Friday, 19 December 2014

What I've Been Watching In: December (Christmas Edition)

Much like in October when I dedicated my 'What I've Been Watching' post to my favourite Halloween movies (link here), I just had to share my favourite movies to watch during the festive period, so here they are. 
The first six movies are ones that I watch every single Christmas without fail and I may have already watched the other three movies in this blog post already this year. Hehe. First up are the romantic comedies;

Love Actually (2003)
Starring: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson
With nine, yes nine, separate story-lines all relating to the idea of love you might think that Love Actually could be a little difficult to follow but trust me you'll have no problem with that at all. The story-lines intertwine throughout and are all completely resolved at the end which leaves me with a warm and fuzzy feeling every single time, which is exactly what I want from a Christmas movie. And there are more A-list movie stars and well known celebrities in this than you'll be able to count.

The Family Stone (2005)
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Claire Danes, Luke Wilson
This is probably one of the most underrated Christmas movies, that I know of anyway, as I think I know one other person who has seen it before. Leave me a comment below if you have heard of it or seen it.
It stars SJP as the fiancĂ© of the eldest Stone child, played by Dermot Mulroney, who takes her home to meet his family and spend Christmas with them. To say things don't exactly go to plan would be a bit of an understatement but SJP's character finally manages to win the Stone family over, even if it's not in the way that you would imagine when you first start this movie. It really does have a great and incredibly heart-warming story that I'm sure many would really love. And much like Love Actually, this is an ensemble piece where it actually works (what on earth happened when it came to New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day?!) 

The Holiday (2006)
Starring: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black
This movie will always be really special to me as it is the one which has spurred a yearly tradition for me and my mum. We make sure to watch this the week before Christmas and get all wrapped up in our cosy winter pyjamas and indulge in far too many snacks and chocolates every single year. But that's not the only reason that it's included in this particular post. This movie really is fantastic. Plus every single time that I watch it it instantly makes me want to live in both Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda's (Cameron Diaz) homes. Is it greedy to want both? Hehe. It literally is the best of both worlds, who could say no to that? 
It also makes me fall in love with both Jude Law and Jack Black's characters every single time too.

Next up are the Christmas movies that I fell in love with (hard) as a child;

Childhood favourite Christmas movies

Jingle All The Way (1996)
Starring: Arnold Schwarznegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson
I must have watched this every single Christmas (sometimes more than once) since I was a child. This is Schwarznegger in his heyday, back when he was making movies like this and Kindergarten Cop (which is still one of my all-time favourites). This is also a bit of a cautionary tale for those individuals hoping to leave their Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve. Hehe. Who in their right mind would want to battle it out the day before Christmas to get their shopping done? I'll never understand it.

Home Alone (1990)
Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern
In a way it doesn't quite feel like it's actually Christmas until I've seen Home Alone at least once. I have a feeling that the large majority of you will have seen Home Alone but I just had to include it. It really is the one Christmas movie that immediately gets me in the Christmas spirit.

The Grinch (2000)
Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski
For me this movie always reminds me of the last day of school before the Christmas break. You know the day when even the teacher's were ready for it to be the Christmas holidays. This would be the one movie that would appear on the wheeled in TV at every class that day (and sometimes that week). It instantly makes me think of those days and really is the perfect Christmas movie for all ages. Plus who doesn't enjoy watching Jim Carrey at his best?

And I couldn't just focus solely on childhood favourites and romantic Christmas movies, now could I? So here are some more alternative Christmas movie choices. If you're not a fan of the lovey-dovey Christmas movies or the ones that we've known since childhood then I have a couple of suggestions for you.

Non-traditional Christmas movies

Gremlins (1984)
Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton
Okay so I'm going to start by saying, Gremlins isn't actually my favourite out of the two Gremlins movies. But then again, Gremlins 2: The New Batch will always have a special place in my heart. If you know the story of Gremlins, ie. don't expose the mogwai to water, bright light or feed them after midnight, well all of this happens on the night before Christmas, which is why I just had to include it in this post as the whole way through Gremlins there is a definite Christmas feeling. Except instead of it being your traditional Christmas movie filled with happy faces and picturesque festive scenes there are Gremlins terrorising the town.
Do you think if I add Gizmo to my Christmas list there might be a chance that I'll wake up on Christmas morning to the sight of an adorable little mogwai?

Die Hard (1988)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald Veljohnson
This might not be the most traditional Christmas movie but it's probably the one that will result in the least amount of resistance by the men in our lives. Hehe. Let's just say it, John McLaine is a badass! I never use that word but it's the only one that really describes his whole aesthetic in this movie. Alan Rickman (who also appears in Love Actually) is excellent as the villain Hans Gruber and you'll be on the edge of your seat the whole way through, even if you have seen it before.

Black Christmas (2006)
Starring: Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert
Now it wouldn't be one of my 'What I've Been Watching' posts without the inclusion of a horror movie, now would it? In this remake of the 1970's classic, a group of sorority sisters are stranded in their campus house during a snow storm when a pyschopathic killer who grew up in that very house returns to spend Christmas with them but not in the traditional fashion. 
And there's also plenty of familiar faces in this movie, especially if you're a fan of Gossip Girl. There's Katie Cassidy who played Juliet Sharp in Gossip GirlMichelle Trachtenberg who played Dawn Summers (aka. Buffy's little sister) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as Georgina Sparks in Gossip Girl. Then you have Mary Elizabeth Winstead who you might remember from Final Destination 3 and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and last but not least; Lacey Chabert (aka. Gretchen Weiners from Mean Girls).

So what do you think of my Christmas movie selections? What are your favourite movies to watch at Christmas?

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