Total Pageviews

Friday, December 9, 2016

10 perfect holiday films (that you haven't seen 10 times already)

For holiday viewing, you can never go wrong with It’s a Wonderful Life, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Elf or Miracle on 34th Street. But I know you already thought about those flicks. So what else is there to watch?

Finding a quality movie that matches the chestnuts-roasting mood of the holidays is tricky. My mistakes of Christmas past include renting the holiday hatefest Four Christmases, paying ticket price for Ben Affleck’s Surviving Christmas and binge-watching BBC’s 1950’s drama Call The Midwife. Whoa, didn’t need to see that.

These holiday choices and crowdpleasers should make for a merry Netflixmas:

1. The Shop Around The Corner (1940)
If you’re shopping for a romantic comedy, go for the film that inspired You’ve Got Mail (1993) and this year’s Tony-nominated musical revival She Loves Me. This black-and-white film starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan is zippy, witty, festive and it hits all the right notes. Airs on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on December 15 and 24. A
vailable on iTunes for $2.99.

2. A Very Murray Christmas (2015)
Seen Scrooged one time too many? Bill Murray stars as himself in this Sofia Coppola film that features holiday-inspired, musical duets with Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock and Jason Schwartzman. I didn’t make any of that up. It’s available on Netflix.

3. Die Hard (1988)
Could it be the Christmas office party setting? Maybe it’s the soundtrack featuring Run DMC’s Christmas in Hollis? Or perhaps it’s just that Bruce Willis’ John McClane wants to get back and save the love of his life named, ahem, Holly. But whatever it is, by golly, this "How Hans Gruber stole Christmas" tale is the ultimate holiday action flick. Available on the IFC cable channel on December 15, iTunes, and Amazon Prime for $3.99.

4. The Family Man (2000)
Here's a lighthearted way to get your It's a Wonderful Life fix, and remember that Nicholas Cage used to be dynamic in film — all at the same time. Cage carries every scene of this one like a new millennium Jimmy Stewart. Available on HBO Go and HBO Now.

5. An American Tail (1986)
Hanukkah doesn’t get played out much in film, but when young Fievel Mousekevitz gets his signature blue hat as a Hanukkah present from his father, who explains its heritage, there won’t be a dry eye or a creature stirring in the house. Available on Starz and Encore.

6. Radio City Christmas Spectacular (2007)
Forget to see a show with holiday music during the holiday busy-ness? Want something festive to play in the background while wrapping presents? Watch New York City’s Rockettes perform their magic in this feature. Spoiler alert: Santa appears. Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

7. Bridgette Jones’s Diary (2001)
Long before there were ugly Christmas sweater parties, Bridget (Rene Zellweger) first met the reindeer-sweater adorned Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) at a holiday party. Fifteen years later, you can still love this rom-com and Bridget “just as she is.” Available on Amazon, and iTunes for $2.99.

8. Holiday Inn (1942)
If you’re like me, you watch White Christmas (1954) every year (Netflix). However, if you’re looking for a change, you should check out the film that introduced the Irving Berlin song years before. Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire celebrate a year’s worth of holidays in an overshadowed classic that was nominated for three Academy Awards and won one too (Best Original Song). Available on iTunes for $9.99.

9. The Preacher's Wife (1996)
This remake of The Bishop's Wife, directed by Penny Marhsall and starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, is a little too sweet for most times of year, but it's a light good-spirited crowdpleaser that pairs well with the holidays.

10. Love Actually (2003)

Go get the sh*t kicked out of you by Love Actually. This modern classic only gets better with each viewing. I want to hold a sign up for Richard Curtis’ 2003 film that says,“to me you are perfect.” It just is. Available for free with your subscription to Netflix, and iTunes for $2.99.

10.5 Fireplace For Your Home
Didn’t see anything that matches your chestnuts roasting vibe? Try this hour-long stream of a fireplace burning. Available on Netflix.

The ten buck review: All worth ten bucks.


  1. Our go to movie is 1970 film Scrooge staring Albert Finney. Hard to find so we bought the DVD years ago. Best I have ever seen. Check it out.