In full disclosure, I actually wrote this list last Thanksgiving for my appearance on the Film Cynics radio show (R.I.P.). However, it didn’t get a lot of attention at the time so I thought I’d throw it out here at MILF. I wanted to do something for the holidays but there just aren’t a ton of Thansgiving movies so I came up with this instead and hope you guys and girls like it.
My prerequisites for compiling this Top 5 were two very simple things: (1) My picks had to feature a holiday that is very prevalent within the film and (2) the holiday had to have no real impact on how the story need be told. That is, if the holiday were removed completely from the film, the filmmakers could still easily manage to tell the same story. That being said, here we go:
I had to rewatch this film to make sure it deserved a spot on this list and I’m happy to say it does. It’s still an entertaining watch that reminds me of my childhood in the 80′s. You know, when children’s movies were awesome in that they really shouldn’t have been seen by children. This film kind of defies categorization in that it’s part Horror, part Comedy, part B-Movie and part Family film but really manages to be none of those all at the same time. It also takes place at X-mas but really doesn’t have to. I realize Gizmo was an X-mas gift but he could’ve just as easily been a Birthday present.
4. LOVE ACTUALLY.
My podcast is called Man, I Love Films because I really do… in all forms… even Rom-Coms. I’m the guy who thinks that new Matthew McConaughey/Kate Hudson vehicle looks really promising. Third times a charm, right? Well, more often than not, WRONG! However, Love Actually is one of those films that gets it right as it features intertwining tales of love. Looking for love, dealing with the loss of love, love in friendship and love on a porn set! The amazing thing is that none of the stories lose your interest. All of the characters are entertaining. Oh, it also takes place at X-mas but could really take place at any other time of year. Sure, Bill Nighy might have to sing about Valentine’s Day or Hanukkah instead but that is very do-able.
3. DIE HARD.
What’s not to love about the film that changed the action genre? If it wasn’t for John McClane, all our action icons would still be muscle-bound freaks with speech impediments. Not to mention the fact that it also features Hans Gruber, easily one of cinema’s all time great villains. Great film but the fact that it takes place at X-mas is really nothing more than an after thought.
2. GROUNDHOG’S DAY.
My wife doesn’t like Bill Murray. I know! I almost filed for divorce the day I found out. Still, even she enjoys Groundhog’s Day and what’s not to love. Groundhog’s Day is easily one of Murray’s greatest comedies if not one of the greatest comedies ever made. The idea of using a recurring scenario for comedy is something I’m surprised hasn’t been copied to the umpteenth degree because it truly is such a great tool for the genre. And while I love Punxsutawney Phil, for the sake of the story, Murray’s character could’ve just as easily been covering the Wisconsin Cheese Festival. Um…. GO PACKERS!
1. INDEPENDENCE DAY.
ID4, a pseudo-acronym that makes no sense, is the War of the Worlds for my generation. I love it for all it’s cheesy goodness. Roland Emmirich realized what he was put on this earth for when he gave us this film about aliens hell-bent on destroying mankind. The only thing is the film doesn’t really have to take place on Independence Day. The only reason I can even figure why it even does is so Bill Pullman can give his “Today is the day we celebrate our independence!” speech before the final battle of the film. A speech that is often mocked but, honestly, gives me goosebumps. That’s how much I love this film and why it’s my number one! Well… that and the Fresh Prince of Bad Ass!