I'm not a very festive person. It's not that I don't like Christmas, but I guess I just grew out of the excitement for the holiday season as I got older and to me, it's now just like any old regular day. Sure, I get to spend time with my family and eat delicious food, but it's a lot a faff over a single day and I fail to understand why people lose their shit over decorations and red Starbucks cups. It's just kind of not really a big deal. Having said this, I am however, a movie person and there are quite a few Christmas-themed ones that I enjoy and look forward to watching when this time of year rolls around. I've never done a Christmas-centred blog post before, but whether you're a not-so-festive person like yours truly or can't hardly wait for Christmas Day, here are seven movies to get you into the Christmas spirit and bring you some holiday cheer.
Home Alone (1990)
Having grown up watching Home Alone every Christmas, I still watch this movie every year it comes on television. Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister is a riot and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had a tremendous amount of respect for a kid who not only could outsmart two bad guys, but somehow know each move they were going to make, and then scheme his plan of attack accordingly. A movie jam-packed with action, laughter and heart, it’s about a mischievous boy who gets separated from his parents not once, but twice in the equally-as-good sequel. Living in Australia, my Christmases are spent in 35+ degree heat, but whenever I watch Home Alone, I always dream of celebrating a White Christmas one day just like in the movies.
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
A novella published to coincide with the release of the 1947 film, Miracle on 34th Street was again adapted for the screen in 1994, which is the version I grew up watching. It tells the story of six-year-old Susan, a little girl wise beyond her years who doesn't believe in Santa Claus. With just her mother as her family, her dream is to have a father and a baby brother like the ones you see in Christmas catalogues, and when she meets a man named Kris Kringle who claims to be the real deal, he just might be able to make her Christmas wish come true. Starring Mara Wilson, one of my favourite child actresses, Miracle on 34th Street is particularly wonderful for the cynics like me who don't really get excited for Christmas. It's difficult not to let this happily-ever-after film lift your spirits and tug on your heartstrings.
Born a human and raised as an elf, Buddy grows up living with Santa and his elves in the North Pole. When he realises that he is not in fact a real elf, he sets out for New York to find his biological father, and as he experiences the real world and human culture for the first time, Buddy encounters many mishaps along the way. Will Farrell as the innocent and naive Buddy is hilarious and I just adore the sweet Jovie, his love interest played by Zooey Deschanel. Witty and absolutely charming, Elf is must-watch viewing during the holiday season.
Love Actually (2003)
It’s very rare that I come across romantic comedies I actually enjoy, but this was a film I found sweet without being over the top and laugh-out-loud funny too. Set in London during Christmastime, it follows the stories of eight intersecting couples and their different love lives. My favourite stories from the film follow Sam, the cute little boy who admits to his step-father that he’s in love with the American girl at his school, Joanna, and Natalie, who falls for the Prime Minister. The film ends with real life footage of arrivals at Heathrow Airport and Christmas or not, this is a feel-good movie for any time of the year.
Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (2014)
A cat voiced by Aubrey Plaza. Cat. Aubrey Plaza. Need I say more? Based on the popular Internet meme, Grumpy Cat leads a pretty miserable life. Stuck in a mall pet shop where no one will take her in as a pet, she one day develops a special connection with Chrystal, a volunteer at the pet store, who can understand her. Together, they go on an adventure to rescue JoJo, a dog worth a million dollars, who can make enough money to save Whiskers Pet Store from closing down, and for Grumpy Cat, maybe it's not the worst Christmas after all. A made-for-TV-film, I wasn't really expecting much, but it's loud-out-loud funny in so many scenes and with her deadpan and monotone voice, who better to voice Grumpy Cat than Aubrey Plaza? Witty, sarcastic and full of dry humour, the film also pokes fun at itself and is definitely one both kids and adults can enjoy.
Happy Christmas (2014)
Despite the name, Happy Christmas isn't actually entirely centred around the holiday. In this off-beat indie flick, Jenny moves in with her brother and his family after a breakup, and although they all have their ups and downs, Jenny ultimately makes her brother's wife, Kelly, realise where her true happiness lies. Starring two of my favourite actresses, Anna Kendrick and Lena Dunham, Happy Christmas is entirely improvised. There was no script for the film and the actors were only given a vague outline of the plot. If you're after something a little less traditional, Happy Christmas is well worth the watch.
A Very Murray Christmas (2015)
In this Netflix special, Bill Murray gets upset when no one turns up for his Christmas television show due to a terrible snowstorm in New York City. All the power goes out and there's a couple who are unable to have their wedding ceremony, but everything comes up with the help of a little music and some holiday cheer. Directed by the one and only Sofia Coppola, I had high expectations for A Very Murray Christmas and it definitely did not disappoint. With an all-star cast including Amy Poehler, Michael Cera, Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Rudolph (wow, her voice is incredible!), George Clooney and many more, this hour-long film will bring you so much joy and make you smile. It also stars one of my favourite bands, Phoenix, as French chefs, who are just a delight! In the film, Phoenix and Bill Murray cover The Beach Boys song, Alone on Christmas Day, and it's wonderful.
What are your favourite Christmas movies?