5 Movies for the Holiday Season

The tree is up, the wreath is on the door, the lights have been strung up, the tinsel has been put on the tree, the stars have been lit, and the presents have been wrapped. It’s Christmas.

What can I say about Christmas? I have always looked forward to this time of year. Bundled up in different types of knitwear, staying up till late to see Santa, enjoying a traditional Christmas dinner, wearing a suit to church, and looking forward to finding gifts under the tree. The odd thing is that all of the above traditions have been seen in films.

Hollywood has given us many films which capture the spirit of Christmas. Hope, peace, goodwill to all, generosity, love, kindness and forgiveness are just a few of the aspects of this season. Here are a few of those films which encapsulate those aspects.

The Apartment:
Directed by Billy Wilder, this black and white movie tugs at the heart-strings. Now, I know that there isn’t Christmas anywhere in the title but bear with me. I will explain. The movie stars the incomparable Jack Lemmon and the gorgeous Shirley Maclaine. Set in New York during the holiday season, the movie takes us through this journey of love between two very interesting people. With lines like “That’s the way  it crumbles… cookie-wise”  and “You hear what I said, Miss Kubelik? I absolutely adore you.” to which she replies, “Shut up and deal…”  You realize a lot of things during the course of the movie, about the things people do to get ahead and the likes. But then you get to the cost of that course of action. In the end, all that matters are the principles you stand for and the belief that you can wish someone well even though they might never know it. A story of love where the hero isn’t really a hero, but human, and the same can be said for the heroine. Watch this film with a loved one, you will be surprised.
Now for something funny.
Trading Places:
This is a movie starring two of the funniest guys of the ’80s, Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, set during the holiday season. You might be wondering what about this film evokes the spirit of Christmas, it’s simple actually. The moral of this story, other than sweet funny revenge, is to appreciate the little things in life and value your friends because sometimes they are all you have. The film takes you through the life of a well-to-do stock broker who has everything taken away from him, all for a bet. He then finds someone else living his life. The word ‘unfair’ crops up, huh? Imagine that losing everything during the festive season, and then meeting the girl of your dreams. Imagine hitting rock-bottom and being saved by that very same girl. But never fear, this wouldn’t be a funny Christmas movie if the bad guys didn’t get their comeuppance. In the same coin that befell our noble hero. For a laugh or two this Christmas, catch this movie.
Here is an animated Christmas movie for you:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas:
This is the original one. Made in 1966, by Chuck Jones, based on Dr. Seuss’s epic story, this is a short film. Just 25 mins or so. But what a wonderful film. With the heavy bass of Boris Karloff, and the rhymes of a wonderful book, we get transported to Whoville during Christmas. As the title says, it’s about how The Grinch Stole Christmas. But is that the end of the story? Is that the only thing we see, that greed and meanness is what the holiday season is about? No, we do not. We get to see the best parts of Christmas come to the screen. Where generosity is about sharing everything even when all is lost. A little Christmas song and cheer makes the whole world better. You get to see a miracle of sorts, as the Grinch rethinks his thoughts (That rhymed, I know, in honor of Dr. Seuss, you know). Watch the short film and you will smile, while your heart soars higher than a mile. ( I had to do it once more, I couldn’t help it, for sure)
Okay, now how about a film for all you guys out there:
A movie for the action-junkies, the tough guys, the guys who can take a beating, the guys who can wear a singlet  a.k.a wife-beater, vest, A-shirt, banyan!
Die Hard:
What a movie! Filled with guns, explosions, more guns, bad guys with bad German accents and brilliant English accents, an involuntary hero, hostages and Christmas. Directed by John McTiernan, starring Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, the film is blast, quite literally. The movie is one of those which makes you root for the underdog. The best parts of the films are the one-liners dropped by Bruce Willis as he takes on the evil mastermind, Alan Rickman. In fact, Alan Rickman’s character makes for a lovely villain, who is charming, vindictive and surgical like a scalpel. So the plot takes place during an office Christmas party. As the movie goes on, we get to enjoy the crazy exploits of a crazy NYPD cop who just wants to spend Christmas with his wife. With a kickass tag like “Yippee-ki-yay, Mother (bleep)-er.”, it is one of my action films of choice this holiday season.
And Finally,
Let’s end this list with a movie that has a slightly modern twist on a classic tale.
Made in the ’80s by Richard Donner and starring one of the funniest men in Hollywood, Bill Murray, this movie is based on the classic tale by Charles Dickens, ‘A Christmas Carol’. The film will have you laughing out loud. The movie has got a cynical and manipulative lead played by Bill Murray, who gets visited by the obligatory 3 Ghosts of Christmas. They proceed to haunt him with their own quirks and antics. We get to see Bill’s character realise the error of his ways and come around to the spirit of Christmas. He learns about a lot of things, he understands his mistakes and the value of people. You get to see the human heart go from black to gold with the film. And all this while, with a huge smile on your face. Bill Murray makes the movie come alive with his acting, comedy timing and his amazing dead-pan nonchalance. Round off your movie experience by catching this film. It’s all about the Christmas Spirit.
So this is a short list.
There are many more left out there, and all of them are worth a mention. This Christmas season, take some time out, watch a few of these kinds of films and spread the joy and wonder of the holidays. Someone might just need it more than you. In the end, enjoy your holidays and keep smiling, for soon it will be the New Year and the madness starts all over again.

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