The role that the projected realities of films play in our lives is never more pronounced than at Christmastime. You might be alone, either this year or every year, wishing you were among family. You might be among family, wishing you were alone. You might remember childhood happiness’s, which have no equal in adult life. Then you might wonder how you ended up like this.
So you turn to the world of Christmas on screen. You drunkenly commiserate with Bad Santa, which knows the precise nature of your pain, but tells you it could be worse and it still wouldn’t be all bad. Christmas Vacation provides the relief of acknowledging that nothing goes as planned and that, save the odd Flandersesque clan of weirdos, everyone’s family is fucked. A similar message is mixed with nostalgia, sprinkled lightly with knowing cynicism, in A Christmas Story. If its pure escape you seek, indulge in the sugar of traditional classics like Miracle On 34th Street or the well crafted morality tale of one of the better Christmas Carols.
Other Christmas films represent the ugly side of our culture. Rather than provide relief from impossible ideals, they reinforce them. Jingle All The Way informs us that, if you don’t make well into six figures, you cannot afford and do not deserve happiness. Christmas With The Kranks declares that all who abstain from the festivities are loathsome wretches. If you don’t conform and consume, you deserve to feel like shit. And this puts us in the mood for another viewing of Silent Night, Deadly Night. Peruse our guide to the naughty, the nice and the ugly in the Christmas movie reviews below, and find one that suits you.