Greetings friends and acquaintances! The holiday season is upon us and that can only mean one thing, it is time to stuff our faces with chocolate chip cookies, drink hot chocolate until we can’t feel our lips any more and watch some good ole Christmas classics. Now, an age-old debate that has been circulating around since Jesus was born, has been “What is the best Christmas movie?” I am here to put an end to this debate. No more arguing over the Christmas Story or Elf, Four Christmases or Die Hard, the dialect ends today. Without further adieu, I present to you the top 5 Christmas movies to ever grace this earth.
5. Home Alone – (1990)
Coming in at number five on our list is the classic film “Home Alone.” The movie is about a young boy named Kevin being accidentally left at home while his family leaves for Paris during the holiday season. Throughout the film, Kevin is presented with perks of being left at home such as all the ice cream one can eat along with a fair share of hardships that include having to fend off a duo of robbers who are up to no good. After a beautifully meticulous plan by Kevin, the robbers are left unsuccessful and Kevin is left safe and not dead. To be perfectly honest, I loved this movie growing up as a kid. I was always jealous of Kevin as being left home for the holidays seemed like the freaking life. Being able to watch R rated movies, staying up late and stuffing my face with food without being told to stop? Sign me the hell up! This movie will always go down as a classic and will be one that will be watched in the Snyder household for generations.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – (1989)
The mastermind that is Chevy Chase strikes again in this hilarious funny slapstick comedy. This film which is the third part of the “National Lampoon” series, features your favorite Griswold family, having to deal with their in-laws during the holiday season. In true Griswold fashion, every thing that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong in this absolute shit show of a holiday season. Lights explode, a turkey is cooked to the crisp and it is seemed that all hope of a good Christmas is completely lost for Clark and his family. At the conclusion of the movie, the family comes together and proves that the strength of love and family cannot be broken. The thing I like most about this movie other than it being extremely funny, is just how relatable it is. We all know the struggles and hardships that come when families come to visit for the holidays. You want everyone to get along, you want everything to go smoothly, but it seemingly never does. At the end of the day though, no matter how bumpy the road may be, the fact that you get to spend the holidays with your family is a blessing in itself. In my opinion, this is easily the best film of the entire Griswold family series.
3. Polar Express – (2004)
ALLLLL ABOOOOOOOAAAAARD THE POLAR EXPRESS! This 2004 film directed by Robert Zemeckis, is a dream come true for every single kid across America. The movie is about a young boy who has reached the age where he has started to no longer believe in Santa Clause. As he begins to go to sleep on Christmas Eve, he is awoken by a loud and almost paralyzing noise. As he goes outside to see what all the ruckus is about, he sees a train in the middle of the street and is invited on by a conductor who is voiced by Tom Hanks. When the boy asked where the train is heading towards, Hanks responds with arguably the most famous line in the movie, “To the North Pole, of course!” When the boy enters the train, he is welcomed by kids his age who are full of excitement. As the train embarks to the North Pole, the boy meets a clever girl and a poor boy. The kids then received hot chocolate in an awesome dance number, get stopped in their tracks by a moose crossing, and eventually got to see the greater than life Santa Clause in the North Pole. The boy who has been a doubter of Santa the entire movie, is presented with the first Christmas gift of the season, a bell from Santa’s Sleigh. The boy then becomes a firm believer in Santa and has a magical and happy Christmas.
The thing that I love most about this movie, is just how high-tech it is for its time. I remember the first time I watched this film in theaters being in complete awe of the graphic displays that were being presented on the big screen. Whether it was the moose crossing scene that shows the train being stopped on a glacier-filled mountain or the North Pole scene that was as vibrant as a highlighter, everything was mind-blowing. This Oscar nominated film was a main reason I believed in Santa for as long as I did.
2. Four Christmases – (2008)
Here it is, my sleeper pick. You all knew it was coming. This film is an absolute classic and is the most underrated Christmas movie of all time. Four Christmases is about a young, successful couple who is forced to spend the holidays with their families, after their plan to go on a tropical vacation is ruined by a dense, San Fransisco fog, which cancels their flight. Brad (played by Vince Vaughn) and Kate’s (played by Reese Witherspoon) parents are both divorced so they have to embark on four different locations in the same day and indulge in “Four Christmases.” The first stop comes by the likes of Brad’s dad’s house which is an absolute nut house. His brothers, who happen to be professional cage fighters, beat the shit out of Brad, his father is a prick and Brad makes his family feel poor by buying his nephews expensive gifts. The funniest scene that comes from the first stop is when Brad tries to install a satellite dish he got his father for Christmas, and ends up falling off the roof, destroying the house in the process. Christmas number two comes in the form of Kate’s mom’s house as we are introduced to Kate’s side of the family. Kate’s sister has a baby and although Kate has insisted on never having children, she is somewhat intrigued. She goes upstairs to take a pregnancy test while the “cougar hunters” show Brad albums upon albums of embarrassing pictures of Kate as a child. Kate’s pregnancy test comes back as negative, but based off her body language, she is disappointed and it is clear her view-point on wanting kids has completely shifted. The funniest part in the entire movie is when Brad and Kate along with Kate’s family go to church to see Kate’s mom’s new boyfriend. Brad and Kate are asked to play the Virgin Mary and Joseph and in true hardo fashion, Brad steals the show and becomes a hero. As the couple makes their way to Brad’s mother’s house, tensions begin to rise between the couple. It is nothing too extreme, but you can see that it could blow up down the road. After a couples game goes wrong at Christmas #3, Brad and Kate have a blow up fight in the car about having children. Kate wants one down the line and Brad is pissed she even took a pregnancy test. As Kate goes to her father’s house for Christmas #4, she asked Brad to stay in the car and not attend. Kate’s father then relays to Kate the importance of family as well as Brad’s father in a separate scene and the two come to realize that they need each other. They make up, decide that they are open to one day having kids and one year later, we are greeted in a waiting room as Kate has birthed a baby. It is a beautiful yet funny movie about the importance of love, family and togetherness. I get a lot of heat for loving this movie so much but what can I say, I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy.
1. ELF – (2003)
Every family has their Christmas movie that no matter what is going on, they have to watch during the holiday season. It is a tradition. This movie for my family, is Elf. In my eyes, Elf is the greatest Christmas movie of all time and it’s not even close. I’ve seen it close to 100 times now and it has not once gotten old. The film is about Buddy the Elf (played by Will Ferrell) and his wild expedition to NYC to try to find his real father. As Buddy leaves the North Pole and arrives in the city, he becomes extremely erratic and lost in the bright lights that is New York. The director does a beautiful job selling Buddy’s sense of confusion while at the same time making it extremely comical. Buddy then goes to the office where he believes his father is working at and sings him a song. He gets thrown out and on his way to the door is told by the security guard, to go to Gimbels, a retail store in the city. He takes the mans advice and shops in the stores lingerie section, looking for a gift for his father. Buddy then gets mistaken for an elf that works for the department store and in a weird way, starts working for them. Buddy comes across a pretty co-worker named Jovie who he eventually falls in love with. A classic scene in the film is when Santa comes to visit the mall, Buddy points out that it is not the real Santa, and calls him a faker while saying that he smells like cheese. This provokes an attack by the “fake Santa” and Buddy is thrown in jail. Walter Hobbs (Buddy’s father) then picks him up from jail and is in a complete place of neglect, as he does not believe that Buddy is his actual son. The two take a DNA test and it comes back positive, much to Walter’s chagrin. Another classic scene in the film is when Buddy is first presented to Walter’s family and has spaghetti with syrup and candy, resulting in a mammoth burp. As the film progresses, Buddy and Walter’s son Michael form a relationship that is sparked by Buddy fending off some bullies in an epic snow ball brigade. The film concludes with Buddy running away after being yelled at by Walter, only to be found by Santa on his sleigh. The two ride off but are having trouble due to the lack of Christmas cheer that powers the sleigh. This evokes a huge sing along in Central Park that is started by Jovie, Michael and Walter. Buddy the Elf flies through the night as the sleigh is fully generated due to the Christmas spirit being filled throughout the city.
This movie isn’t the most heartwarming movie of all time. It’s not the funniest movie you will ever see. But the one thing it does do extremely well, is blend comedy with a sense of goodness that makes Elf truly memorable. Christmas cheer is meant for all to hear and this music is a walking and breathing example of Christmas cheer. Buddy the Elf is a Christmas icon and will go down as a top 5 character in movie history.
There you guys have it! The top 5 Christmas movies of all time. What did I get wrong? What did I nail on the head? Feel free to let me know in the comment section down below. On behalf of all of us here at Guys Being Dudes, I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season!