Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let's Rate Something (Else)!

I had so much fun writing my last Let's Rate Something post that I decided to do a Christmas version. This was a little bit tougher, but I think I have successfully pinned down my top 3 Christmas movies (after much himming and hawing and asking people {who don't care} for their opinion). Here we go. :)

Number 3: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Don’t judge me, but I really do have a soft spot for the muppets. Growing up I can remember watching them on Nickelodeon on Friday nights and just being completely transfixed – they’re so loud and colorful, so wonderfully weird and joyful – a pretty excellent combination of things if you ask me. And since I also really love Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (I mean honestly, who doesn't love a story that transforms mean-spirited, crotchety old men) this was a match made in movie heaven for me, bound to become a “classic” even if it isn't to most people.

The movie is narrated by Charles Dickens himself (okay, it’s actually Gonzo the Great), but it tells the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet to come on the snowy, blustery eve of Christmas. Scrooge awakens on Christmas day, of course, with a joyful, giving heart, having instantly morphed from selfish and cold to selfless and warm. Are you feeling Christmas-y yet?  Along with a great story though, you get to see the iconic roles filled by your favorite muppets (my favorite is Statler & Waldorf as Scrooge’s former business partners) and hear some cheesy music! Definitely a win-win in my book.

Number 2: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

While I certainly have a fondness for both of the original Home Alone movies, the second one captured my heart slightly more – likely due to its romanticized visions of a New York Christmas. Here we follow Kevin, separated from his family once again, as he treks through the New York terrain, running anew from the Wet Bandits, making friends with the scary pigeon lady, setting up booby traps, and ultimately saving Duncan’s Toy Chest. This movie has just the right balance of clever fun and Christmas spirit.

I think my favorite scene in the movie is the one where Kevin and the pigeon lady (yikes, does she have a name?) are watching a symphony perform from a storage room in Carnegie Hall. It has always reminded me of the Christmas tradition carried out on my dad’s side of the family of going to the Boston Pops during the month of December. My wonderful Aunt Jan buys tickets and treats everyone to an incredibly lovely evening watching and listening to the symphony and the Tanglewood Choir play and sing Christmas favorites. Attending these concerts is, for me, the epitome of Christmas, and watching Kevin and Bird Lady (hey, that’s what they call her on Wikipedia, I looked it up) enjoy something similar brings me right back to that place.

Number 1: A Charlie Brown Christmas

It was a pretty hard choice to choose between this short film and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but Charlie Brown won in the end. To start, I love the music. I was reminded of this the other night on a foggy, late drive home. For whatever reason, a scary Marilyn Manson song came on the radio that night and I was instantly creeped out. I quickly reacted by changing the station to the one that plays all Christmas music (all the time), and was immediately at peace hearing the smooth sounds of peanuts singing “lou lou lou.” But I think the best thing about this little movie is the fact that Charlie Brown is searching for the real meaning of Christmas, having become tired and depressed from “over-commercialization.” I would agree that it is pretty easy to get caught up in the hoopla this time of year, and so hearing Linus’ monologue at the end and seeing all the kids spruce up that sad little tree is absolutely the perfect thing to watch!

And lucky you! Did you know you can watch Charlie Brown RIGHT NOW on hulu?! For free. :)

Noticeably absent (to most it seems) are the movies Elf and A Christmas Story. Honestly, I think I actually ruined one person's afternoon when I told them I had never seen Elf. The five-second dirty, disgusted look that transpired was enough to convince me to watch it this year. (I will not; however, be watching A Christmas Story. Why does Santa have to kick the kid down the slide? Why?!)

Sooo...what are your can't-miss Christmas movies? I would loooove to hear!

Images (in order) here, here, here and here.

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