Christmas time is here,
happiness and cheer,
fun for all,
that children call,
their favorite time of year…
I am a fan of Christmas, and not because of the gifts. I love the food, the music, the Christmas specials, the people watching (specifically, the feeble attempts at good cheer to mask the bitter resentment of kith and kin), but most of all I love the movies.
Of course, there are the traditional Christmas movies–your White Christmas, your Miracle on 34th Street, your A Christmas Story, your It’s a Wonderful Life, and what have you–but I’m also talking about some of the less traditional holiday fare. Sure, the classics are great, but we’re living in a modern age. And sometimes you need a cinematic breath of fresh air as you survey the icy landscape of a winter wonderland littered with enough yuletide cheer to give the Grinch a coronary.
Think of this ongoing list as a sort of belated cinematic Advent calendar, chock full of suggestions to keep you amused and jolly for all twelve days of Christmas, which are–in case you were wondering–December 25th to January 5th (Epiphany). Some are heart-warming classics, some not so much, but all revolve (at least somewhat loosely) around Christmas. Naughty… nice… these are the Christmas movies that are fun. (And unless otherwise noted, these are in no particular order.)
And so begins my continuing list of Christmas movies, not with a whimper, but a bang…
Lethal Weapon (1987) – Dir. Richard Donner
Writer/Director Shane Black seems to have a thing for Christmas. Most of his movies are set during Christmastime. And we will probably be seeing more of him on this list in the near future. So, I find it fitting to start off with Mr. Black’s first foray into Christmas carnage, which also happens to be our introduction to one of the most famous buddy-cop duos ever, Riggs & Murtaugh. (Sorry, Joe & Tutti Bomowski.)
Riggs is the loose-cannon. Murtaugh is “too old for this shit.” It’s a buddy-cop classic that also happens to be brimming with Christmas puns and sardonic yuletide cheer.
From the opening credits over “Jingle Bell Rock” to the Christmas tree lot drug deal to Mr. Joshua yelling, “It’s god damn Christmas!” at the TV when Scrooge asks what day it is, Lethal Weapon is sure to contribute to your holly, jolly Christmas. Stay tuned, there’s more to come between now and January 5th.