Welcome to day 2 of this year’s Christmas in July Blogathon, everyone! Today, SG from Rhyme and Reason joins in the festivities. If you aren’t familiar with SG and his blog, he mixes two of his passions: poetry and film. It is a rather fun and unique idea and he brings that creativity to this blogathon. Instead of doing another ol’ movie review, he is listing off twelve of his favorite movies that might not seem like Christmas movies at first glance. Curious to see what they are? Well continue reading to find out!
In trying to think of something unique for this Christmas in July Blogathon, I tried to steer away from all the usual Christmas movies I could review. Instead, I’m focusing on the movies you may not associate with Christmas. In fact, some of these may not seem like Christmas movies at all, but it’s there if you know where to look. Maybe the story happens to take place during the holiday, or it’s somewhere in the background, or the movie just happened to be released in December, but it’s there. And no, I didn’t pick the obvious choices of Die Hard or Gremlins, which have become synonymous with “unorthodox” Christmas movies. I think these are perfect for Christmas in July because they have just enough Christmas-y appeal but can be enjoyed anytime of the year. Can you think of any other semi-Christmas movies I missed?
Believe it or not, yes, Prometheus has some Christmas to it. In an early scene with Idris Elba and Charlize Theron, he decorates a small Christmas tree and reminds her that “we need the holidays to show time is still moving.” I included it on the list just for how odd it seems to have any Christmas-ness in an Alien movie.
11. King Kong
Released in December of 2005, Peter Jackson’s version of King Kong set the great ape’s New York rampage in the holiday season for some reason, even if it’s never acknowledged. Remember Kong’s slip-and-slide date with Naomi Watts on a frozen lake, backed by light-adorned trees behind them?
10. The Conjuring 2
What is it with horror films and Christmas? Not as explicit as Gremlins or Krampus, but The Conjuring 2 has its climax around Christmastime and ends with relative sweetness as the Warrens dance in front of their tree.
9. Batman Returns
I’m not the biggest fan of Tim Burton’s Batman movies, but Batman Returns definitely has a unique atmosphere with its Gothic Gotham Christmas, like the tree lighting interrupted by a villainous gang.
8. The Ultimate Gift
I can’t forget this underrated drama about spoiled rich kid Jason (Drew Fuller) being given a moral wake-up call from his dead grandfather (James Garner). When cancer-stricken Abigail Breslin misses Christmas, Jason arranges for a Texas-style Christmas just for her, complete with snow.
7. Sleepless in Seattle
The phone call that would eventually bring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan together on Valentine’s Day began on Christmas Eve, with young Jonah’s conversation on a late-night radio show. “Horses, horses, horses, horses.” (If you don’t remember that, watch it again.)
6. Lady and the Tramp
This Disney classic begins and ends with a puppy-filled Christmas, first when little Lady joins the family and later with Tramp and their young-uns joining the festivities.
5. Lethal Weapon
Die Hard wasn’t the first Christmas action movie, although I don’t know if Lethal Weapon was either. If a drug bust at a Christmas tree lot doesn’t scream “Happy Holidays,” what does?
4. Trading Places
Picture this: a down-and-out, suicidal Dan Aykroyd, dressed as Santa, eating a salmon out of his beard. Classic Christmas. Supposedly, Trading Places is a Christmastime TV staple in Italy.
3. Catch Me If You Can
When you’re constantly on the run, like Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can, sometimes the only person you can talk to on Christmas is Tom Hanks hunting you down. “How is it we’re always talking on Christmas, Carl? Every Christmas, I’m talking to you!”
2. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Another December release, the first of the Chronicles of Narnia sees the Pevensie children stumbling upon a cursed Narnia, where it is “always winter, never Christmas.” When Santa himself arrives on the scene, it’s a sign that the White Witch’s power is coming to an end.
1. The Princess Bride
I had to put The Princess Bride at #1 because I remember how shocked I was to learn that it was a Christmas movie. It’s true! At the beginning, when Peter Falk comes in to read his grandson a story, there’s a little Christmas tree on the table in the hall, and it’s snowing outside. Plus, there’s a Santa hanging on the closet door behind Falk the whole time. That’s why he’s giving his grandson the book, as a Christmas gift (or maybe Hanukkah). So yes, it’s a Christmas movie. As if I needed one more reason to watch this classic again.
And here are some runners-up that still qualify as less obvious Christmas films:
Brooklyn – During a Christmas dinner for the homeless, one man sings a beautiful Irish song.
Edward Scissorhands – Tim Burton apparently loves Christmas weirdness.
The Impossible – A tsunami strikes while a family is on Christmas vacation in Thailand.
Jurassic World – Oddly, there’s a Christmas song playing in the airport when the boys are sent to the park.
La La Land – Ryan Gosling is fired at Christmastime for not playing the assigned music.
My Favorite Wife – This old classic ends strangely with Cary Grant in a Santa costume.
The Poseidon Adventure – To escape the rising water, the survivors climb up a giant Christmas tree.
Rise of the Guardians – Santa’s a main character, though this one covers several holidays.
Swiss Family Robinson – Fritz, Ernst, and Roberta return home in time for Christmas.
3 Godfathers – In this western, three cowboy bank robbers care for a baby at Christmastime.
Tokyo Godfathers – In this anime film, three homeless people care for a baby at Christmastime.
And as for who I’d like to invite to the Christmas party, I choose Emma Stone from La La Land, which also happens to be one of the semi-Christmas movies above. The more I see of Stone’s work, the more I like her, and she is lovely.
Merry Christmas in July, everyone!
And a Merry Christmas in July to you, too, SG! Thank you for giving us such a wonderful and unique list! It’s great to see Emma returning to the party this year, as she was my guest last year.
While normally blogathons are used by bloggers to showcase some of their favorite films, some bloggers go in a different direction and choose a movie that isn’t so great. Stop by later today to see what Keith from Keith Loves Movies has to say about one such film.
Until next time, cheers!