Those who know me might be a little surprised by the following blog post. I’m intending to discus, albeit briefly, several Christmas films.
I’m not a big fan of happy films for the most part. And certainly anything where I predicting the future isn’t magic, it’s simple is something that I hate in films.
But the following is a few of my favourite Christmas films and why I like them… kinda…
A spoiler warning first of all, they’re all a bit old and I’ll try and keep the details to a minimum but I can promise no more.
Let me start with something that isn’t really even a Christmas film, but has a wintery feel about it such that I feel it qualifies. Groundhog day is about a weather forecaster who has to go to a small town (Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania) and report on the local groundhog. The groundhog predicts either 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring. The protagonist, Phil (yep, another one, played by Bill Murray), dislikes this ceremony. I can get where he’s coming from. Therefore he attempts to leave the town the same day as the event. The day after he arrived in the town. Unfortunately a snow storm, which he the weatherman did not predict, scuppers his plans.
He’s trapped in the small town. Turning back he returns to the guest house he stayed in the night before.
Upon waking, the same music is playing on the radio and he assumes it’s just the local radio playing the same play list as they so often do… He soon discovers he’s woken up on the same day! Hilarity ensues… Well it doesn’t really, but it’s a nice film. He must work out what he’s done wrong and how he can get around this before he wakes up tomorrow.
Another not really Christmas film now. Hook, the adventures of a grown up Peter Pan. Captain Hook ventures into the real world to kidnap the kids of Peter. Peter must then venture back to never land, which it cannot remember to rescue them. There’s not much more I can add on here, it happens in the snow so it must be Christmas, mustn’t it? That’s what Dickens taught me…
The third film in the line up is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. This is a family story, all about the perfect family Christmas. I’m not a fan of the National Lampoon films, most of them are dire! But this is actually rather good. It’s not sane, it’s not normal, but it’s a good film to watch with your family around Christmas. For the first year the family Christmas is happening at the family house, with both sets of in laws and a crazy elderly aunt and uncle coming to stay too. Things, as I’m sure you can imagine, do not quite go to plan, but where would be the fun in that?
Finally, Santa Clause, the movie. It has been many years since I’ve seen this, and talking to my friends and colleagues it seems that only people born within 6months of me actually appreciate this film. I’ve no idea why. This film follows the story of Santa Clause, and one of his elves. The elf travels from the north poll to prove to Santa that he can be a good assistant. Unfortunately he gets picked up by a slightly evil toy maker who just wants to use him to make money. The film develops such that the elf must be saved on Christmas Eve night by Santa, a orphan child and his friend (possibly the niece of the toy maker). It’s really not a good film in my opinion, but something about it makes me love it for the memories of Christmases past that it brings back. If you’re over the age of about 5 I wouldn’t recommend watching it unless you remember it from when you were about 5. If you are around 5 (or have a kid who is) then I’d tell you to go buy a copy and watch it!
Thanks for reading, any film suggestions are always welcome…