Video Rewind: Up and Coming Christmas Classics
These Movies Should be Classics Now
Trying to decide on what makes a movie a Christmas classic is a hard pill to swallow. There are so many good Christmas themed movies out there but narrowing them down is almost like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
I think one classic Christmas tale has to be Gremlins. The small town of Kingston Falls really puts you in the mood for a Christmas story (okay, so the snow's fake and white spray paint is everywhere, but who's complaining?). It's the kind of setting I remember as a kid with snow all over, lights adorning most of the neighbors homes and Christmas carolers (but I didn't grow up in a small town).
Gremlins is the story of Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) who gets a pet (Gizmo) from his father, but there are three rules: no water or food after midnight and no bright light. One day when Billy's little friend Pete (Corey Feldman) comes over, he accidentally knocks over a glass of water drenching Gizmo.
The water causes Gizmo to multiply and gives the lead to Stripe (the evil gremlin offspring) while the other five new gremlins make Billy believe its only 11:35. Thinking it's not yet midnight, Billy feeds them some chicken and soon they go into separate cocoons where the next day they start wreaking havoc on the town.
Even though Billy's mom (Frances Lee McCain) fends them off at home, Stripe escapes and heads to the local YMCA where he jumps into the pool spawning into thousands of gremlins.
On hand to help fight off the gremlins is Phoebe Cates (reuniting with Fast Times At Ridgemont High alum Judge Reinhold). She hates Christmas and now has to fight for her life in the bar where she moonlights. The bar scene is probably the best in the whole movie as I've known bartenders who've had to face the human gremlin around closing time.
Another of my favorite Christmas movies is the romantic comedy While You Were Sleeping. Sandra Bullock stars as a lonely token collector who spends Christmas Day working then witnesses the attack of a stranger she secretly has a crush on (Peter Gallagher).
At the hospital there's some confusion when she mutters she was going to "marry him" and one of the emergency room nurses overhears her comment and she thinks they're engaged. Not knowing she accidently tells Peter's family that this is his fiancé.
Peter's family immediately accepts her and as the week between Christmas and New Year's goes by, she has to stay on top of the lies/fantasy she's created. A few times she tries to come clean but gets in deeper and deeper.
Things get a little more complicated when after meeting Peter's brother Jack (Bill Pullman) she starts to fall in love with him. No matter what time of the year it is I can watch this movie over and over with it's lighthearted humor and the passion Bullock has for her character Lucy.
Although the movie Rich and Famous takes place during the holiday season, it's really hard to say if this is actually a Christmas movie. But it's one of those movies which can't be ignored.
Jacqueline Bisset (Liz) and Candice Bergen (Merry Noel) have been friends since college and the film revolves around their friendship. It's also a movie about jealousy all wrapped up in a nice big red ribbon.
Liz is a famous writer who only writes literary novels, while Merry Noel strikes it rich writing a string of successful "trashy" bestsellers. It seems whatever Merry Noel writes hits the bestseller list, while Liz has been struggling with her thoughts for years.
Both are unlucky in love and when Liz meets reporter Chris Adams (Hart Bochner) she starts to fall in love with him, but in the end he leaves town with Merry Noel's daughter Debby (Meg Ryan) where she's going to be his assistant.
Surprisingly this holiday season, Merry Noel has penned one of the best novels of the year and is nominated for an award, which Liz is on the selection committee. While Liz feels pressure to vote for Merry Noel's novel, Merry Noel starts campaigning to win the title. The pressure mounts leading to how each really feel about one another and after a major argument each goes their separate ways.
I've often thought that the ending to this movie has been one of the greatest endings to a movie and shows true friendship can conquer all of life's ups and downs.
So, go grab one of those $5 popcorn tins, grab your favorite blanket and make these a part of your holiday classic movie traditions starting this year.