As the year comes to an end, I find that I still have a long list of movies that I’ve yet to include on my Christmas list. There’s just been so much going on, that I think I’ll save the rest of my list for next Christmas. Still, the year ain’t over yet. So, I’ll leave you with some heartwarming holiday films that can work for both Christmas and New Year’s, in hopes that they’ll send you into 2011 with a smile on your face.
Love Actually (2003) – Dir. Richard Curtis
“Love actually is all around us.” What a wonderful premise. In spite of my predilection for horror and the macabre, I appreciate true sentiment. What might appear as nothing more than a Christmas anthology film at first glance, is actually a celebration of life and love. In an interesting six degrees of separation sort of take on It’s a Wonderful Life, Love Actually examines the connections people make in their lives and the wondrous tapestry those connections create. Charming, truly funny, the cinematic equivalent of warm and fuzzy, Love Actually is a great film for any time of year.
When Harry Met Sally… (1989) Dir. Rob Reiner
This isn’t a Christmas movie, but it always feels appropriate to watch this time of year. In its hour and a half, maybe ten minutes takes place during Christmas time. Still, there’s just something about it. Perhaps it’s the way the seasons are used to show the development of Harry and Sally’s relationship, the change from one Christmas to the next, from one New Year’s to the next. I feel like it’s almost a universal touchstone, the way our ever-evolving relationships affects our perception of the holidays. There’s something in the holiday season that stirs our emotions.
The Apartment (1960) – Dir. Billy Wilder
Again, another movie that is good any time of year, but always feels a bit more apropos around the holidays. I love this movie. It is one of my all-time favorites. We’re talking top 10. Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Billy Wilder directing, what’s not to love… Now, The Apartment does actually revolve a bit more around the holiday season than When Harry Met Sally, with poor C.C. Baxter being forced to wait out in the cold New York winter while his apartment is on loan to the executives from his firm. If you haven’t seen The Apartment, you need to.
In fact, if you haven’t seen any of these films, you should check them out. And if you’ve watched them as many times as I have, then you know that another viewing of any of them is always good to lift your spirits.
Happy New Year.