want to say how terrific y’all (picture me speaking as Connie Britton in “Friday Night Lights”, it’ll make you smile) have been this year – so supportive, especially at the beginning of the year, with what happened – couldn’t have asked for better supporters. And if my friends, loved ones, and the Ghostbusters are reading, you guys rock! I mean it! One of you even saved the world! Together, we’re going to have a 2014 to outdo anything you’ll see backstage at a One Direction concert! Pumped for what’s ahead!
Let’s kick this thing off with Schwarzenegger classic, “Jingle All the…
5. Love Actually
Like my little one sneaking into class at 9:05 each morning, I got to this one a little late – but nobody noticed, right?
I had a chat to the film’s writer Richard Curtis, a month or so ago, and he said he’s discovered that of all the film’s he’s done – and he’s done some goodies; “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary” are also there on his IMDB page – this is one that people return to the most. Curtis thinks that’s because the film plays differently each time, in that nobody can remember whose story (the thing has the Twitter equivalent of a character roster – yes, 140 of ’em) is coming up next. I say it’s because of Keira’s smile. Others say it’s because it’s tasty fairy floss – light and fluffy. It’s probably all those things.. and it’s the reason I showed it to a young girl lady night (the movie, that is).
‘But for now, let me say – Without hope or agenda – Just because it’s Christmas – And at Christmas you tell the truth – To me, you are perfect – And my wasted heart will love you – Until you look like this.’
I asked my six-year-old the other day what her favourite Christmas movie is, expecting her to quickly respond with “Barbie goes Caroling”… or some tripe. But much to my surprise, and glee’ (you don’t own that word, Ryan Murphy; just wanted to make that clear, fella), she said it was Joe Dante’s timeless tale of ‘monsters pushing cranky old bitches out of windows’, “Gremlins”. Couldn’t have been prouder. And in all seriousness, despite it’s dark themes and frequent scenes of slimy pods, it’s indeed a very Christmasy movie.
‘The worst thing that ever happened to me was on Christmas. Oh, God. It was so horrible. It was Christmas Eve. I was 9 years old. Me and Mom were decorating the tree, waiting for Dad to come home from work. A couple hours went by. Dad wasn’t home. So Mom called the office. No answer. Christmas Day came and went, and still nothing. So the police began a search. Four or five days went by. Neither one of us could eat or sleep. Everything was falling apart. It was snowing outside. The house was freezing, so I went to try to light up the fire. That’s when I noticed the smell. The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He’d been climbing down the chimney… his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that’s how I found out there was no Santa Claus.’
3. Lethal Weapon
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Christmas, I think of a big, generous bearded fellow. Yep, that’s right – Joel Silver. The fluffy-chinned movie mogul gave us one of action cinema’s best moments in the Mel Gibson/Danny Glover buddy-cop classic, but he also gave us one of the coolest Christmas-themed movies ever. Screenwriter Shane Black weaves Christmas into all of his movies (see “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, “Long Kiss Goodnight” and “Iron Man 3” also feature colourful trees.. and stuff) but he also likes killing a lot of people on Christmas eve – guess he just wants people to work for their Chicken dinner?
‘Riggs, if you think I’m gonna eat the world’s lousiest Christmas turkey by myself, you’re crazy’
2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Stuck at the Christmas table with a greasy grandpa with a never-ending supply of war stories that suddenly transform into shopping tales? Sick of pa’s tendency to keep scratching a leg – only it’s your leg – every few minutes? Excuse yourself from the table, pop on the TV, and push the third of the ‘Vacation’ films into the DVD player. The recycled stories and stale pudding may have put you off Christmas a little, but Chevy Chase trying to find the perfect Christmas tree will undoubtedly turn your frown upside down.
‘Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.’
1. Die Hard (1988)
Yeah, Okay, so it’s got blood, bullets and balding Bruce, but John McTiernan’s magnum opus is also more festive than a pimply teen choir lip-syncing to Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album out the front of MYER on the 24th. In the lead up to the big jolly guy’s arrival each December – yes, that’s right, John Goodman drops around with eggnog – I always go a bit of McClane. This Christmas, Gruber yourself a copy of “Die Hard” – Yule thank me later.
‘All right, listen up guys. Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except… the four assholes coming in the rear in standard two-by-two cover formation.’
Now, if I want to get out of this office by 11am tomorrow (that’s the plan), I’m gonna need the music equivalent of a Sugar Free Red Bull… Christmas style!