Ho Ho Ho...it's that time of the year again!! While due to the many insignificant complications of my life, I haven't had a Christmas tree or anything Christmas-related this year, my favourite Christmas films do not fail me. I love Christmas films and it is absolutely essential for me to watch them on Christmas Eve/Christmas.
Now unlike the other lists I put up, these are ranked in order of my preference. Also I must add that if anyone has noticed, there is a "Recently Watched/Rewatched Films" list to the right of the page and those have been given ratings. These ratings directly refer to my love of the films and there is a great chance that they might not be "critically acclaimed" or "commercially successful" or both (a rare occurrence indeed), but I do love them if given a high rating or vice versa.
Anyways, here are my most favourite Christmas films, in reverse order:
8) Elf- This is an adorable film about how a human baby crawls into Santa's bag of presents and grows up in the North Pole as an elf only to find out his "true nature" when he grows up. He then embarks upon a journey to New York to find his father, only to see that he has been in the "naughty list". Will Ferrel plays Buddy, the human-elf who has to experience the greedy and often unkind world, that he changes with his true love for Christmas. The films also stars James Caan as Buddy's "naughty" father and Zooey Descahnel as his musical love-interest.
7) Love Actually- This film shows us that during Christmas "love actually is all around". Of all the romcoms made on Christmas, Love Actually stands distinct. I love this film and it's enormous and fantastic cast. Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, Rodrgo Santoro, Rowan Atkinson etc. The list goes on and on. I love Richard Curtis films because they end up leaving one feeling all warm inside, and that's exactly the feeling a Christmas film should leave behind. There are a whole bunch of intertwined stories in this film and all are set during Christmas time and all have some connection with love, whether it's young love, trans-lingual love, trans-Atlantic love, sort of nudist love, love between friends, love between the British Prime Minister and his worker, unrequited love, love between an old couple facing problems etc. (By the way, this paragraph contains 14 "loves" just in case you are wondering).
6) The Santa Clause- What happens if Santa falls of your roof and dies/disappears? Why, you take his place of course. This is exactly what happens to Scott. Obviously he isn't very keen on it, especially since he is facing problems with son Charlie and custody rights. Add to that, he starts growing this enormous white beard and gets a Christmas goodies-fetish. This film is sort of similar to Elf in showing how people do not care much about Christmas, but they need to be reminded of its magic. I love Tim Allen as Santa and the elves and his son are plain adorable.
5) Jingle All the Way- I love funny Arnold Schwarzenegger films!! While the best is Kindergarten Cop, Jingle All the Way is quite precious too. He plays a workaholic father, Howard Langston, who has to get the perfect action figure present, Turbo-Man, for his son on Christmas. Except, he forgets and goes to all extremes to buy it last minute. This is a hilarious films and one of my original favourites. Also, I like how it deviates from the whole "Christmas is not about presents" ideal. Damn right it is, and you know it!
4) The Nightmare Before Christmas- From this point on, all the films are technically on the same level but for rankings' sake... Tim Burton's and Henry Selick's animated Christmas feature has become on of the biggest and greatest cult classics ever. The story of Halloween Town and Christmas Town and Jack Skellington and Sally and all the weird Burton-esque characters is just brilliant. The idea that Christmas can be taken over by the most horrific festival- Halloween and what the outcome of it would be, how Santa Clause becomes Sandy Claws, and a blossoming love in all of this just shows the true friggin genius of Tim Burton! Oogie Boogie people!!!
3) How The Grinch Stole Christmas- This can also be called How Jim Carrey and Dr. Seuss Go Together. They really do. I love the story of a green and hairy Scrooge-ish Grinch who hates Christams and the Christmas-loving Whoville. He has shunned Christmas like how the people of Whoville have shunned him. It suits both of them fine until a young Who called Cindy Lou decides to vote him as the recipient of Whobilation, a great tradition and honour in the little town. At first Grinch is hesitant, but he does come to join in the celebrations, only to be then insulted by the Mayor Augustus May Who. After creating much havoc, he decides to ruin Christmas by stealing all the presents, disguising himself as Santa and his dog Max as a reindeer. Even though his masterplan at first seems successful, he then realises that Christmas is about more than material gifts. A change comes over him, his heart grows three times its original choice and he decides to make Amends. This is the highest grossing Christmas film of all-time (in your face Avatar!), and it comes from the highly acclaimed and very cool producer-director pair of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. This is one of Jim Carrey's best roles, second only to probably Count Olaf in Lemony Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events. His Grinch is funny and tragic at the same time and we love him for that.
2) Home Alone 1 & 2- Kevin McCallister's epic survival tales take place during the lovely snowy time of Christmas. These are amongst the most loved children and holiday films of all time. This is because of the fantastic story of how a young boy left home alone, and alone in New York survives and protects himself from two of the funniest baddies ever- Harry and Marv. Macaulay Culkin's legendary role made him amongst the most famous child stars ever. Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern and Catherine O'Hara are also part of the great cast. Chris Columbus has a gift of making evergreen and lovely children films (see Harry Potter) and these are amongst his best.
1) The Polar Express- Only animation can truly achieve feats that live-action cinema can only dream of. And I think Robert Zemeckis's The Polar Express is a testament to that. I absolutely love this film. True, not may paragraphs ago I said that Christmas is about presents. But it is also about believing in the good and the naughty and the magic in the world. The film is about a boy who is starting to think that Santa Clause and North Pole and everything is made up, and then he is visited by a magical train that takes him to North Pole on Christmas Eve. It is fantastically made film, slightly dark but heart-warming nonetheless. It is number one because while it does apply many of the Chistmas movie rules to it, the total effect of it, with the story, the images, the music, the characters, the mystery, the aura, the Christmas spirit make it absolutely unique and unforgettable. I love Tom Hanks with all my heart. The review is here.
A special mention to It's a Wonderful Life, which was quite lovely too, but not that Christmas-y for me. Also Robert Zemeckis's Jim Carrey-starrer A Christmas Carol. I haven't seen the other adaptations of Charles Dickens' classic, neither have I seen Scrooged or Miracle on 34th Street. I don't want to watch Santa Clause 3 or Four Christmases. I really do not want to see Bad Santa as it might scar me forever.
So as the carol goes, "Tis the season to be jolly," have a great time on Christmas watching these films, if you would like.