Every year the same films show up on the Christmas television schedule. There are several that I watch every year. They don’t necessarily need to be Christmassy but their requisite is either to make me feel nostalgic, make me cry or make me question something new on each viewing.
*As these are hardly obscure cult movies I have made the assumption you will have seen them all, hence, my ridiculously poor movie review skills*
Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory
A classic. I have been watching this every year Christmas for the last 30 or so years. Each viewing brings something new. Since becoming a parent, the annual viewing of Willy Wonka, brings a certain amount of smugness that my children are not obnoxious brats because every child ( even Charlie at times) in the film is quite horrible. Also whats the story with the oompa loompas, do you ever think about their lives? I try not to because it makes me uncomfortable yet as soon as I see them, I get sucked into creating a back story for them and its never good. Also what the fuck is with the two sets of grandparents sharing a bed? I know they are poor but its weird. Really weird. Weirder than the oompa loompas. Apart from this, this film is properly magical and Gene Wilder is a genius and that is why I watch it every year.
Sobometer : Minimal.
A classic. Slapstick comedy at its finest with the stupidity of the burglars, lots of poignant moments amidst the comedy. All good. However, again, in recent years and since being a parent of small children, this film makes me feel uncomfortable in parts because I imagine the panic of leaving a child at home. The thoughts induce chest tightening panic in me and spoil the film in parts as does the sight of blonde wide-eyed Macaulay Culkin because it all went a bit tits up for him in later life and I whisper when watching it “Macaulay where did it all go wrong” . Poor Macaulay. Taking that away though, still a Christmas must watch.
Sobometer: It has its moments. There are a good two to three opportunities to shed tears when watching.
The Sound of Music
This film has everything- Convents, Nazi’s, the BEST songs, mountains, raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Everything you need. By watching this film every year most likely since I have been born, I know every word of every song , even the yodeling bit, and I enjoy singing every song loudly and out of tune. Not so good for those watching with me ( nobody else lasts the whole film; only me). The highlight of the film for me is Captain Von Trapp- whistle, uniform, his perfect hair, his attitude. He is the perfect man, Captain Von Trapp and by far and away the best part of the film. Lets be honest all the kids and Julie Andrews are in the most part, irritating. They are just so wholesome and happy and wear clothes made out of curtains. Also the eldest daughter “I am sixteen going on seventeen“…………ME HOLE. She is 25 if she is day and is fooling nobody.
The part that breaks me every time is when the children are singing Edelweiss and Captain Von Trapp joins in. JESUS. Every time. Never fails to make me sob.
The best musical of all time. I do wonder what happens them in the end though. It’s all fine and well frolicking around the alps singing the hills are alive but you will tire of that after 30 minutes or so surely? Nonetheless, its essential annual viewing and I look forward to watching and singing along this month.
A more recent addition to the Christmas must watch list. Since its release about ten years ago, I have probably watched it most Christmas’s since. My preferred method of watching this is alone because nobody needs to see the headache inducing sobbing that I am brought to whilst watching this film. There is so much wrong with this film. Starting with Martine McCutcheon and Kiera Knightly, you are only missing Andie McDowell and you would have a hat trick of the most irritating actresses ever.However despite their appearance and the fact that most of the storylines are cheesetastic shite, Love Actually is the perfect Christmas film.
It starts with an airport scene. Have you ever been at the airport at Christmas time? Well I have and sweet Jesus it is a sob fest watching the families and loved ones reuniting. I challenge anyone to sit in arrivals for an hour during Christmas week and not cry. Anyway this is why this film gets away with it. It over flows with cheesy sentimentality and that is why you can forgive the shit storylines of the eight or so intertwined stories because there are a number of just perfect scenes. I can even forgive the ridiculous never in a million years would it happen storyline of Hugh Grant as Prime Minister falling for the overacted Martine ” you are english why is an english accent beyond you” McCutcheon and the small boy chasing through post 9/11 security in Heathrow . The bits that make me cry include
- The surprise rendition of All You Need Is Love when bitchface Kiera Knightly gets married.
- The funeral of Liam Neeson’s wife who doesn’t even appear in the movie. It’s the photoshow of her life that gets me.
- When Colin Firth proposes and she says yes.
- When the weird friend of Kiera bitchface Knightly’s husband shows up with the radio playing Silent Night and the cards declaring his undying love. JESUS. I sometimes forget to breathe during that part.
- To the bit where I really do forget to breathe I am sobbing so much when Emma Thompson opens the Joni Mitchell Cd and realises her husband is most likely having an affair. I usually need to pause the film after that bit to compose myself.
Then the film ends with an airport scene too. It’s just perfection. I’m left with a swollen face, a headache and a feeling all is right with the world and with the deep message that Love is actually all you need. Not a fucking hope would this movie make me cry at any other time of the year but at Christmas time I almost need sedation after watching it. What more could you need from a Christmas movie?
Sobometer: All of it. All the sobbing. All the tears.Snots, gulps, the whole lot. Everything.
What’s on your must watch every single Christmas list?