I’m not a big fan of Christmas. It’s a time of the year when I feel alienated from the rest of society and cable television is littered with sappy Christmas movies. Maybe you have to grow up celebrating Christmas to appreciate them, but almost every Christmas movie sucks. There are some great ones, though, and even Jewish dudes like me can get into the Christmas spirit after watching. Here are five great Christmas movies that stand out from the rest of the craptastic genre:
1. Bad(der) Santa
I’ve written about how great Bad Santa is before, but it’s worth noting that watching this movie on Comedy Central just doesn’t do it justice. It’s still funny, but the dirty – or even better, the unrated – version is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Willie getting wasted and screaming at children just never gets old. Best of all, Bad Santa doesn’t cop out and get all sappy at the end. Willie shows a wee bit of a sensitive side, but he’s still a drunk dickhole to the core.
Bill Murray is never unfunny, so naturally Scrooged is a pretty funny movie. I think my favorite part is when the Ghost of Christmas Present beats the hell out of Bill Murray. Scrooged, like Bad Santa, is funny enough that any sappy Christmas themes that may have crept their way into the movie can be easily overlooked.
3. Love Actually
Alright, look – I like this movie a ton and I know several straight males who also like this movie a lot. Let’s just move on.
4. A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story is one of those rare movies that can appeal to people of all ages without being a cookie-cutter cliche. Any kid, Christian or other, can relate to Ralphie’s anticipation of receiving what may be the greatest toy in the world. For Ralphie, it was a Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle, for me, it was Snake Mountain. He-Man got his sh*t tore up when he stepped to Skeletor.
Elf has such simple, safe humor that I am amazed I find this PG movie so funny. Will Ferrell stuffing his face with maple syrup-covered spaghetti, chugging two-liter bottles of coke, and freaking the F out when Santa’s name is mentioned make Elf one of the few great Christmas movies.