Christmas Movie Classics

Sunday, December 2, 2012

There's something special about watching heartwarming films around the holidays. Undoubtedly you are already familiar with the standard classics, but this year I wanted to introduce you to two* lesser known but equally entertaining movies. Films that capture the season and make for great viewing. (To ensure maximum enjoyment I suggest consuming large quantities of pie and eggnog with these films.)

Don't let the star-studded cast of The Family Stone deceive you, this is a film for the entire family. Admittedly the first time I watched this movie Sarah Jessica Parker's character drove me nuts. But recently I re-watched this and felt more sympathetic to her character the second time around. I mean she comes to a family gathering, the new kid on the block, experiencing unfamiliar traditions with new people that she's trying to make a good impression on. Who wouldn't be on guard? That's a lot to handle around the holidays. The angst and ensuing drama just heightens the plot. Mix-in crazy siblings (there's one in every family), a mother with health challenges, moral/political conversations, and a love triangle and that's how Christmas unfolds at the Stone house.

Joyeux Noel is based on the true events that unfolded on Christmas Eve 1914. With trench warfare in full swing the war wasn't about to stop for Christmas. Yet one soldier, a musician, decides to risk it all by requesting a concert for his brigade. His wife joins him on the front lines and for one night a ceasefire ensues. The unthinkable fraternizing of German, French, and Scottish troops comes after a stirring rendition of Silent Night. The men then share photographs of loved ones, exchange addresses, and work together to offer a final remembrance to their departed colleagues. Despite the brutality of war, the humanity and strength of the human spirit are beautifully portrayed in this film.

*In my quest to seek out new holiday films I had originally wanted to post three reviews. To that end I also watched A Christmas Tale and Christmas in Connecticut. Sadly, neither movie left a lasting festive impression on me.


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