Groundhog Day (1993)
We all remember – and for a strange reason feel comforted by – Bill Murray as a weather man waking up to the same irritating song as he remains doomed to repeat the same day over and over again: Groundhog Day. Perhaps because its set in the winter, or Murray somehow reminds us of Scrooge or maybe even due to the fact that, at the end of the day – in this case always the same day – the main character eventually seeks to make things right, this is a movie we tend to watch relate to Christmas time.
The groundhog from the film predicted that the winter would last for some time, but what it didn’t foresee is that 24 years after it was released we would still be watching it during the Christmas season, as though for the first time.
Home Alone (1990)
It looks as if centuries have gone by since Macaulay Culkin got trapped at his house during Christmas time. Twenty-six years later, it is still the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all times at the U.S. box office.
If you think about it, although it hasn’t aged as well as other films (maybe because we’ve grown up) it is and always will be a classic for those of us that saw it for the first time in the 1990s.
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
One of the best films I’ve ever seen and never get tired of is Nightmare Before Christmas. It has all the elements I need – tragedy, comedy, self-pity and fantasy – in order to enjoy a holiday in which at least one two of these feelings are usually omnipresent.
This dark musical stop motion film and its memorable character Jack Skellington are Tim Burton’s greatest contributions to the classic movies we tend to see during Christmas, with that potential tol give us the goosebumps and excitement two decades on.
So this one is not as obvious, but I’m a firm believer that Christmas is a great time to watch Bond Movies and I know I’m not alone in this one. I wouldn’t be able to put my finger on which one is the best option for this holiday, but I can say that the one I’ll be watching this time is GoldenEye. Nothing beats the feeling I get when it opens up at the dam and Bond plays his tricks. I recently learnt that this scene, as a matter of fact, is considered to be the best stunt in movie history.
GoldenEye, which pays tribute with its name to the Bond saga creator Ian Fleming – apparently one of his missions carried this name – has all the elements you need to enjoy a great afternoon between Christmas meals and opening gifts. And when you finish with this one, go for the Casino Royale book adaptation, which albeit not being a classic like Goldeneye is still entertaining enough. Or even better, watch the entire collection of Sean Connery as James Bond and then Roger Moore’s. Just make sure you stop at some point, because you’re celebrating Christmas after all, not a Bond revival.
The Goonies (1985)
This last choice is again not an self-evident choice for the best Christmas movies, but I have to confess that its themes of friendship and adventure had made me watch it during Christmas because inevitably everyone tends to be a bit more cheerful around this time. The Goonies and its legendary characters remind us of those times in which we were capable of living our own adventures with our friends or siblings and still believed that everything was possible.
I could add many more to this list – Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause, the Princess Bride or Never Ending Story – and it’s possible that I’m forgetting a couple. Now I’m wondering if there are any 2000s film that I tend to rematch come Christmas time… can you think of any? I guess I’m more into films that are still available on VHS when it comes to revivals, but maybe that’s just me