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I guess I just like liking things



I take a lot of flak from people when I say Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie. “It’s not a Christmas movie! It only takes place at Christmas!” they say. I figure any movie that includes “Christmas in Hollis” on the soundtrack is a Christmas movie, but whatever. I guess it’s not a real “Christmas movie” until someone’s learned that family is important and you should spend time with them — OH WAIT, that was totally in Die Hard.  “It needs to be a feel-good movie.” You don’t feel good about terrorists and thieves getting their comeuppance? What’s wrong with you? “Well, then, it needs someone getting presents.” TEDDY BEAR FOR HIS KIDS. “Surprise visits?” HANS GRUBER. “Uh… traveling?” IN THERE. “Santa Claus!  Christmas movies need Santa Claus and there’s no Santa in Die Hard! HA!” It’s a Wonderful Life didn’t have any Santas in it, nor any Nativity scenes, if that was your next thing, so nertz to you.

It’s official: Die Hard is a Christmas movie.

Which is too bad, because I was going to put it at number one on this list of Non-Christmas Movies Set around Christmas. I suspect there are a few more on this list we could give the Christmas Movie Test to, but since that might leave me with no list I’m going to hold off on that for now.

10. L.A. Confidential (1997) – This is most likely the only list you’ll ever see that has this movie listed below Rocky IV.

9. Rocky IV (1985) – I don’t think this movie would hold up as well if I were to watch it today, but in 1985 if you weren’t punching Commies on Christmas Day you weren’t a Real American.

8. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005) – The title is literally what happens: smooching and gunfire. Apparently the phrase is used commonly overseas to describe spy movies (like James Bond). It has also inspired my most recent script, “Handshake Handshake, Whisper Whisper,” a who-dun-it set in a library.

7. Lethal Weapon (1987) – Same guy wrote this one as wrote the previous movie. Stick with what you know!

6. Gremlins (1984) – The most Christmas-y movie on the list. Almost too Christmas-y, really.

5. First Blood (1982) – There are Christmas decorations up around town, so this totally counts!

4. Batman Returns (1992) – Something about this being set at Christmas makes that Penguin nose-biting scene even harder to stomach.

3. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) – Some day I’ll get around to making a Coen Brothers list and you’ll see this movie again, very near the top. Like, so near. Like, higher than Fargo, even. You’ve been warned.

2. Die Hard 2 (1990) – Ha HA! Die Hard 2 was also at Christmas!  Take that! Frankly, all of the entries in the series should have been. Mistake #1, Die Hard 3.

1. Edward Scissorhands (1990) – It makes me wonder just how many lists I can make that have this one at #1.  A lot, I bet.

Please note that I left Silent Night, Deadly Night off this list before you complain to me about how violent most of these are.


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