I'm sure a lot of people have movies they like to watch around the holidays. These are mine.
Elf This is the first of two newer movies which I love. Tonight, we watched it with the girls after toasting marshmallows and I'm starting to feel a little bit Christmas-y. I guess if you hate Will Ferrell you won't like this. I happen to love Will Ferrel and just about everything about this movie. The girls love it -- probably because Ferrell is just a big, oversize kid in his reactions to everything. I hope some people call me in the next few days so I can answer the phone, "Buddy the Elf. What's your favorite color?" I may get a little teary at the end. I may have to watch the scene where Zooey Deschanel is singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" as an inadvertent duet several more times.
Millions The feel-good, Christmas version of all those "What would you do if you found a huge amount of money?" movies. In an interesting twist, the director, Danny Boyle, made another movie with the same theme -- the very un-Christmas-y, feel-bad, very adult and dark Shallow Grave. But this one has saints and pounds which need to be converted into Euros, and a lovely performance by a young actor which is just about perfect. It's just a wonderful movie, and I might get a little choked up at the end.
A Christmas Story I'm sure that this is one that lots of people love. I'm sure it is since they show it for 24 hours starting on Christmas Eve. The very best scene is when Ralphie mishandles the lugnuts as he and his father change the flat tire and Ralphie swears. Watch closely -- the dad sends Ralphie back to the car seemingly angry -- but then the briefest of smiles crosses his face. Because he's proud of his son's swearing, of course. Then we get the crazy phone call when Ralphie sells out his friend and Ralphie with the bar of soap in his mouth.
And, the best Christmas movie ever, which must be watched on Christmas Eve is...
Santa Claus I will stop and watch this movie, in Spanish, on Spanish-language televsion, even though I can't understand Spanish. But we watch the MST3K version. This version was first broadcast the Christmas right after Archie and I were married -- so we've watched it 15 years in a row. We've been watching it off a VHS recording made 15 years ago -- the commercials are hilarious in and of themselves. The first time we watched it, as married people for all of 5 days, I said, "I can't wait to have kids and we will watch this with them on Christmas Eve when they're old enough!"
Finally, they are old enough! We've watched some other MST3K things with them and they know the theme song and Archie got Santa Claus on DVD. I really am excited and happy. Now, Christmas Eve will also include Mike and the 'bots and the politically correct holiday song and the weird Mexican Santa mythology, with the devil and the robotic reindeer. Total Christmas awesomeness.