5 Less Obvious Christmas Movies

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Well, kind of — it’s not Christmas weather by a long shot. Inside, though, is another matter, ‘cause I’ve got a stack of movies to watch over the next couple weeks. Nothing says “Christmas” like Christmas movies. Except for all that other stu– you know what? Moving on.

To prevent this list (and my free time) from turning into the same list we see everywhere, I’ve decided to highlight five movies from the stack that fit this time of year perfectly, even if some of them aren’t designated “Christmas movies.”

Which doesn’t mean I’m not watching It’s a Wonderful Life. I’m not a monster.

(And no Die Hard, because that one’s too easy.)

The Snowman

This actually might be a perennial watch for many of you, but I only discovered it recently. It’s a animated adaptation of a children’s book about a boy who builds a snowman, who then comes to life. And when you say it like that, it sounds so regular that it almost makes me sick.

What if you mention the slightly odd, yet charming introduction by David Bowie? The endearingly homemade animation style? The amazing flying scene? I think we’re getting closer, but the movie retains a lyrical quality that appears simple, but really defies description. Which, now that I think about it, is probably why they decided to go dialogue-free (Bowie notwithstanding).

And hey! It’s relatively easy to track down. So go watch it if you haven’t, and watch it again if you have. This is my sentimental entry for the year.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

The whole plot of this movie — and it has enough for at least two — kicks off when Robert Downey Jr’s character attempts to boost some merchandise from a toy store. He’s even on the phone with his son about which toy he wants for Christmas while robbing the place.

Later on, there are weird Hollywood parties with models dressed up as reindeer, and Michelle Monaghan wears this little number.

Now, that opening robbery scene is about as Christmassy as the whole affair gets, but any excuse to watch this brilliant cult classic is legitimate in my book. Aside from being endlessly quotable and as rewatchable as they come, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is also a movie with a surprisingly real heart. Downey Jr. and Monaghan are great as a wayward pair of people whose dreams have somehow gotten away from them. When they rediscover their friendship, they find the motivation to — just maybe — move a little bit closer to the people they need to be.

That qualifies it as a Christmas movie, right? No? Oh well. Watchin’ it anyway.

“Don’t quit your gay job!”