Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life. The Christmas season is filled with movies that capture the heart and spirit of the season. Movies have whole days dedicated to them while some channels are only watched for their Christmas movies. Movies filled with Yuletide cheer are an industry unto themselves.
It’s a shame there hasn’t been a great Christmas movie in years.
We all have a favorite Christmas movie. These films go beyond they simple confines of good. These are the movies that fill you with joy and remind you of what the Christmas spirit is truly about. They are the movies you make sure to watch every year. They remind you of when you believed in Santa and Christmas miracles. These heartwarming tales are as much a part of the year as snowmen and ornaments.
Even someone who loathes rom-coms cannot help but be swept up by the Christmas love story that is Love Actually. From Hugh Grant’s amazing comedic timing to Andrew Lincoln using a sign to tell Kiera Knightley she is perfect, Love Actually is the right mix of Christmas cheer and emotional manipulation. Even if you cannot stand Will Ferrell, you probably will tell at least one person in December they sit on a throne of lies.
Both of those modern Christmas classics came out in 2003. What have we seen since? It is not like Hollywood has stopped making Christmas movies. This year saw the release of The Grinch. The Grinch was a remake of another Christmas classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The 2018 version will no doubt impress young ones, but it is also highly unlikely they will remember it five months from now, much less five decades.
But maybe you think that is an unfair comparison. After all, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is not just any Christmas classic, it is arguably the Christmas classic. Pretty much anything would pale in comparison to it. What about a wholly original property?
Recent years have seen the release of A Bad Moms Christmas, Office Christmas Party, and The Night Before, among others. The quality varies, but none of these movies have the heart, soul, or spirit to become traditional holiday fair. They serve their purpose, but the chances of families crowding around the television to watch A Madea Christmas do not seem very likely.
So, what happened? Times have changed since Bing Crosby starred in White Christmas. The world has become scarier and people have become more cynical. But based on the popularity of the Hallmark Channel, many still enjoy Christmas movies. A Christmas Story is shown for twenty four hours straight, while a new generation of children are introduced to 1966’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas every year.
A more likely scenario is new Christmas movies have just become a victim of the Hollywood machine. Sequels and remakes have become such an integral part of the industry, it has become a running joke. Why make a classic on par with A Miracle on 34th Street when you can just remake it?
Christmas movies are an important sub genre of film. By definition, they are over the top in their sentimentality and prey on your emotions like a predator that feeds on tears. Still, we all have our favorites. At this rate, they are the only favorites anyone will have.