Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Xmas Season: The Movie Shortlist

There's loads of music and movie options to help you hit 'play' on Festive (I've been saving that one for weeks, yal.) but my Must-See Xmas Movie list is pretty short.

However. A quick word on the most glaring omission: You can keep your 'Wonderful Life'. There, I said it.

I could write an essay on the reasons I dislike that movie. I'll just say, George Bailey got the short end of the stick, and in the end, the bad guy wins. Potter keeps the money, doesn't come clean about it, and doesn't get punished. Think about it -- sure George's life and livelihood are saved, but The Bad Guy Gets Away With It.

And for the love of all get-out would somebody please send the poor guy on a real vacation. I mean, seriously, he skips seeing the world to save the town over and over, the town can scrape that sort of cash together, and he never even gets a road trip to the Grand Canyon?

Ahem. So there are two clear winners, a solid third place candidate, and then the Hon. Mentions (I can hear the outcry from family members on relegating Grizzwald and Ernest to HM, ha!)

The Favorites:

White Christmas

The one true Christmassy Christmas movie of the bunch and tremendously relevant, with scores of post-9/11 vets leaving active duty for civilian life. You want heartwarming goodness-and-friendship-saves-the-day? Put the Capra movie down, I've got it right here. Plus singing, plus Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby. WC should be mandatory viewing for one and all.

Guys and Dolls

The one I always think is a Christmas movie, but kindof isn't -- UNCSA put on an excellent production of this last year, and it was a special treat to see it with mom. My all-time favorite stage musical, and who wouldn't love Marlon Brando as a lovable gangster who makes good on his markers? Well, okay, Frank Sinatra, for one. All the same, it's wonderful, and because it really can't be said enough -- the all-time best musical, ever.

Desk Set

The one I always forget is a Christmas movie, with all the stuff about outsourcing, automation, and 'efficiency experts', and stars EMERAC as an early Watson. But like any girl worth her salt, I'm a sucker for Tracy and Hepburn, and just love the glimpse into mid-century office life. Champagne all around, what could go wrong!

Honorable Mentions:

Love, Actually

File this in the same box as this week's Xmas CD if you must, but here's the thing - I watch this movie for one reason -- for the opening and closing scenes -- the actual, real people greeting each other at the airport. It's the all-time greatest bookend to a collage of what love looks like, in all sorts of messy ways. People from everywhere, from all walks of life, and all sorts of history, and the joy in being re-united. After 9/11 airports were different, and we were all different.. and somehow this is one of those movies that just hit me at the right time to stick.

Christmas Vacation

My mom wishes that we would stop claiming this is actually a home movie of our family, so I will not tell you we've had relatives stay in their Winnebago on our driveway. But if I said that my wonderful grandparents may have owned a recreational vehicle, and my siblings and I were lively enough that they preferred it to staying in the house...

Ernest Saves Christmas

I'm going to be honest, I haven't seen this one in forever, but it belongs on any good Florida girl's Christmas list because there are almost no Florida Christmas movies, and Of Course if there was going to be one, it would be Ernest Saves Christmas. Because Florida is Florida, even at Christmas. Added bonus: catch a glimpse of the old Orlando Science center. Memories...

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