Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What exactly IS a Christmas movie?

So…question. What makes a film a “Christmas movie”?

Is it a movie that contains a narrative specifically about Christmas things, like Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?

Is it a movie with a Christmasy title that doesn’t really have anything to do with Christmas, but just happens to take place in December? I mean, how much of White Christmas is really about Christmas? I’d say that movie is probably 20% Christmasy. And The Holiday could have been virtually the same movie if it took place in the summer.

Speaking of romantic comedies, have you noticed that many of them take place around Christmas, like Love Actually and the Bridget Jones movies? Some might consider these Christmas movies, but they would be the same stories in any other season.

What about movies that are released on or around Christmas and are just associated with the season of Christmas, like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? Are we going to consider Sherlock Holmes a Christmas movie? I consider Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone a Christmas movie, but really…it’s not.

Are movies that have just a few scenes at Christmastime considered Christmas movies, like When Harry Met Sally, Little Women, or Meet Me in St. Louis? “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was written for that movie, but it’s not really a Christmas movie, is it? There is nothing fundamentally Christmasy about these stories, is there? Would you consider them Christmas movies?

What about Heidi? It’s often on Christmas movie lists because the famous ending is at Christmas, but it’s not a Christmas movie. And speaking of alpine adventures, why is that song about raindrops on roses from The Sound of Music played as a Christmas song every year?

For you dudes who think Die Hard and Gremlins are Christmas movies...I mean, really?

Enlighten me...what is a Christmas movie? And what’s your favorite Christmas movie?


The OC Gazette said...

Hmmm... I would consider all of those Christmas movies - including Die Hard :)

My favorite is The Family Stone. Definitely about Christmas and how the family comes together around that time for better or worse haha

- Amy

P.S. Lisa you're a diamond

Julie Hibbard said...

It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas Movie--perhaps my favorite MOVIE of all time!
I think a Christmas movie is one that makes you believe in something better. Whether it's believing in love or romance or HOPE or just believe that there IS something out there worth fighting or working for. It's a movie that either builds on the HOPE that is the Christmas season or gives you REASON to hope for the best...
It's definitely one that has you reaching for the kleenex at some point in the film.
But then, once again, that's most films for me.

Allie said...

White Christmas - Definitely a Christmas movie...so great with all the music and dancing!

I also LOVE Miracle on 34th Street (both the old and the new) and It's A Wonderful Life.

This is such a fun topic to think about!!

Love you Lisa!!!