If you read one of my previous blogs, you know I’m not much in the Christmas mood this year. However, I decided to fight my depressions and make Christmas let’s say a bit more low-key this year. Not being too hard on myself for not jumping with joy and trying to make it as new as possible has proven to be a recipe that more or less works. No, I’m still not over the moon by the thought that it’s Christmas Day next week (OMG!…) and the more Christmassy it gets everywhere the more I know there’s only one place I wanna be… but I’m embracing the reality – and the present moment. Or trying to.
And so bit by bit, I’m also getting in the mood for some of my favorite Christmas movies. And since I’m the movie girl here, I thought you’d like me to share some of these with you 😉 I’d hate to disappoint and so here’s a list of the ones I cannot miss no matter what.
- While You Were Sleeping (1995)
This film holds a special magic to me and always has. It’s the one film that’s always been connected with the city of Chicago for me – a city that always seemed so magical. After finally visiting it this past October, I can tell you those assumptions couldn’t be more real. Call me crazy, but I loved walking the streets of While You Were Sleeping and revisiting the movie after being there has made it all the more special. (Aka bucket list check! 😉 )
For those who don’t know it, While You Were Sleeping is a story of a young lonely woman named Lucy (Sandra Bullock) who walks around in her father’s old coat and with a passport in her bag at all times, dreaming of going to Florence one day. She works for the public transport company, selling tickets for the train and dreams of marrying the man (Peter Gallagher) she sees every day on his way to work. As she saves his life one day (shortly before Christmas) after he’s been assaulted and fallen into the railway, amidst the chaos at the hospital where she takes him, she is mistakenly taken for his fiance and gets to meet his whole family which immediately takes her in. She also meets his brother Jack (Bill Pullman) who as it turns out just might be the one.. From a lonely woman without a family she becomes a daughter, a sister, a fiance.. and with each passing day, she finds it harder and harder to reveal the truth..
The older I get, the more I love this film, probably because somewhere deep in my heart part of me identifies with Lucy. Made in the nineties (the golden age of romantic comedies if you ask me – they just don’t make films like these anymore!) it has this beautiful calmness about it which I love. It gives you quite a few laughs, too, and the chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman is ever so present. I can’t help it, but every time I watch it, I just want a guy like Jack.
- Love Actually (2003)
Okay, I don’t think I need to introduce this one, do I? 😉 Contrary to While You Were Sleeping, everyone knows and loves Love Actually! And I do, too. If I had to give up all the Christmas films and pick just one, it would be Love Actually for sure. Why? Well… I guess because of that dance scene.
Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister is by far my favorite character and the dance scene is just epic and the one I always wait for and then just want to rewind and watch it over again! However, the part where he’s looking for Natalie by knocking on the door of all the houses in her street… My gosh, honestly, these scenes are timeless and should go down in (film) history!
But the real beauty of the film lies in the variety of stories that all come together in the end – and the fact that all of them are equally fun, unique and beautiful.
And whom am I kidding, this film has the best cast you could ever ask for! Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Bill Nighy or Keira Knightley and Chiwetel Ejiofor who were both just about starting their careers back then which makes it all the more interesting from today’s point of view (oh, how I came to love Chiwetel!)
There’s SO much to love about this film. It might just be the best British film ever made if you ask me.
- The Holiday (2006)
This is quite a recent addition into my Christmas Essentials List. I think it might be some five years since I discovered it by chance but ever since then it has a firm place on the list.
It’s a story of two women (Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet) who never met and both want to escape Christmas and their realities for a bit and decide to switch their homes for few weeks (is it one.. two? can’t remember). They couldn’t be more different – one lives in sunny L.A. and makes film trailers for living (Diaz), the other one works for a publishing company and lives in a tiny town outside of London (Winslet).
Both are running away from failed relationships, only to discover new ones of course.. 😉
As much as I love the stories in this film and the overall atmosphere, there’s one thing for which I love it even more – Jude Law. Honestly, it’s my favorite role of his ever!!! He’s so freaking hot here, it simply doesn’t get better than this lol. Okay, that probably doesn’t sound like a very relevant reason, does it.. But I mean a guy who’s bringing up his daughters like this… alone… and who can cry?… I mean… awwww 😉 😀
It’s also possibly the only film with Cameron Diaz I can watch without wanting to kill her. And the storyline of Kate Winslet and Jack Black and the old Hollywood music composer… that just warms my heart, always.
However, The Holiday is also a great reminder of how we linger in the wrong relationships, unable to move on, letting ourselves to be mistreated so badly and how when we decide it’s enough, it just all comes together..
- Christmas With The Kranks (2004)
If you read my previous blog, you know by now that this film is a classic in my home. I know it’s not exactly one of the best films ever, however, I find the whole idea of skipping Christmas, the way the Kranks decide to do so, absolutely hilarious. And Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are simply way too funny.
It’s ridiculous, it’s stupid, yet it holds so much truth! I’m sure all of you has at least once in your life (even if only for few minutes in the middle of all the crazy Christmas preparations) felt like you’d just rather skip Christmas altogether! What it would be like? Well… apparently, it might be harder than you thought… 😉
And don’t even get me started with the scene with the ham! … 😀
- Bridget Jones Diary (2001)
I love British comedies. Notting Hill would be another of my picks if I made the list longer and even if it is not exactly a Christmas film, it always feels like a good idea throughout Christmas. And all these films – Love Actually, Bridget Jones Diary and Notting Hill have one thing in common – actually, two: they were all written by (the genius) Richard Curtis and they all have Hugh Grant (and two of them share Colin Firth). Truth is, I wish there were more films like these.
Yes, Bridget Jones has not always been on my list and it’s perhaps not a traditional Christmas film either, but for me it’s become one of the essentials. It’s not just funny, but it’s also strangely empowering. Plus it has the horrible Christmas jumpers, too.
Being a Richard Curtis film, it once again features the best British humour, the best London views (could this be why I’m obsessed with British films at Christmas, because I’ve spent so many years doing Christmas shopping there and considered it my second home?!) a strong and funny female character and a Colin Firth and Hugh Grant fight scene which probably is the best part of it all 😀
Bridget might not exactly be a star, she might be very awkward in fact, but she won’t let any embarrassment take her down – not for long anyway. She’s a rock star if you ask me! And why? Because she’s far from being perfect… she’s just one of us.
Christmas is all about love and the little miracles it can bring, which is what all of these films have in common. All of these stories have hope in them, which is what I’m taking out of them especially this year.
What are your favorite Christmas films to watch? And what’s your favorite storyline of Love Actually? Share in the comments below, I’d really love to know!! 😉