21 December 2020
The holidays tend to be a happy season for most people, even being called “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams. It’s a time of baking, gift-giving, and snowman building. Everyone has their own favorite holiday movie that brings them a little extra Christmas cheer, and listed below are a few of mine.
3. A Christmas Story (1983)
A lot of things have changed since the 1940’s, but A Christmas Story does a great job of incorporating childhood elements that are relatable to anybody, such as dealing with a terrifying bully or fixating on one special present that you’re dying to see under the tree on Christmas morning. One of the things that I really like about this movie is that it shows the realism of growing up and realizing things aren’t always as magical as they seem. For example, after “drinking gallons of Ovaltine,” Ralphie is able to get a Little Orphan Annie secret decoder pin to use for secret messages on the radio. Unfortunately, the secret message is not quite as exciting as Ralphie had hoped it would be.
On their site, Rotten Tomatoes describes A Christmas Story as “both warmly nostalgic and darkly humorous,” which are two things that I tend to enjoy in a movie. In my opinion, the movie ends perfectly with Ralphie asleep in bed, clutching his brand new Red Ryder air rifle.
Most iconic quote: Whenever Ralphie told an adult that he wanted the Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas, their response would be, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”
2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Given that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a television special, it’s about half the length of a regular movie, and that combined with a fast-paced plot makes it super enjoyable for people with a short attention span (like me)! One of the reasons I really like this movie is how adorable everything is, from the reindeer themselves to the dogs who pull Yukon Cornelius’ sled to the misfit toys. Cornelius is my personal favorite character because pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth makes me laugh, even though I feel like I need subtitles to understand every word that he says.
On the IMDb website, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has a rating of 8.1/10 stars and is generally loved for its depiction of friendship despite differences. The little songs throughout the movie add to the fun nature of the film, and when watching with my mom, she sings along to most of them because she’s been watching Rudolph since she was a kid (back when she was still scared of the Abominable Snowman). The movie doesn’t evoke as much nostalgia in me as it does in her, but it’s still a fun, happy movie to watch around Christmas time.
Most iconic quote: While Rudolph is talking to Clarice, she calls him cute and he proceeds to jump into the air, yelling, “I’m cute! I’m cuuuuuute!”
1. Elf (2003)
This is one of the few movies that I can watch multiple times per Christmas season and never get tired of. Will Ferrell does a fantastic job of playing Buddy the Elf and showing his child-like innocence as he makes his way through New York City to find his biological father (who’s on the naughty list!). Elf is full of memorable quotes and hilarious scenes, like the one below, which takes place directly after Buddy chugs an entire 2-liter bottle of Coke.
Although it’s a generally well-liked movie, Elf has been met with some criticism as well. Anna Smith of Empire magazine said that the movie had “some flimsy plotting,” but the humor and overall joy of this movie is enough to make me overlook the weaknesses in the plot. Buddy’s happiness is contagious and for me, watching Elf is the best way to spread Christmas cheer.
Most iconic quote: After getting hit by a snowball, Buddy yells, “Son of a nutcracker!”