10. Love Actually
Love Actually from 2003 has cemented itself as a firm favourite for the festive season with its all-star cast. It follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. The break out role in the film is Bill Nighy as the cringe worthy singer Billy Mack hoping for a Christmas number one. Along for the sleigh ride are Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln and Martin Freeman.
9. The Santa Clause
Tim Allen takes on the mantle of Santa in ‘The Santa Clause’ from 1994. When a man inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place. Look out also for Judge Reinhold of Beverly Hills Cop fame. Two sequels followed but none topped the fun of the first. The scenes of Tim’s character turning into Santa Claus despite his best efforts are hilarious.
The film ‘Elf’ from 2003 starring the one and only Will Ferrell has quickly become a Christmas classic and is watched over and over again. The scene in which he freaks out and roars ‘Santa is coming’ is one you won’t forget in a hurry. After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity. James Caan gives a rare comedy appearance as the father while Zooey Deschanel is the love interest. Peter Dinklage of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame is in great form as Miles Finch. His snarl of “Call me an elf one more time’’ to Buddy is hilarious, especially as the innocent man elf does just that.
7. Santa Claus The Movie
The magic of Christmas really shines in Santa Claus The Movie from 1985 that stars David Huddleston as the big man himself. Dudley Moore steals the show as the elf Patch while Burgess Meredith (best known for playing Rocky’s trainer) is also in the film. John Lithgow plays the evil businessman who does not know the true meaning of Christmas.
Gremlins from 1984 is classic to watch over Christmas. It starts off all sweet and innocent and then turns into a riot of monster mayhem that will keep you occupied after the Christmas dinner. In the film a boy (Zach Galligan) inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town over the festive period. Look out also for Corey Feldman of Lost Boys fame who plays the young Pete Fountaine. Christmas will never look the same after seeing a gremlin being blown apart!
5. Home Alone
8-yr-old Kevin McAllister is somehow left alone in his house at Christmas time. Little did he know he’d have to defend the family home against the “Wet Bandits”. It’s one of the best Christmas movies there is – it’s a true classic and both Home Alone and Home Alone 2 “Lost in New Year” just never get old and can be watched year in and year out.
4. Die Hard
The classic action movie set at Christmas starring Bruce Willis is a firm favourite of The Liberal staff. What Christmas would be complete without seeing McClane spread festive cheer and bullets? The film came out in 1988 and has spawned four sequels of diminishing returns. John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save wife Holly Gennaro and several others, taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. It also stars Alan Rickman in his pre-Snape from Harry Potter days.
3. It’s a Wonderful Life
Christmas would not be complete without ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ from 1946 starring Jimmy Stewart. An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. The black and white film is so well known that many have never actually watched it. You watch it just for the line: Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings. It’s a classic that can make you laugh or shed a tear.
Bill Murray’s take on A Christmas Carol in ‘Scrooged’ from 1988 is a laugh a minute, cracker of a film. He plays a selfish, cynical TV executive who is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve. The laughs come thick and fast in this film, with Bill showing his usual trademark humour. Karen Allen is on board as the love of his life that he reconnects with, while Bobcat Goldthwait from ‘Police Academy’ gives a star turn as disgruntled former employee Eliot Loudermilk. The opening scene of Santa fighting off an attack on his Lapland home with a machine gun is one festive scene that will stay with you. The black comedy in the film, coupled with the charisma of Bill makes this our festive favourite.
1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Chevy Chase may be unknown to a new generation but at one time he was the king of Christmas. In ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ that came out in 1989 the Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster. Beverly D’Angelo is the long-suffering wife while Randy Quaid gives an hilarious turn as the relative who turns up uninvited with family in tow. The film also stars a young Johnny Galecki from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ who plays Leonard in the massive award winning sitcom. The Griswold family Christmas is one you will never forget. You will always worry about having a real Christmas tree too!!
PS We will also be watching ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, ‘Superman’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and all the other festive favourites.
Merry Christmas to all our readers and enjoy your holiday viewing!
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