Turn on the tube these days, and you’ll get nothing but holiday flicks. But beware, despite all that tinsel and snow, not all Christmas movies are made alike. Before you fall prey to titles such as, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (though that does sound kind of amazing) and “Christmas with the Kranks,” check out these classics that are guaranteed to give you the holiday fuzzies.
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
Feeling worthless? Upset that your little brother has more presents under the tree yet again? Don’t despair. Maybe your guardian angel will show up too. At least one did for George Bailey, an all-around selfless guy who falls into some terrible luck. In probably one of the most heartwarming stories around, Jimmy Stewart never fails to make us cry, laugh and even swoon.
‘Miracle on 34th Street’
The new one is crap — even if Mara Wilson is kinda cute in that annoying way. But trust us, nine-year-old Natalie Wood in the 1947 original is just as precocious, but sans the whiney voice. Where the remake was pure fluff, targeting our vulnerable heart-strings during such a cheery time, the original is far more intelligent, and there’s actually some character development. Who doesn’t wish the biggest court case around was regarding a man who claims he’s Santa Claus? We’d believe him.
Macauley Culkin before he disappeared off the face of the earth. Never has being left home alone looked so terrifying — or merry.
‘The Family Stone’
OK, it borders on cheesy. Man (Dermot Mulroney) meets woman (Sarah Jessica Parker) who isn’t right for him and brings her home for the holidays. Family hates and tortures her. (Especially man’s sister, played by Rachel McAdams in her first bitchy role since “Mean Girls,” but this time as a brunette.) Parker calls her kid sister in for reinforcement, but alas, Mulroney falls for her. What to do? Despite a contrived plot, “The Family Stone” carries a lot of heart, and this family’s many personalities come together for the holidays in a way that might just remind you of your own.
Buddy: “I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.” Same way scene gets to New York City.
‘The Santa Clause’
It’s such a shame they had to make three sequels, because the original isn’t half bad. (OK, it kind of is.) Tim Allen accidentally kills Santa Claus, grows a beard and grows rather rotund. Guess who he’s become? As “The Santa Clause” transformation progresses, Allen becomes a better father and ex-husband. It’s feel-good family fodder that will make your annoying little cousin shut up for a couple hours.
By far one the best recent holiday love stories. It does the same things Jimmy Stewart does to us — cry, laugh and swoon.
‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’
Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang never go out of style. They play this one at least a couple of times a week up until the big day, so don’t miss out on Brown’s discovery of the “true” meaning of Christmas. In case you didn’t put two and two together, this is where the term “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” actually came from.
‘A Christmas Story’
scene never wanted a Red Ryder BB gun, but we still want one of those leg lamps. It must be, in the words of Ralphie, “the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.” Just in case you haven’t seen this one, per usual, it’ll be on TBS for a whole 24 hours starting Dec. 24. scene triple dog dares you to watch it again and again and again.
‘Nightmare Before Christmas’
No, this one isn’t as big on the holiday cheer. But really, come Dec. 26, we’re all a little tired of the holiday hubbub. Who doesn’t get a little rush from the thought of Jack Skellington kidnapping Santa.
‘The Godfather’ (a wildcard)
OK, so it has nothing to do with the holidays. But, this is a family season. And who better to make you appreciate your own family than the Corleones?