What you see above is just an example of what Google will show you if you search the words “christmas films”. They’re apparently they’re the ones that are frequently mentioned on the web, and it’s likely that your favorite Christmas film is listed above. There’s two on the list above that I’ll talk about, one being apparently the best Christmas film of all time, and another one being my personal favorite Christmas film..
Christmas is probably the only socially acceptable time of the year in which you can watch films about Christmas. My family have been watching Christmas films since about the start of November.. Y’know, Halloween’s over and it is actually the earliest time of the year in which you can watch those Christmas films you absolutely adore. This year I went a little tame with the Christmas films and didn’t start watching any until the 22nd of December.. Instead I’d watched the same Friends Christmas episodes for weeks on end, I watched them so many times I actually started to learn the lines. Anyway, back to Christmas films…
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – Clarence.
It’s A Wonderful Life is that Christmas film everyone knows about, and if you look above you’ll see it’s first in the list of frequently mentioned Christmas films. Some of the scenes are incredibly famous and I myself managed to recognize some, even though I was watching this for the first time. I’d actually made the decision back in August to watch this on Christmas, due to having seen this film watched by many characters in films over the Christmas period. I also finally understood why so many of these characters in films can be seen crying towards the end of the film. It’s A Wonderful Life beautifully promotes the message that your existence is very important, and if you’re George Bailey then your existence is extremely important to an entire town. Audiences are given the Christmas gift of getting to see George grow up and devote his life to the people of Bedford Falls. James Stewart provides a beautiful and convincing performance in which he managed to tug at my emotional strings. Having been given the delight of watching George grow up, I wanted nothing more than for him to succeed in the problem he has been given to deal with on Christmas Eve, and for him to commit suicide is the last thing I wanted. We are then introduced to the wonderful angel Clarence who successfully shows George life without his existence, and in doing so, Clarence gains his wings. It’s A Wonderful Life manages to cover traditional Christmas values, and it’s quite easy to see why it is considered the best Christmas film for quite a few people.
H – 79/100
– Number 40 on Empire’s list of the 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time
Now I’ve talked about apparently the best Christmas film there is, let’s talk about my personal favorite, Christmas Vacation. Having been brought up to love the National Lampoon films it’s not particularly surprising to say that this one is possibly my favorite Christmas film. Now my family have never electrocuted a cat, burnt the turkey from the inside out, kidnapped someones boss or practically split up our neighbours, but we do indeed have moments just like the Griswold’s in which we just want to curl up in a ball and forget about Christmas. This film perfectly represents a Christmas which has attempted to be controlled, but has just completely flopped and gone horribly wrong. For many families, this may be too close to reality. The difference with the National Lampoon films, and what makes them so wonderful to watch, is that they are all about brilliantly exaggerated what can happen within various situations, and the Griswold’s vacations. I think having John Hughes as the writer for this film also adds to its brilliance, though that’s probably just me being bias due to John Hughes being my favorite writer. Christmas Vacation beautifully resembles the not-so-perfectly-controlled Christmas’ some families may have, and it’s also quite funny. It’s a film I’ll never stop watching at Christmas time.
H – 89/100 K-80/100