Christmas is not our favorite holiday here at Midnight Eggs. There’s a lot of pressure from family, friends and society, in general, to be merry. “C’mon! No one is sad at Christmas!” Yes, Virginia, that’s precisely when people get sad. And it’s not like you can put your head down and avoid it until it’s over. Christmas is everywhere. It takes over radio, TV, shopping malls, the internet, neighborhoods. So, we decided to come up with a list of Christmas movies for those of us who are not-so-jolly this time of year.
Here are the criteria for my “Christmas” movie list: 1) Someone must die. 2) There must be swearing and/or nudity. 3) Someone must be having a shitty Christmas. These are not movies for kids. You’re not going to watch these with your Grandma. And you sure as hell aren’t going to find Elf or Rudolf on this list.
5. Bad Santa
The name says it all. Willie and Marcus run the same scam every year, posing as a shopping mall Santa and his elf to rob the stores blind.
Favorite quote – “Well, wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.
From the promos, this looked like a cute and fun movie with Muppets. Nope, this is some dark shit. Nothing is darker than Kate’s story about why she hates Christmas.
Favorite quote – “And that’s how I found out there was no Santa Claus.”
3. Monty Python’s Life of Brian
The 3 Wise Men show up to greet the baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but they go to the wrong manger and meet Brian. Wacky hijinks ensue, and Brian spends the rest of his life being mistaken for the Messiah.
Favorite quote – “Alright, I am the Messiah. Now fuck off!”
2. The Family Stone
This movie is depressing. Everyone is miserable. People are keeping secrets. It even replays one of the most depressing Christmas scenes from a movie musical ever – Judy Garland telling Margaret O’Brien, “Yeah, this Christmas is fucked, and the best we can do is hope that maybe next year will be better.” I’m paraphrasing.
Favorite quote – “Isn’t there anybody that loves me?
1. Die Hard
What is more Christmasy than a dad just trying to see his family on Christmas Eve? And he saves Nakatomi Plaza from terrorists. Bonus!
Favorite quote – “You motherfucker, I’m gonna kill you! I’m gonna fucking cook you, and I’m gonna fucking eat you!”
My criteria for my “most uplifting holiday movie” list is simple: abject misery set against a Christmas backdrop. I don’t want cliched happy endings or character redemption. I want to see people as miserable as I am trying to get through the shitshow of their lives with the looming bullshit of Christmas in the background. Based on that, my top 5 picks are:
What happens when one asshole kid can’t follow the rules — mass devastation. And to think, we CHEERED back in 84 for these little creatures exploding in microwaves when really if one dumbass hadn’t put poor Gizmo through the hell of painfully expelling the other gremlins all could have been avoided and he might have had time to show some *actual* sympathy for Phoebe Cates who has the most compelling reason to hate Christmas ever.
4. Fanny and Alexander
The colors are lush, the cinematography is heartbreakingly beautiful but it’s an Igmar Bergman movie so strap in. Kids and Christmases are always sad when put together in a movie and this is just, well, sad. There is lots of creepy imagery, excessive harshness from the adults, and yet it’s sort of optimistic. You know, like most people’s childhoods.
3. Eyes Wide Shut
It’s not the wild masquerade parties that makes this movie a holiday classic, it’s watching the end of a loveless and unfulfilling marriage play out against a darker, bleaker NYC at Christmastime that lands it on my list. In the end, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise resign themselves to a passionless existence and a lifetime of resentment while joylessly shopping for toys for their daughter. What’s more festive than that?
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Originally I had this on my list because it was released on Christmas 2012 and it’s set in snowy AF Sweden. But there is a Christmas scene in it and it’s so awesomely depressing with unrequited love and misplaced trust. In the end, we only have ourselves. Lisbeth knew it in the movie and we all know it, too.
1. Less Than Zero
Before I had a list, this WAS my list. I have watched this movie every year at Christmas for at least a decade, possibly longer. It was my favorite Christmas movie as a teenager. Nothing says holiday spirit more than watching Robert Downey, Jr overdose while wearing a shirt with a poinsettia on it.