There’s something very soothing about watching the same holiday movies that you have memorized every year when they pop up on tv. But since we’re in the middle of a pandemic and maybe everyone is extra bored, I thought I’d suggest a few holiday movies that aren’t played over and over again every holiday season. So splash a little rum in your eggnog, sprinkle some pumpkin spice on your popcorn and enjoy!
This is my all time favorite movie. Even talking about this movie, I well up. I generally cry through about two thirds of this movie but in the best, most life affirming, beautifully sorrowful, lovingly cleansing way. I’ve never heard this movie referred to as a holiday movie but a few major scenes take place during Christmas time and I dare you, I freaking dare you, to watch the part where Billy’s widower father is so broke that he has to break down his dead wife’s piano and burn it to heat the family’s home on Christmas Eve and try to tell me it’s not a holiday movie.
Made in 2000, it was directed by Stephen Daldry (he most recently produced and directed The Crown on Netflix) It’s a gritty and inspiring story about the 11 year old Billy Elliot (Jaime Bell) as he finds joy in learning to dance while navigating his childhood during the 1984 mining strike in County Durham, England. Both his brother and Dad are striking miners and his mum died of breast cancer so he finds his happiness learning to dance with a local dance teacher (Julie Waters).
Also, it has a freaking kick ass eighties sound track to match with songs from The Clash, T-Rex and The Jam. Please, please, please watch this and ugly cry and have your black heart brightened this holiday season!
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
I really don’t know why this movie isn’t more of a holiday classic because I die laughing every time I watch it. It’s the Caddy Shack of holiday movies. Being made in the eighties, starring the genius Juliette Lewis as the teenage daughter and being written by John Hughes, it has a major Sixteen Candle vibe, which I love.
It’s so ridiculous and slapstick. It stars Chevy Chase as a suburban dad trying his darndest to have the best Griswald Family Christmas ever. There’s an abundance of action–falling off of roofs, car crashes, house fires, dog chases and an innocent kidnapping but in the end, it’s just an old fashioned movie about loving your weird family.
There are so many comedy stars in this movie. Look for the super awesome Julia Louis Dreyfus as an uptight yuppie neighbor, Randy Quaid as the brother, Johnny Galecki from The Big Bang Theory as the son, Doris Roberts as the Grandma and, of course, Beverly D’Angelo returns as Clark Griswald’s wife.
Okay, this is another tear jerker, but totally unexpectedly. This came out last year but I feel like it was sort of overlooked because there’s such an amazing spoiler but it cannot be spoken of because it will ruin the whole thing. So because of that, it was marketed as a lighthearted holiday romance when it’s actually much heavier and moving and complicated than you think it will be. That’s really all I can say about it because I don’t want to spoil it for you, just watch it!
Written and produced by Emma Thompson, it’s very “Love Actually” but more mysterious with fewer characters. It also stars Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding and is directed by Paul Feig. By the way, Paul Feig directed Bridesmaids which is absolutely one of the funniest movies ever made. EVER. So after you watch these holiday movies, throw Bridesmaids onto your must watch list.
Love you guys! Happy Holidays! We’re gonna get through 2020, I swear!