Top 5 Holiday Movies
Well, the holiday season is in full swing — even though for some of us, including myself, that can tend to fall on the back burner around this time of year, mostly due to the mad rush and crazed sleeplessness of finals! What with juggling the end of the school term, quarter or semester, as well as braving the shopping mall madness and holiday “cheer” of American commercialism, it’s no wonder that at times we all just need a break. So if you’re like me and need some serious stress relief right about now, check out some of these holiday movies to watch when it all gets to be too much — and maybe remind yourself that it’s a time to celebrate. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself that much deserved break, along with some mad props for making it thus far . . . so kick back. Pour yourself a glass of wine while you’re at it. Relax and enjoy!
#1. Elf. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to see Will Ferrell run around in an adult elf costume, screaming “Saaaanta!” at the top of his lungs and wreaking havoc in New York City? Elf has been my favorite holiday movie for as long as I can remember — well, at least since it came out back in 2003, anyway. Will Ferrell is pure comedic genius; and I have to say, Zooey Deschanel as a cute blonde elf singing Baby, It’s Cold Outside ain’t half bad either. You have to admit it: Elf just happens to be one of those Christmas movies that nobody can resist.
#2. The Family Stone. Despite the urge to remain cynical about cheesy Christmas films (and the holiday season in general), I really am a sucker for them — well, the good ones anyway; I still won’t be caught dead watching those of the utterly predictable Lifetime quality. And before you write this one off, watch and see — maybe it’ll end up taking you by surprise like it did me. What with Rachel McAdams’ sarcastic, pithy commentary interspersed throughout, the hilarious scene where Sarah Jessica Parker’s boring, thoroughly dry-toast character ends up completely plastered with Luke Wilson’s, and the very real hectic holiday reconnection with the little-bit insane, a lot dysfunctional, though loving family (and I mean, who can’t relate to that?), you can’t help but smile while watching this. Then there’s the on-screen chemistry between Claire Danes and Dermot Mulroney, whom I will always hold a torch for since his role as the perfect man in My Best Friend’s Wedding. Aaaanyway, moving right along . . .
#3. The Holiday. Though the premise of The Holiday is a tad unrealistic to say the least — don’t we all wish we could conveniently swap houses with a Hollywood hotshot for the holiday season, and magically fall in love on top of that, might I add? But the charm and quirky fun Kate Winslet brings to this cutesy #3 pick is enough to do it for me. And the fact that Cameron Diaz jets off to an adorable gingerbread house-esque cottage in England, thinking (oh so foolishly) that she’ll be alone and lonely for Christmas this year, only to conveniently learn that Jude Law just so happens to be the single brother of Kate Winslet’s character . . . well, that’s just the icing on the cake, isn’t it? Well played, guys; well played.
#4. Love Actually. Just had to throw this one in there for pure entertainment value. Yet its surprisingly real representation of everyday love, along with that of the movies and everyone’s secretly-buried-but-not-really-so-deep-down Hollywood-esque wishes for that happily ever after feeling in relationships, took me off guard the first time I saw it — and subsequently fell in love with it. At the risk of spoiling the best part, I’ll leave you with five words: “To Me, You Are Perfect” (as girls everywhere sigh with a collective swoon, “Awwww!”)
#5. This Christmas. Let’s pretend for a minute that the Hollywood ideals of feel-good family dramas are completely nonexistent — which is what This Christmas tries to do, and ends up being pretty good at, I’d have to say. It’s sweet, but not too sweet: just my cup of tea. And its portrayal of the holiday reunion of a family that hasn’t seen each other for years is at times completely ridiculous, laugh-out-loud funny, and sentimental. So while refreshingly unlike your typical holiday movie, it is nonetheless a heartwarming family drama full of unexpectedly funny and alternately touching moments, and the fantastic cast doesn’t hurt things either. Pretty much destined to become an essential flick for the holiday season!
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