If I were to decide on a theme for this year, I would say it would be movies. C surprised me last week with a trip to the cinema for a showing of It's A Wonderful Life. I paid him back by agreeing to watch Die Hard. This spawned a lively debate on whether or not either of these movies are technically Christmas movies, and then a categorization of other so-called Christmas movies. The pivotal question to ask yourself is, "Can you maintain the plot of the movie by taking out (or changing) the Christmas aspects?" (i.e. is Christmas really fundamental to the story line)
Here are my findings...
Most Christmasy Christmas Movies
- Miracle on 34th Street
- Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
- Charlie Brown Christmas Special
- Santa Clause
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Moderately Christmasy Christmas Movies
- Home Alone: I would have put this one lower, but when I considered all of the adaptions that would be required, this one really does rely on the holiday. It just can't be most-Christmasy because it's not really about Christmas so much as this is a necessary component to the movie
- A Christmas Story: This might be slightly biased and in this category because I don't really like this movie. Yes, it's very much about Christmas and couldn't work without the holiday. On the other hand, it does not capture the Christmas spirit or send a positive message whatsoever. And for that, I deem it not most-Christmasy.
Least Christmasy Christmas Movies
- It's a Wonderful Life: It's a lovely message and my personal favorite Christmas movie, but it could take place at any point in winter and you'd just need to substitute the tree decoration bell with a different bell (cow bell maybe?)
- Love Actually: Slightly tricky because of the Christmas play that brings the whole country together, but maybe this could be substituted with a rugby match or national cricket championship.
- Die Hard: This is not a Christmas movie. Plain and simple. It's a decent action movie. You could very easily substitute the Christmas party for a retirement party and the wrapping tape used to tape the gun to his back at the end (C's biggest argument) could be any office supply take easily found in an office building. PLUS, it doesn't send any positive Christmas messages at all. Frankly, it shouldn't be on this list at all, but I'm including for the sake of argument.
There you have it. My very biased categorization of Christmasyness of Christmas movies. Am I missing any movies? Would re-categorize any of these?