The Top Five
I don’t know about you, but holiday movies hold a very special place in how I judge others. You can tell a lot about someone by what holiday movies they enjoy. For example, if someone likes anything that’s claymation, you can bank on the fact that they’re a serial killer. It may or may not be true that personal relationships have gone up in a fiery cloud of smoke over holiday movie choices. This is probably why I spend Christmas Eve alone guzzling egg nog, feasting on sugar cookies and gazing teary-eyed at my leg lamp (after all, it’s a major award).
Now that I have your attention and, more importantly, your pity, allow me to present to you High Five Media’s top five holiday movies, as ranked by our staff.
- Elf— Will Ferrell’s crowning achievement. Buddy the Elf (Ferrell) doesn’t quite fit in at the North Pole. It might be because of his thyroid, or it might be because he’s actually a human. Buddy discovers that he is adopted and decides to go on a quest to New York City to find his real father, Walter (James Caan). Once he is reunited with Walter, it is evident that his father is a total bah humbug and all-around stick-in-the-mud. Life is hard out there for a human raised at the North Pole, so Buddy comes to the realization that he may not belong anywhere. Through his adorable antics, Buddy decides to revive the Christmas spirit for those near and far.
- Home Alone— Remember Macaulay Culkin before “Party Monster” and a series of many poor choices? That kid was cu—te. This movie was nominated for two Oscars. I don’t know what for, but I guess 1990 was a rough year for the movie industry. This classic is slapstick comedy and a touching allegory all wrapped in to one big shiny package. KevinMcCallister (Culkin) finds himself alone after hewished for his family to disappear the night before. In reality, he really only has neglectful parents who forgot their eight-year-old and flew to France, but he thinks his wish came true. After the novelty and freedom wears off, Kevin realizes he has to protect his home from a duo of dubious burglars. What follows is considered the most well-thought-out sabotage in cinematic history (source: me). Will Kevin’s family return? Will he be safe? We may never know. Well, I know, but you need to watch to know.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas— We all know a Grinch. We fantasize about burning a bag of canine unmentionables on said Grinch’s porch (I don’t want to be in your stupid garden club anyway, Carol… enjoy the fertilizer, you strumpet!). I digress (blame Carol). There are two equally excellent versions of this Dr. Seuss classic, the animated version and the live-action version starring Jim Carrey and directed by Ron Howard. On the outskirts of the fantastical town of Whoville, there lives the Carol, I mean, Grinch who is wholly committed to seeking revenge on the citizens of the town who wronged him for being different (Kermit knows, it’s not easy being green). His plan to ruin Christmas almost comes to fruition until a small Who, Cindy Lou Who, decides to make the Grinch her pet project (us women need to stop seeking out the men we perceive as “projects”). Who will be the Who whose actions will save Whoville?
- A Christmas Story— This is my personal favorite. I write a heartfelt letter every year to TBS for allowing me to binge on it for 24 hours every holiday season. If you don’t quote this movie on a regular basis, you are unAmerican. This movie is based off a small part of Jean Shepherd’s 1966 novel, “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.” If you haven’t read it, drop everything you’re doing (unless it’s holding a baby) and read this masterpiece. The movie follows a young boy, Ralphie, in the 1940s on his masterful plan to obtain a Red Ryder B.B. gun for Christmas. Much hilarity ensues as he tries to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that he won’t shoot his eye out. No holiday is complete without this movie.
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation— Most of America feels like an honoraryGriswold and where would we be without spending the holidays with our favorite family? I don’t know, Margot! Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo host the whole family for a disastrous Christmas get together. Just when things seemingly can’t get worse, enter: Cousin Eddie. I’m afraid we all have a Cousin Eddie. In real life it’s no fun, but watching someone else suffer the existence of someone exponentially offensive is the best holiday treat anyone could wish for.
Dear Santa, there’s a woman in the neighborhood named Carol…