Growing up, I didn’t watch too many holiday movies – being raised Jewish, the Rankin/Bass stopmotion classics like “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer” weren’t really played in the house. I did watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” as Mom loved Peanuts and the jazz soundtrack. Dad loved “A Christmas Story” and “Christmas Vacation” so those saw regular rotation in the house during the holidays. I have both on BluRay so I can enjoy them without being edited for time or content (and the soundtrack to “Christmas Vacation” is one of the best for the holidays).
So one Christmas about 10 years ago, I was hanging out with my friends watching a Dennis Leary special on TV when Rob asks if any of us saw the movie he was in with Kevin Spacey called “The Ref”. We said no, and he cued it up. A few minutes into it I was hooked – the movie is funny, well written with great casting, and unlike what’s on the Hallmark channel during the holidays, believable. Catch it on Netflix – but make sure the kids are in bed. Denis Leary is still Denis Leary.
Another holiday movie I enjoy, but bombed at the box office: “Dutch” starring Ed O’Neal.
I love “Married…With Children,” so I may be a bit biased, but it is a slapstick comedy road movie where a blue collar construction worker has to transport his girlfriends spoiled brat home for the holiday. They wreck the car, get robbed, and have to hitchike to Chicago while not killing each other. The movie is uneven at times (not the finest John Hughes work…but after Home Alone & Uncle Buck, I’ll forgive him), but the high points make up for it. It’s on Netflix if you would like to see what happened if Al Bundy actually succeeded in life and didn’t marry Peg.
What are your favorite movies or TV specials to watch during the holidays? Whatever they are, hopefully you can share them with your friends and family this time of the year. Just remember to put the leg lamp in the window for the entire neighborhood to see!