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Reviewing 12 days of Christmas movies

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Four Christmases

Summary: After avoiding their family Christmas for years by claiming to do charity work and escaping off to the coast, couple Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate’s (Reese Witherspoon) lies get broadcast on television for all of their relatives to see. This turn of events forces them to visit all 4 of their family get-togethers. While Brad is waiting for the perfect moment of escape, Kate starts to realize that maybe there’s something not so crazy about starting a family and starts to question aspects of their relationship.

Best Moment: Kate and Brad visit Brad’s brothers and decide to play the board game “Taboo”. They wind up losing poorly to Brad’s brother because of his seemingly telepathic connection with his wife.

The movie features hilarious comedy and fun family moments.

 

Love, Actually

Summary: Nine different stories start to become intertwined as they connect with one emotion: love. Characters include: David (Hugh Grant) a handsome British prime minister who falls for a young junior staffer, Sarah (Laura Linney) a graphic designer whose dedication to her mentally ill brother has left little time for her love life, and Harry (Alan Rickman), a married man who is tempted by an affair.

Best Moment: One of the best scenes is when Mark confesses his love for Juliet using cue cards and pretends to be a group of carol singers.

With so many different stories, it is sometimes difficult to follow, but the romance and adorable scenes are worth your time.

 

The Holiday

Summary: Two women break off their relationships right before the holidays and are determined to salvage a bit of their Christmas spirit while searching for getaways online. After agreeing to switch houses, cars, and practically their lives with one another, Amanda (Cameron Diaz) finds herself visiting to Britain and Iris (Kate Winslet) boards a plane to America. They each find romance and what they were missing on their vacation but realize that the return back home may leave them feeling empty once more.

Best Moment: Would be when Amanda’s potential love interest does not realize that she is not his sister and threatens to pee on her front porch.

Despite the loving connection between both the main characters and their love interests, parts of the are slow going.

 

Elf

Summary: Buddy, a man raised as an elf in the north pole, goes on a quest to find his father, who happens to be on the naughty list. His father, a businessman who never knew Buddy was born, is reluctant to form a relationship with his son. Throughout the movie, Buddy experiences life in New York and attempts to spread his spirited and bubbly personality to others.

Best Moment: When “Santa” comes to Gimbel’s.

It is an original concept with funny and lovable characters.

 

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Summary: Based on the story written by Dr. Seuss, there is a grinch that lives on the outskirts of Whoville. Consumed by jealous and a lack of Christmas spirit, the Grinch feels determined to ruin Christmas. He develops a plan to “steal” Christmas with the help of his dog Max. However, a small who named Cindy Lou Who shows up and might thwart his plans.

Best Moment: The Whoville Jubilation

It has funny moments and teaches that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about how many presents you receive.

 

A Christmas Story

Summary: This movie follows a boy named Ralphie who dreams of owning a Red Ryder air rifle even though whenever he asks the response is “ you’ll shoot your eye out.”

Best Moment: When he visits Santa.

It is a good movie, but it can appear boring at times. It’s also several decades old so some of the humor doesn’t translate to younger viewers.

 

Home Alone

Summary: After eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is left behind on accident after his family takes a trip to Paris, he has to learn how to take care of the house, himself, and the two burglars lurking outside.

Best Moment: After Kevin wakes up and believes his wish of his family disappearing has come true, he does whatever he wants to in the house, including jumping up and down, watching “rubbish”, and eating junk food.

The movie is a fantastic source of comic relief and presents a refreshing child-like perspective.

 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Summary: Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is determined to create the perfect family Christmas. He decorates the house with enough lights to be seen from outer space, cuts down an enormous Christmas tree, and prepares to cook the best turkey. However, things quickly spiral out of control for Clark once Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his family show up unannounced.

Best Moment: When Clark first plugs in the lights on the house, none of them come on. Unknowingly, Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) flips the light switch in the garage that turns them all on. After they turn the light on and off several times, Ellen realizes that the switch is the solution, and keeps it on. A triumphant Clark stares at the stunningly lit house, while his eyes burn from the intense brightness before him.

The movie is truly hysterical, but so much comedy can draw the audience away from the Christmas themed storyline.

 

A Christmas Carol

Summary: While there are many versions of A Christmas Carol, they all have a similar storyline. Ebenezer Scrooge is a greedy, old man who despises Christmas after the death of his partner, Jacob Marley. He owns a money-lending business and works with Bob Cratchit, who is paid little and is refused any warmth during the winter season. When Scrooge returns to his house on Christmas Eve, he sees visions of his old partner, Jacob Marley, who warns that there will be three spirits to visit him that night. Marley, who is shackled for every mean act he had committed in his lifetime, hopes to convince Scrooge to change in time to save him from the same fate. If you want a good laugh, watch The Muppet Christmas Carol or Mickey’s Christmas Carol. If you’re looking for something a little bit more serious, watch the newest Disney adaptation of the story, A Christmas Carol.

Best Moment: The best part of the movie is when Scrooge meets Bob Cratchit’s family and tries to make their Christmas the best they’ve ever experienced.

While the story is a known classic and has a heart-warming ending, it can often times be described as depressing.

 

The Polar Express

Summary: The Polar Express is a family friendly Christmas movie for all ages. The story is about a boy who begins to lose his faith in Santa Claus. One night a train appears outside his window and takes him on a journey to the North Pole with many other children. On the journey he meets two new friends and they are tested with courage, (something) and faith on multiple adventures.

Best Moment: The best moment of this movie is when all of the children board the train and they are served a warm cup of hot chocolate and a performance from the servers.

It has a great message for kids and always gets me in the Christmas spirit.

 

Miracle on 34th Street

Summary: Miracle on 34th Street is a classic holiday tale of a little girl, Susan, who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. Her mother, Doris Walker, an executive at Macy’s is in charge of finding a new Santa after the original one shows up drunk. They hire Kris Kringle, who claims to be the real Santa Claus. After watching him intently, Susan finds herself doubting what she had always believed. Unfortunately, Kringle’s claims cause many others to question his sanity. Susan and Doris are the only ones who believe in him and work to defend him in court.

Best Moment: The best moment of the movie would be when Kris Kringle comes to the rescue and saves the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It is a holiday classic and teaches many great lessons for kids. Children will realize the importance of always standing up for what they believe in.

 

Santa Clause

Summary: Santa Clause is a fun, comedic story about Scott Calvin, and his son Charlie. On Christmas Eve, Scott accidentally knocks Santa Claus off his roof and then becomes the new Santa Claus. Nobody believes Scott and his son Charlie when they tell people what happened; and the authorities threaten to take Charlie out of Scott’s custody. They have to find a way to run the North Pole and prove to everyone that they are telling the truth.

Best Moment: The best moment of this movie is when Scott begins to physically transform into Santa and grows a long white beard overnight.

It is an entertaining twist on the original story of Santa Claus, perfect for kids of all ages.

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