One thing I really love about Christmas is the fact that there are so many films on TV. I could quite happily spend the entire holidays curled up on the sofa, watching back to back films, only taking breaks for roast potatoes and mulled wine. I can’t wait to go home next week and scour the Radio Times to work out my festive viewing schedule, but for now here are my top five favourite Christmas films.
1. Elf (2003)
Ah, Elf. A modern classic. Although, it was released 10 years ago, whaaaat! Buddy (Will Ferrell) has lived as an elf at the North Pole his whole life, but decides to journey to New York City in search of his father and his true identity. Buddy’s gleeful, child-like outlook on life helps to spread Christmas cheer amongst his new pals and ladyfriend (Zooey Deschanel) but cynical Walter (James Caan), Buddy’s real father, takes a bit more convincing. Elf is full of great quotable one-liners and is funny and sweet without being a typical Christmas movie cheesefest.
2. Serendipity (2001)
Although not perhaps a film you’d automatically class as a “Christmas film”, Serendipity is set at Christmas time and always makes me feel festive. Johnathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) have a chance meeting whilst doing some last minute shopping on Christmas Eve. They fall for each other, but both are already in relationships, so they decide to leave it up to fate and part ways. Years letter, they’re both engaged but Johnathan isn’t quite ready to give up on fate yet and tries to track down Sara again with the help of best man (Jeremy Piven). You can probably guess what happens, but it’s still pretty lovely anyway. That scene on the ice rink at the end is perrrrrf.
3. Home Alone 2 (1992)
I’ve got a confession to make. I never watched Home Alone when I was little. I only saw it (and Home Alone 2) for the first time about 4 or 5 years ago. But it seems I was missing out all these years, as Home Alone is just as good as everyone says it is. Of the first two films, I think I might slightly prefer the second one which is set in New York. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself abandoned at Christmas once again (nice going, parents) but this time he’s living it up in a fancy New York hotel. Tim Curry as the concierge is pretty brilliant, and of course the baddies from the original film make a return. A classic early 90s Christmas comedy, if you haven’t seen this already do it now!
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
I used to love Dr Seuss when I was wee, and The Grinch was one of my favourite stories, so I was pretty excited to discover they were making a film version of it back in 2000. The Grinch still remains one of my favourites and I watch it pretty much every year thanks to ITV2. The Grinch (Jim Carrey) is a miserly creature who hates Christmas and plans to steal it away from the Whos, residents of the nearby Whoville which the Grinch hates almost as much as Christmas. Jim Carrey is typically Jim Carrey-like in the best possible way and the film is funny and, by the end, there’s plenty of Christmas spirit around. I also think the Grinch might be my spirit animal.
5. Die Hard (1988)
Not the cheeriest of festive films, but Die Hard is certainly one of my favourites. I think Die Hard: With a Vengeance is my favourite of the franchise, but at Christmas you can’t beat the original one! John McClane (Bruce Willis) has just arrived in Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his estranged wife, but the plans quickly change when she is taken hostage by terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) during her office Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza. The film is worth watching for Alan Rickman’s hilarious German accent alone, but it’s also got plenty of action, comedy, and of course that famous one-liner. I’m not usually a huge action film fan, but I PURE LOVE Die Hard, it’s the best. Watch it now!
What are your favourite Christmas films?