Yes, BusyMom already covered how kids today rarely if ever will know the anticipation of waiting for a Holiday Special coming on Television. Mr. Big Dubya has already pointed out the insanity that TNT had How The Grinch Stole Christmas showing back on November 11th. And the ever thoughtful crouching mommy, hidden laundry has led the way to finding a list of all this years Holiday Movie Showing. So what is there left to talk about?
Well, being the oddball that I am, besides the standard Classics, of The Grinch, Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, and others, every year I have a selection of less that Classic…uh… Classics that I like to sit down and watch. Some you may know… most probably, but may not be the ones you think about pulling out of the Video Cabinet, or have just long forgotten about. So I thought I would share this set with you… if only to go down memory lane.
An American Christmas Carol (1979) – this is my favorite alternative variation of the true classic. It was a made for TV movie back in 1979, and only once have I seen it on Television again, so I was thrilled when it finally came to VHS (and now of course DVD). Thanks to its placement in the Depression Era, it is as timeless as the original, and I think it never really fared all that well because back in 1979, everybody was still viewing Henry Winkler as Fonzie and had trouble seeing him as the lead character. It is a truely inspired and well written variation that I enjoy as much now as I did when I first saw it.
The Ref (1994) – Going to the other end of the spectrum, when I need a bit of levity, there are two movies I watch. This is one of them. To be honest, I am not crazy about Denis Leary as a stand up comic, so originally I had my reservations about this film. But between him, Kevin Spacey and an excellent ensemble cast, this movie is funny from beginning to end.
Christmas Vacation ( 1989) – This one I am sure the most people will know, remember, or even potentially still watch this one out of my list. It is stupid, sometime quite predictable, brainless and downright hysterical. Beside all the standard Chevy Chase slapstick, in virtually each and every character, you can almost certainly recognize a particular family member or at least friend that you can associate them with. My wife to this day, when I go to put the Christmas lights outside the house says something along the lines of, “There he goes with his 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights.”
Home for the Holidays (1995) – Technically, I guess this is also a Comedy, albeit more of a Dark Comedy, especially when compared with my previous selections. But that doesn’t mean it is any less of a funny movie, just that this one makes you think a bit more, and has some more serious moments in it. Again, you can almost always find a member of your own family that fits each of the characters in the movie, and I admit that probably is what really makes it fun for me. Oh yeah, there is Uncle So and So, and she is just like Aunt AbsentMinded. This is actually a Thanksgiving movie and not technically a Christmas movie, and before I started to host Thanksgiving Dinner at my house, I used to watch it religiously on Thanksgiving night. Now it has to wait… but it is still certainly one of my holiday favorites.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – Now I know what you are thinking. Why is this on the list? This certainly qualifies as a classic. But… BUT, look at the year. I am one of the very few (sometimes I feel like the only one), people that like THIS version of the film, with Dylan McDermott, Elizabeth Perkins, Richard Attenbourough and Mara Wilson much better than the original. I am not one that usually likes a remake, but I really enjoy this classic updated and in color. Mara Wilson is just fun to watch as Susan Walker as she comes to believe in Santa.
So do you have any out of the ordinary movie you like to watch or offbeat traditions for to get you through the holidays?