Boredom Buster: what's the best Christmas movie ever made?

18 December 2009

Now normally the Grazia office is a harmonious place on a Friday. We've put the issue to bed (yay!) so, while obviously working very, very, very hard on amazing things to put in the next one (just in case you're reading, Jane), it's the calmest day of the week. Our thoughts turn to exciting topics such as, 'Would you have done Tiger Woods?', 'Who is the fittest bloke on Misfits?' and 'Where (and when) will we go for lunch?'.

But not this Friday. Oh no. As soon as we started compiling our Boredom Buster of the ultimate Christmas films, it turned into something of a smackdown (is Home Alone hilarious or heave-inducing? Does Gremlins qualify?). So in the spirit of democracy, we've got a selection of people to tell us which one they prefer. Who do you think is right? And what have we left off? Let us know...
Muppets Christmas Carol (nominated by Amy, features writer)
I admit, it may not be the most intellectual choice, but at Christmas my inner child controls the remote. And what better way to celebrate, then a singalong with big and mini-Kermit and a talking fruit and veg stall. 'Tis the season to be jolly and joyous, after all (fa la la). If only all Dicken’s novels could be told in the words of Gonzo, I’m sure the English GCSE pass-rate would go through the roof. Every year, without fail, I cry at Tiny Tim’s ‘Bless us all’ solo and have to fast forward through the ghost of Christmas yet to come (its god damn scary) Oh, yes, Michael Caine's not bad either!
Elf (nominated by Suzy, features director)
Buddy is a human who is raised by elves after he climbs, unseen, into Santa's sack as a baby. When Santa's biggest little helper finds out that his real dad is still alive, Buddy leaves the North Pole for Manhattan to track him down. Cue: many predictable-but-very-funny fish-out-of-water gags (getting hit by taxis, shock that there are lots of fake Santas, not understanding you can't eat used gum off railings, upsetting a dwarf by calling him an elf, Buddy's grumpy dad thinking he's an utter loon). Basically, Will Ferrell dressed up as an oversized elf really shouldn't be funny for an hour and a half, but it is -- mainly due to the fact that he's so darn cute with the whole naive act. And the bit at the end where Santa can only make his sleigh fly if enough people believe in him always makes me a bit moist around the eye region. And it's set in New York (AKA the most Christmasy place in the world ever). And it's being made into a musical next year. And Zooey Deschanel's in it. Here's the best bit...
It's A Wonderful Life (nominated by Polly, news features editor)
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without this Frank Capra classic, a tale which would warm the heart of even the most steadfast scrooge. All together now, 'Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings...' <>
Santa Clause: The Movie (nominated by Kay, fashion news features editor)
Ok, ok, so it’s lost some of its Christmas sparkle, and it really hasn’t aged well, and Dudley Moore was central to the plot…but regardless, Santa Clause: The Movie makes me feel more festive than anything else. Probably because it was the first film that I saw at the cinema, and apparently it made me cry – not sure why, maybe it was because Patch the elf ran away after his toys broke, or perhaps it had something to do with the little homeless boy, or maybe it was because the reindeer were the crappiest reindeer ever. Who cares? It had John Lithgow as a baddie who was hell-bent on selling exploding candy cane to kids. Amazing. <>
Scrooged (nominated by Hannah, entertainment editor)
Christmas movies are supposed to be cheesy, right? All film studios need do is hire a beardie old man to play Santa, hang some tinsel on set and dump snow all over the proceedings and cinemagoers are prepared to ignore wooden acting, a dodgy script and schmaltzy music. In fact we’ll lap it up in the name of festive spirit. Actually, no - bah humbug, I don’t think so. I think all films should be good, even if they’re released in December. And that’s why I love Scrooged, in which the ever-brilliant Bill Murray plays a bitter, miserable TV executive who gets visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. The script’s hilarious, it’s properly dark and because it’s completely engrossing and believable, when his inevitable redemption comes - as our anti-hero starts singing 'Put A Little Love in Your Heart' - you’ll find yourself sobbing uncontrollably in front of the telly, even the seventeenth time you’ve seen it. Or maybe that’s just me.


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