Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside

Wow, tomorrow is December. I know this because I’ve switched to a long-sleeve sleep shirt and can no longer wear flip flops while running out to the grocery store (hey, it’s California, after all). Now, certain things about December always bum me out. The fact that it’s pitch black by 5:30 p.m. The fact that I’m assaulted by cloying holiday muzak everywhere I go. The fact that it’s the last month for me to cram in all the resolutions I failed to accomplish during the year. But other things about December always make me smile. The fact that I can finally drink hot cocoa (Hey, it’s California, it’s too damn hot here most of the time). The fact that cuddling on the sofa under a blanket it considered a perfectly acceptable recreational activity. The fact that I can watch all my favorite winter movies. Now, these aren’t just holiday movies. I mean, I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life,” every year like everyone else. But these are those seasonal treats that only seem right when there’s a chill in the air. So pour some hot cocoa, grab a fluffy blanket and come cuddle on the couch. It’s movie time.

Love ActuallyNecessary actually. In fact, with all due respect to Frank Capra, this is my favorite holiday movie, period. Every time Snape makes Ms. Trelawney cry, I start bawling. Though I’m glad to see the poor lovelorn best friend has finally moved on from pining for Keira Knightley and is now happily fighting zombies.

FargoAs soon as Marge Gunderson said “So, you were havin’ sex with the little fellow, then,” I knew I’d love Frances McDormand forever. Admit it, nothing says happy holidays like a foot sticking out of the wood chipper.

Doctor ZhivagoJulie Christie! Omar Sharif! Snow! Romance! Fur hats! (Normally, I’m really against fur. But it was the dead of winter during the Russian Revolution. So I’ll cut them some slack.)

The Cutting EdgeToe pick! This is my 100 percent, No. 1, favorite, if-it’s-on-I-must-watch, guilt pleasure winter movie of all time. I can’t tell you how many incredibly mediocre 90s movies I sat through because of my subsequent love of Moira Kelly.

So, let’s have it. Share your favorite winter movies. Though if you say “The Shining,” I’m going to have to seriously reassess sharing my blanket with you. And, for those of you preparing nativity scenes this season, remember that there was, indeed, more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus. Merry December, everyone.

38 comments:

*** GayGirl *** said...

How about some Kate Winslet for Christmas? "The Holiday" (2006) where she stars along with Jack Black, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. :o)

Also, I love watching "What's Cooking?" (2000) during ANY holiday. It may take place during Thanksgiving, but I just love that movie and especially (but not exclusively) because I feel very included. And it does have some brilliant actresses leading every story. :o)

- GG

Norma Desmond said...

A.) I am a terrible, TERRIBLE media scholar; I have only seen one of the movies you just listed (calm down, it's LOVE ACTUALLY). B.) I'm super traditional. WHITE CHRISTMAS, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, THE GRINCH, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, BISHOP'S WIFE, that sort of thing. Like I said, old school.

*** GayGirl *** said...

I almost forgot... my all time favorite is "Scrooge" (1970) staring Albert Finney.

This will always be the ultimate Christmas movie for me. I've watched it with my family pretty much every single year for as long as I can remember. And we tend to sing along... a lot!

I like life. Life likes me.
Life and I fairly fully agree.
Life is fine. Life is good,
'Specially mine, which is just as it should be.

Ahh yes, that'll be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. And I don't even mind. :oD

- GG

Tania said...

My must-see Christmas movie, that I have watched every morning of the 24th since I can remember is Tři oříšky pro Popelku, it's a Czechoslovakian movie from the 70s. It's a "new" take on the cinderella-story, and it airs every 24th of december at noon in my country. It's been on for so many years (I think almost 35), that it's become a christmas tradition for a lot of people in Norway. It always gets me in the christmas spirit.

;) babs said...

my favorite movies for christmas:
LOVE ACTUALLY (my favorite storyline is with colin firth)
OUT OF AFRICA (always on telly at xmas)
GROUNDHOG DAY (bill murray)
THE PRINCESS BRIDE (my name is inigo montoya...)
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (we don't have turkey day in austria, so we watch this at xmas)
AMERICAN LAMPOONS - CHRISTMAS VACATION (best holiday laugh)
DIE HARD (alan rickman)

Betty said...

Opening with a pic of Emma Thomson. <3
In Norway most people watch this horrible movie every christmas morning http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070832/ (Three Wishes for Cinderella) A Czeck movie from 1973 and I'm still traumatized be the prince... And to do things worse it's dubbed.

Amanda said...

Can't leave out A Christmas Story. when I was little I got a BB gun for christmas, and I loved that thing. But I was smart enough not to shoot myself in the eye.

Anonymous said...

groundhog day
love actually
serendipity
Home alone 1 & 2

gummipanda said...

Love actually is most definitely my favourite holiday film/romantic comedy. I also watch Elf with the family every year and A Christmas Story. and for my own personal love "Pee-Wee's Christmas Special", "Edward Scissorhands" and "The Nightmare before Christmas".

Anonymous said...

Muppet Family Christmas. Hands down.

Teagirl said...

I cannot miss the opportunity to answer your request because I love my christmas movies too much:)
I'll surely watch Tha Holiday, Love Actually, While You Were Sleeping and Bridget Jones's Diary. Home alone 1 and 2 and The Santa Clause also help me getting the christmas feeling. And my favourite, must-see: Grumpy old men. I just love it:D

If I feel like watching something from my animation collection I'd watch The Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas or any Mickey Mouse christmas tale.
I was only 3 years old when I got Aladdin as a christmas present and my parents let me watch it although it was very late. Since then I've watched it almost every christmas evening after the family dinner was over.
And I'll watch one or two from your list too because I've never seen them.
That's my movie plan for December:)

Robin said...

Gotta go with White Christmas. Can't go wrong with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney.

In recent years, my bother and I have started watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy at the holidays. They premiered in theaters at this time of year and... there's snow in them? Eh. We don't really need more justification than the fact that we love them and are a good way to pass a snowy weekend.

Erica said...

Such a good topic as I'm home sick today with it snowing outside!

- Love Actually
- Miracle on 34th Street (with Elizabeth Perkins)
- The Holiday
- Cool Runnings (a fav with my bro and I)

Anonymous said...

The Muppets Christmas Carol

Nightmare before Christmas

Mary Poppins

and ... Bad Santa (yeah, I know that's weird) ;)



And really: Who would even consider leaving Emma Thompson for Heike Makatsch???

Melinda said...

Love Actually... definitely. But as I'm Jewish, I have to throw in The Hebrew Hammer.

Anonymous said...

I love The Shining, especially on Christmas.

KateSF said...

Somebody else loves "What's Cooking?"!! Thank you! My girlfriend and I just had our annual Thanksgiving viewing. I also love the "traditional" Christmas movies, but one of my must-see's is "Desk Set," a 1957 movie with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. It has a Christmas office-party scene that is hilarious! Kate Hepburn and Joan Blondell drunk on champagne: "Pull up a chair, Peg, and rest your handsome face!"

Kathryn said...

Fun lists. For me, it's Love Actually, the animated version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas w. Boris Karloff's narration, and Elf.

Anonymous said...

I know this is going to out me as a five-year-old trapped in a twenty two-year-old's body, but I really love all the Christmas cartoon movies: A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and yes, even A Garfield Christmas. I'll even admit to still enjoying the Muppet's Christmas special, where Fozzie Bear decides to bring all of his friends to his mother's house. Yup, I'm a huge kid, but those are the movies I like watching under my blanket, this time of year.

sonjabean said...

Those that come to mind right away are "Home for the Holidays" (more Thanksgiving than Christmas), "The Wonder Boys," and of course "The Cutting Edge." Even though The Cutting Edge is shown on TV about 100 times per year, I still felt compelled to buy the DVD copy in case it ever stops being shown on TV 100 times per year.

Brandie said...

Definitely Love Actually, one of my all time favorites. Also A Christmas Story--we watch the marathon of this every christmas eve/day! We can quote along with the whole thing. The kids and I watch Polar Express every year, but my other real must have is A Christmas Carol, with Patrick Stewart. Outstanding Scrooge. :)

Jen said...

For some reason my family and I have started watching "O Brother Where Art Thou" over the holidays ...probably due to extreme overexposure of "A Christmas Story", which I still manage to work in at least once a year.

"Home for the Holidays" was great, even though apparently RDJ was on heroin the entire movie. Just shows what an incredible director Jodie Foster is ;)

Also love "Igby Goes Down", "Better Off Dead", "Groundhog Day", and "The Empire Strikes Back", because I'm a nerd.

Anonymous said...

I'll second "A Christmas Story" and the Bill Murray double header of "Scrooged" and "Groundhog Day". But for my favorite Christmas story I'm going to go old school. (I've noticed when somebody says 'old school' around here, it's usually me. I can't help it. I'm old.) Barbara Stanwyck as a hard boiled jewel thief, Fred MacMurray as the almost as hard boiled DA who must prosecute her, yet feels sorry enough for her to bail her out for the holidays and then gives her a lift as he drives back to the Midwest to celebrate with his family. Misadventures, humor, several kinds of love, and self sacrificing nobility ensue, thankfully devoid of saccharine stickiness. And pretty much the polar opposite of their more famous pairing in "Double Indemnity", but just as satisfying in its own way.

sarah said...

I love Moira Kelly in the 'Cutting Edge' but she's also great in 'With Honors' - another movie taking place during the winter months in Cambridge, Mass. It's ranked in my Top 5 Movies I Love.

Don't have the movie? Catch it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZd130FpuRg

BB said...

I tend to spend my holidays trying to catch up on all the TV episodes I missed from September to November. Now that basic cable has started airing original episodes of series like Leverage and The Closer in December, there's that too.

Movie choices would be The Sound of Music (classic for all seasons), How To Train Your Dragon (seen it 3 times and still adore it), Annie, and Edward Scissorhands. I don't know if any of those technically fit the bill. :-)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "Baby, it's cold outside" whatever happened to Jaye Maiman? I loved her books... (if this comment seems like a non sequitur...that is the title of one of her awesomely lesbionic books).

Anonymous said...

The original black and white "A Christmas Carol" with Alistair Sim. Lights off, hot cocoa, ....

Anonymous said...

cuddling on the couch is never unacceptable. i don't care what the temperature is. my favorite christmas movie is Scrooged. it is also a tradition of mine to avoid watcingh A Christmas Story. i've never seen the whole thing and i never will.

LizC said...

"Meet Me in St. Louis" is my Christmas fave. Nobody can sing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas like Judy.

Emma said...

OMG Cutting Edge I love that film other than my best friend nobody else has ever heard of it!!

betsey said...

My two favs: Elf & Christmas Vacation

Kathy said...

Christmas Vacation is a must, as is the Alister Sim version of A Christmas Carol, A Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooged and A Charlie Brown Christmas. And it isn't the holidays without at least one viewing of The Sound of Music and Little Women.

And for television, the instantly classic Xmas episodes of the Vicar of Dibley are imperative!

ERRRRRRRN said...

That Love Actually guy stars in The Walking Dead...Andrew Lincoln...I'm a nerd!

Dee said...

I always watch A Christmas Story, probably because despite the fact I grew up in the south [no snow] in the 1960's and 70's, I can STILL identify with Ralphie. Not with the BB gun thing, but with the briding the teacher... ;-)

I also love Braveheart, from before Mel lost his mind. Mel in big hair and a skirt?! Doesn't get any better than that...

MarieMJS said...

Favorite part of Love Actually : Martin Freeman as the porn double, hilarious and very touching.
Also the Holiday, as mentionned above, is really perfectly cheesy :D Mostly for Winslet and Black :D

Beati3 said...

The saddest Christmas movie ever is "The Christmas Tree" with William Holden. Have the Kleenex handy. No lobsters but baby Jesus is played by a dusk bunny from "Spirited Away" http://www.flickr.com/photos/0__o/218075717/in/set-72157594232504930/

astroidb612 said...

it's gotta be the best Jodie Foster movie of all time (albeit with her behind the lens): Home for the Holidays. family disfunction at it's best, truest, and most hilarious and hearttugging.

Paula said...

My list includes:

1) Desk Set - librarians, Hepburn, Tracy, Blondell. Love the office Christmas party and Tracy at dinner at Hepburn's apartment.
2) What's Cooking - wonderful cast: Mercedes Ruehl, Joan Chen, Julianna Margulies and Kyra Sedgwick as a lesbian couple in a film by the writer/director of "Bend it Like Beckham." What's not to like?
3) White Christmas - Bing, Rosemary, Danny Kaye, Irving Berlin's music and snow, snow, snow.
4) Love, Actually - very sweet.