Jane/Susannah/Sadie here, wishing you all a very happy, healthy, joyous, and prosperous New Year…
Hello, Wicked People! Has a whole month gone by since we’ve chatted? Well, I’m glad to be back.
Are you a holiday movie junkie? I admit it, I am. Although I have to tell you that there are some classics that I don’t exactly love, even though I know I’m “supposed to.” Nobody throw rocks, but I’m not crazy about White Christmas. Other than the title song, none of the music is particularly good (although the singing is). And some of the songs are downright weird (that scene where Danny Kaye is wearing the French Artiste clothes and doing that very odd dance). The fact that Bing Crosby was over 50 when he did the movie with the 26-year-old Rosemary Clooney always gives me pause. However, I do love Danny Kaye in anything he ever did, and he and Vera-Ellen didn’t have such a big age gap, so I consider this movie sort of a wash.
Another one I’m supposed to love but am kind of iffy on is It’s a Wonderful Life. I know, I know. Jimmy Stewart is adorkable, if a bit overly dramatic in spots, and Donna Reed is beautiful and faithful and loving, and the story makes you understand the Butterfly Effect–I’m not sure what came first, The Butterfly Effect or the movie. Yet there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on about It’s a Wonderful Life, something that makes me (usually) watch it when it’s on, but doesn’t give me the slightest pang of disappointment if I don’t see it, as I didn’t this year. Anybody have any thoughts?
And you may really want to throw rocks at me for this one, but Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is another one I can take or leave. I watch it for nostalgic reasons, as I have fond memories of hot cocoa and real oil-popped, buttered popcorn and watching it every year with my sisters and my parents and later with my own son. But seeing it the last few years I’ve found some aspects of it a little bothersome–and I know it’s because I’m seeing it through a 2017 lens, not the 1964 lens in which it was born. There is bullying and there is nose-shaming–by both adult and child reindeer and even Santa! Only the young bucks can try out for the sleigh team, not the does. Also, there’s an unexplained problem inherent in those Reindeer Games. Santa already has a sleigh team full of magic reindeer. So how are those poor little bucks who are being coached ever going to have any hope of making the team? The futility of it all.
Lest this post be deemed too negative, here are some classic Christmas movies I do love, and I do mind if I miss them: A Christmas Story (and yet, again, this one has some aspects that are not exactly cool when viewed with a 2017 lens). How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the 1966 animated version). A Christmas Carol (the George C. Scott version–this adaptation has the most wonderfully pathetic Tiny Tim). Christmas Vacation because it makes me laugh every time. And here’s one that I consider a Christmas movie, even though only part of it is set at Christmas–You’ve Got Mail. Honestly, I cry every time Tom Hanks brings Meg Ryan those daisies when she’s sick and you just know that’s when she knows she loves him and he loves her, even though they aren’t ready to admit it yet. Happy Sigh.
What about you? Which Christmas movies do you love? Which ones don’t jingle your sleighbells?