Tuesday, December 4, 2012


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Yes, you heard me... more tv. Or movies, that is. With temps in the 80's here in Austin, I am having trouble getting into the season this year. There are a few classic holiday movies that always get me in the mood. Even if I can't light the fireplace yet, the Man and I can still put on our flannel jammies, make a big batch of salt & pepper popcorn, and enjoy the annual must-watch list.  Of course there's all of the usuals: Frosty, Rudolph, Mickey, and Grinch, but here's my extended list: 

Home for the Holidays
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I usually start at Thanksgiving with this quirky family dramedy starring Holly Hunter as the struggling artist, Robert Downey Jr. as the obnoxious, liquor-peddling, little brother, and Anne Bancroft, as the eccentric mom, has me roaring every time. It's a perfect mix of "love-em-but-hate em" family realism and over the top hilarity--think dropping the turkey on your most whiny family member and your wacky aunt getting drunk and passing gas. Pairs best with red wine. 

It's a Wonderful Life. 
It just doesn't get any more classic than this. Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, black & white and wonderful. I get warm fuzzies as soon as the "welcome to Bedford Falls" sign flashes on screen. I still tear up when the druggist gets the telegram and hurts his sore ear. Hell, I'm crying just writing it.  When I was little, and you couldn't watch any movie, at any time, at the press of a button, my mom and I would watch it on TV and then flip to another channel to finish watching it again, and again, until my dad finally cut us off. Egg Nog and cookies REQUIRED. 

A Christmas Story
Only the funniest movie, ever. EV-ER. I always watch this with my Dad on Christmas Eve. After my parents divorced, I always spent Christmas Eve with my Dad, and Christmas Day with my mom. In the battle for Christmas custody, she got It's a Wonderful Life and he got A Christmas Story.  When my father was little, he looked just like Ralphie and he was born in 1956 so it's kind of the right era. He is a really quiet guy but this movie always makes him laugh so hard, it adds to my joy in watching it.  Scott Farkus. He had yellow eyes--so help me god, yellow eyes!  CLASSIC.  

Home Alone
Okay, I may be on my own here. This movie is super silly and probably meant for kids. But I think pre-troubled, little, Macaulay Culkin using aftershave, eating pizza on the bed, and booby-trapping his house against burglars of the Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern variety is pretty damn hilarious. Reinforcing the "All you want for Christmas is your annoying family around" theme. Totally awesome. 

Last but not least
Beautiful Girls

Partly filmed in my home state of Minnesota, with Timothy Hutton, Uma Thurman, Michael Rapaport, and a pre-teen Natalie Portman, Beautiful Girls is a great story about relationships, growing up, and well, snow.  Not actually a Christmas movie, but wintery and awesome.  Watched best with several brown cocktails and some apps. There all sistas, Willie. Each and every one of them sistas. 

Happy Watching!